Seth Walder reports the Jets have hired former Arizona Cardinals general manager Rod Graves as senior director of football operations.
The Graves move was expected, but Gang Green made it official Monday when they announced the hiring of Graves, who’s tenure with the Cardinals ended after last season. Graves spent 16 years with the Cardinals before the team dropped him after their 5-11 season in which they lost 11 of their final 12 games.
Graves had worked in Arizona since 1997 and was general manager since 2002 before being fired after last season. He had previously worked with the Bears and in the USFL.
I for one applaud this move. I think Graves is a really good hire. He was ultimately undone by an inability to find a quarterback, but that is not his legacy in Arizona. He built a team that was one defensive stop away from winning the Super Bowl five years ago. When he took over, the Cardinals were one of the doormats of the league. They were on the level the Browns and Bills are today. He added a lot of talent to the roster. You also have to consider his owner was not committed to winning in Arizona. Bill Bidwell has a long reputation for being very cheap. It's tough to win in the NFL when your owner is all in. Performing reasonably well when your ownership is not all in is much more difficult, but Graves at least had the Cards competitive for a time.
I also like the idea of adding a former general manager. I think of it as the Peter Principle in reverse. While not always true, most of the time bad general managers get their job because they were very good in lesser roles. His general manager experience will make him a good sounding board for first timer John Idzik and give him an appreciation for how his role fits in the bigger picture.
While Terry Bradway inexplicably remains with the Jets, the hiring of an experienced guy like Graves in a senior role indicates his influence might be at least a tad diminished, which is a good thing.
I didn't mean to go on for hundreds of words gushing about Graves as though he is some sort of savior for the franchise, but I do think this is a sound hire for the Jets.