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ESPN: Jets the Only AFC East Team Where GM Has Final Say

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN surveyed its beat writers for all 32 teams on whom has the final say in the Draft room.

While most teams leave the final decision to the general manager, the Jets were the only such team in the AFC East. The Patriots and Dolphins allow their head coach to make the decisions. For the Patriots, that makes a lot of sense. Bill Belichick is a future Hall of Famer. Nobody has won more Super Bowls as a head coach. (Belichick also does nominally hold the title of general manager.) For the Dolphins, things are a bit more puzzling. Adam Gaze, a first time head coach, has those powers according to James Walker. That is quite a responsibility considering only only four other coaches, including Belichick, have such power.

For the Bills, Mike Rodak indicates general manager Doug Whaley has nominal controls. He paints a picture, however, where owners Terry and Kim Pegula are hands on and likely to get their way. That is interesting since they are not football lifers.

Organizational structures can vary wildly. Ultimately, ESPN's beat writers indicated 22 of the 32 teams have a system similar to that of the Jets where a general manager (or somebody with the same powers even if the person's title isn't general manager) makes the call. Five beat writers indicated ownership is hands on and ultimately willing to wield that power. In addition to the Bills, the Cowboys, Bengals, Colts, and Chargers fit that category. Only five coaches hold such authority. In addition to Belichick and Gaze, they are Pete Carroll with the Seahawks, Dan Quinn with the Falcons, and Jeff Fisher with the Rams.

Owner General Manager Coach
BUF NYJ MIA
CIN BAL NE
IND CLE ATL
SD PIT STL
DAL HOU SEA
JAX
TEN
KC
DEN
OAK
NYG
PHI
WAS
CHI
DET
GB
MIN
CAR
NO
TB
ARI
SF