And the M18 2nd Best GM Award (free copy of M19!) goes to...

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Old 06-21-2018, 06:15 PM   #1
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And the M18 2nd Best GM Award (free copy of M19!) goes to...

As we all predicted from the get-go, the Houston Texans once again turned in the most impressive team building cycle, going from tied for 3rd-lowest team @ 79 OVR to a 92 OVR squad--despite not even having a 1st or 2nd round pick in the first crucial draft, having young talent stocked across the board & a great cap situation. Team is poised to remain a top 3 talented squad for the next 10 seasons. Multiple paragraphs could be written about how HOU management plucked talent out of the draft & free agency at bargain prices, but let's move onto the real award.

First, a few honorable mentions:
Two potential contenders are the Jets and Chargers. Publik joined mid-cycle and turned a 2-14 finish in 2020 into a 12-4 squad with a playoff Bye by the final sim year. However, as great of a job as he did, the committee just can't give this award to a GM who missed multiple early seasons while the team accumulated top 3 picks just waiting to be developed. Similarly, Felgar did yeoman's work quickly building the LA Chargers into one of the most talented teams in the league. However, spending the entire final sim year over the cap leaves them ultimately falling short of the award. Two other halfway-point contenders for this award, the Patriots & Packers, also fell a bit short in the 2nd half, with lackluster sim year performance and a season-long hiatus for HC/GM hskr in 2022.

So who wins the 2nd Best GM Award? The official nominees...

greatness, Atlanta Falcons
Obviously starting with a >90 OVR team, you have to do pretty good work to be in this conversation. And Greatness did very good work this cycle, trading key pieces at opportune times to maintain a high talent level and hit 95+ by the final season. However, he also had an unbelievable amount of young talent to work with. He was trading backups for 1st/2nd rounders early in the cycle who were better than many teams' starters. He routinely enjoyed 6-7 Pro Bowlers along the OL due to his dominant user seasons, inflating their OVRs by incredible amounts and allowing him to trade yet more backups for 1st rounders. Ultimately, he did a better job with all that talent than many GMs would have done, but the committee cannot ignore the incredibly stacked deck he was working with all cycle long.

Bmore_Irish, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens started the league in the bottom half of team talent (80 OVR), but even that doesn't do their situation justice: not only were they not especially talented, but they were not stacked with young talent to develop, instead rostering a number of solid veterans who would age out before cycle's end. Rather than blowing the entire thing up, Bmore kept his squad competitive, never tanked (all things the committee looks for in this award), built through the draft, and by the final season this 86 OVR team was filled with young talent and went 12-4, setting Bmore up for a huge upset of the defending champion Denver Broncos in the 2023 playoffs. Great job all-around by team management, but the committee felt they came up a bit shy of what another team was able to manage.

IsaiasG, Chicago Bears
The Bears started off the cycle as a middling team, and even that was a surprise. But rather than tank, the Bears never finished worse than 8-8 all cycle, and savvy drafting and a couple big splashes in free agency pretty quickly had this roster toward the upper echelon of the league, culminating in an 11-5 finish in 2023 and a stacked 91 OVR roster. Although a few of their stars were aging when the cycle finished and their cap situation was hairy, they were overall in a good position to maintain their position moving forward. The only real knock on their team management all cycle was the weird revolving door of franchise QB trades. Late cycle they landed in an MVP-caliber place with Jurovich, of course... but it took an awful lot of trade indecision to get there.

WeaponX, Los Angeles Rams
When the cycle first began, the Rams looked like a project team: Aaron Donald and an overall talented defense, Gurley & not much else on offense. And WeaponX stayed largely under the radar, as well, but even in the early seasons the Rams never finished worse than 7-9, and by 2023 they had secured an NFC bye week. Goff wasn't the superstar QB other teams started with, but he slowly developed into a solid starter while WeaponX built the OL into a juggernaut to run behind. When Madden 18 rosters were first announced, the Rams were 75 OVR, tied for worst in the league. That bumped up a few points with the trade for Sammy Watkins, of course, but it cost them a valuable 2nd rd pick in our first season and a productive DB. Seven seasons later and the Rams are 92 OVR in our file, all while staying competitive and sticking with their franchise QB. All that is enough to make WeaponX the second best GM of the M18 cycle.

Congrats to WeaponX for being nearly as good a GM as RFF, and for winning a free copy of Madden 19!
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