AWFL presents the M20 2nd Best GM Award! (along w/ a free copy of M21)
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|06-16-2020, 08:15 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2016
AWFL presents the M20 2nd Best GM Award! (along w/ a free copy of M21)
Before getting to the 2nd Best GM Award nominees, the unbiased and definitely multiple-person committee has passed along their thoughts on the Best GM honors:
For the umpteenth year in a row, GM RFF of the Houston Texans has displayed unparalleled brilliance worthy of the top honor in the league. HOU began as the t-24th highest OVR squad in the file at 74 OVR, but by season 6 playoffs they had risen to 3rd at 87 OVR, and by the end of s7 they stood t-1st at 88 OVR. Even as their superstars had begun regressing into the 80s, the overall roster talent continued to improve, with one of the best, youngest OL alongside a superstar rookie HB pushing 90 OVR to anchor a dominant run attack for years to come. Some have called this--dare I say?--mercurial rise unprecedented and improbable, but I say the only improbable thing about RFF's GM work is when it stands shy of brilliance. It is an honor to share a planet with this man.
Now to the real competition: who was the SECOND best GM in AWFL this cycle?
First, the honorary mentions. If second place is the first loser, then these teams were several losers down from that. Despite starting with one of the most talented young rosters in the league arlen (49ers) did a great job keeping them on track. He went over & above by selecting one of the best drafted DL of the cycle in Eric Bowen at 16th overall, along with key trades for star talent like Tyron Smith and Tyler Boyd, which helped the 49ers peak in the top 5 overall roster talent by season 6. Sticking in the same state, although his peak wasn't as high, sagebus (Raiders) employed the slow-but-steady-improvement approach that saw him take a young Raiders roster from t-26th at 73 OVR to the upper half of the league by the last couple of seasons. Moreover, sage's team ended with one of the younger set of stars, with most of his key players in the age 24-29 range. ZCar (Lions) tore everything down in the first season for questionable value, which knocks him out of the 2nd Best GM race but he did a good job with all the picks he obtained and turned that into a steady improvement of his own, finishing with a t-10th roster in S7 at 82 OVR. Another noteworthy GM this cycle, and a surprise find when I sat down to look at the results, was Reality's Proof (Jaguars). On a move-by-move basis, there were still too many question marks to put them in the upper echelon of roster builders, and drafting high frequently SHOULD result in acquiring premium talent. However, beyond that, the Jags were t-15th at file start at 77 OVR, but by s6 had climbed into the top 12. Some of that was a young roster to start, but not all: while they gave up a ton to draft Hunter Bennett, he turned out to be a franchise QB in a cycle where franchise QBs were scarce. They landed other star players in S Levine and HB Beverley both early AND in the middle of the 1st round. They avoided cap trouble early on. An overall solid job. And finally, our last honorary mention goes to Schuck (Bengals), who similarly came out of the gates rusty with one or two highly questionable moves, but closed out strong late, ultimately helping take the 30th best roster at file start (72 OVR) up to 82 by S7. Solid drafting all-around, but the linchpin was drafting franchise QB Chase Banks with the 4th overall pick, who finishes the file as a 24 yr old already mid 80s XF QB, poised to become one of the best in the league.
And now, for the main event, AWFL presents the nominees for the 2nd Best GM Award. In all seriousness, I really struggled this year as there was not one clear-cut GM who separated from a very strong group.
Papa Perry, Tennessee Titans
Landing Kareem Hunt early in the cycle helped set the tone for this run-first squad, but catching the soon-to-depart former Vikings GM with his pants down absolutely made the Titans' cycle. Moving down to end up with a mother lode of picks including the #1 overall the following season truly bolstered this roster from solid to excellent, cracking the top 10 for OVR the final two seasons at 83. Due to the mid-cycle timing of that trade, TEN also likely would have continued its climb based on the ages of their best players (most in the 23-28 range). While a trade-rape of that magnitude obviously isn't something that comes around most cycles, TEN was always active in looking for trade-down & value opportunities in their moves. The only knock against them is that for all that excess draft capital and flash, they struggled to turn it all into a massively stacked roster. Their best two draft picks by far were still Bryan Neal, who they took 21 overall early in the cycle, and Corey McQueen, who they took in the 2nd.
Cheez, Miami Dolphins
You might think it's easy to turn the worst roster in Madden by a significant margin into a solid one. After all, you're likely drafting in the top 5 pretty often, right? Yet, scan through our list... most of the bottom 8 OVR teams were still there by late cycle. It's not as simple as the GM job they did, but the point is, it's not an automatic that starting last equals finishing in the middle. Compound that with the fact that Cheez took this 68 OVR squad--seriously, the Bengals were 30th and they +4 OVR higher!--and went 9-7 the first season, so he didn't even get a bounty of top 3 draft spot picks to launch from. These Dolphins rose to respectability so quickly that they even made playoffs in an early sim year and went 7-9 in another. They were 80 OVR as of s6 and rose to middle of the pack (81 OVR) by s7. They simply got better every season, relative to the rest of the league, despite how awful they were to start and despite NOT getting the constant string of early-cycle top 5 picks you might have expected. When they did get one, they hit big: Dakota McKinley went 6 overall and was the best WR drafted all cycle, at 90 OVR by age 25. Rosen developed into an above avg starter despite being mediocre & Normal dev to start. They consistently found quality veteran starters/stars in FA. Not much flashy about the roster. They finished league-avg, but that's an accomplishment from where they began.
BBJ, Dallas Cowboys
Similar to Miami, I knew someone would have to overcome a lot of odds with this Cowboys team...OK, sarcasm aside, I just can't overlook the job BBJ did this cycle. The Cowboys were a huge advantage to start, and starting with a roster that stacked means you get luxuries such as trading away talent for good value that other teams need to think twice about. All this is true. But BBJ also consistently made strong decisions all cycle, avoided what likely would have been major cap hell for many players, got good return on his trades, and drafted well. DAL started the cycle at 83 OVR, good for 2nd best in the league, and by s6 he had increased that to 88 OVR, tied-1st. By end of s7 they were still 88, still tied for 1st. The only knock on their cycle is they never quite found a great fit at QB, which is an unfortunate ding for a roster so otherwise stacked. I think a lot of guys could have peaked as the top rated roster in the league with Dallas, but I think very few guys would have maintained a near-top OVR all cycle.
????, ???? ????
By a nosehair. This player has been honorable mention or nominee on multiple occasions in the past. Truthfully when I sat down to look at the before/afters, the roster states, consider the moves, I didn't even have him on my short list. But the closer I looked, the more I kept coming back to this team. They started a lot worse than you think when you see who the team is: 75 OVR, which puts them in the top... 24 teams to start the file. Some youth, but not stellar. A rapidly aging franchise QB. By mid-cycle, this GM already had them in the mid 80s, among the top 5 most talented rosters in the league, despite not having a single top 15 pick the entire cycle, as far as I can tell. They made it to a sim yr SB early in the cycle and made playoffs in the other. Do you know who it is yet? They made a couple of big splash moves including nabbing Deion Jones to anchor their middle and trading for Will Fuller. They scraped just enough together at QB after theirs retired to stay near the top or the league. They drafted a SS edge rusher nearing 90 OVR with the 20th pick of the first draft. They overhauled their OL, building one of the better lines in the league. Based on where they started vs where they quickly reached (and remained) despite no top 15 draft picks, the sim year Super Bowl & playoff appearances, the big flashy moves for style points, and the overall roster talent, the M20 2nd Best GM Award goes to...
hskr, Green Bay Packers
You've been knocking on this door for a few cycles now. Congratulations for officially being nearly as good of a GM as RFF, and for winning a free copy of Madden 21!
XBL ID: AestisFF
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Last edited by Aestis; 06-16-2020 at 08:37 PM.
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