The Cincinnati Bengals are not your average football team. They often do things a little bit outside of the norm. That includes not having an actual General Manager on the team’s payroll. The job is taken on by a combination of head coach Marvin Lewis, owner Mike Brown, Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn and Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin.
Typically, Tobin is referred to as the closest person to a GM on the Bengals’ staff. And, he’s done a great job in his role, creating a stable roster that’s made it to the playoffs in six of the last eight seasons. You can’t fault him for what happens once the playoffs begin, but you can certainly credit him with greatly shaping the current roster.
USA Today's ForTheWin recently ranked every GM in the NFL and the Bengals ranked 12th on the list, which is a little better than the NFL’s average GM.
12. Bengals: Marvin Lewis/Mike Brown/Katie Blackburn/Duke Tobin
It’s been a rough offseason for the Bengals, but we won’t let one offseason detract from the excellent job this front office has done finding talent over the last decade. Unfortunately, Cincinnati never got enough out of QB Andy Dalton when its window as contenders was open. Now it looks like that window has closed.
While I don’t agree that the team’s Super Bowl window has closed, I do agree that Tobin and Co. are verging on top 10 GM status. If only the Bengals could win some playoff games — or better yet, a Super Bowl — then they’d really get some recognition. Tobin has been credited with helping to draft some great Bengals players including Dalton, A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Marvin Jones and George Iloka, as well as sign excellent undrafted players like Vontaze Burfict, Vinny Rey and Alex Erickson after the completion of the draft.
The top 11 spots on FTW’s ranking are taken by the Patriots (1), Seahawks (2), Packers (3), Broncos (4), Cowboys (5), Cardinals (6), Raiders (7), Steelers (8), Falcons (9), Panthers (10) and Chiefs (11). The Ravens rank right behind the Bengals, 13th overall.
What do you think of these rankings?