In trying to measure the quality of a GM, I thought we should try to provide some realistic considerations of what it takes to be a good general manager. I have some thoughts below and would love to see other inputs and discussion on this topic. Easiest to Measure 1) Wins are the ultimate arbiter. Winning teams generally have better talent. Having said that, coaching matters also. Think Wade Philips 2) Consistently drafts good players. The way I know he has drafted good players is that other teams in the league want these players and pay premiums for them. (Note that many Casserly's draft classes were out of the league within two years of the time he stopped being the Texans GM). 3) Consistently brings in non-premium free agents who later command a premium once they leave. Think Mark Anderson, Jason Allen 4) Consistently finds and signs UDFA who become starters. Think Mike Brisiel, Arian Foster. 5) Does not release low-priced players who turn into premium players elsewhere. Think Jason Babin, Tramon Williams Somewhat Fuzzy Measurement 6) Makes trades that work in the team's favor. This item is somewhat fuzzy since fit to the team is extremely important. I think the best way to measure trades is to wait 5 years and ask if you would do the trade again. 7) When trading players for draft picks (or vice versa) gets good value. Extremely difficult to measure. You cannot get more than what the league will offer, but they want to pay as little as possible. 8) Doesn't overpay for free agents. Again very difficult to measure and I think should be focused on top 25% in terms of pay (I believe this is where teams go wrong). Lots of factors to consider. Team reputation has impact. A team like the Cleveland Brown will have to pay premium to get a free agent since they have almost no chance of making the playoffs. The Texans were that way in 2006, but now should be neutral to positive destination for free agents. 9) Don't overpay when renewing players. Same rules as for free agents. Other Qualities Though Unmeasurable 10) Plan for obsolescence. Your premium players are going to become unaffordable and many will leave when they become free agents. Have a plan to ensure that any leaving free agent does not cause you to have to "scramble" as a team. 11) Promote from within. Teams should strive to build into powerhouses primarily through the draft. These types of teams have greater loyalty as drafted players are playing for their 1st team. Second, it builds camraderie and organizational stability since the majority of the players have grown in the "system" together. 12) Do not hang out your players to dry. Reputation matters. Treat your players right. Don't leave any players feeling as if they were mistreated by the team. It is a business and you have to make the correct decisions to make the team as good as possible, but you should not have to mislead your players or air their dirty laundry or catch them unaware. First class all the way without exception.