In a league where fortunes rise and fall on a week-to-week basis, seeing around the corner and well into the future when it comes to potential NFL power brokers can be a tricky little feat. But here are some names to know and keep track of in NFL seasons to come. Be they a player, owner, club executive, broadcaster, or businessman, we're projecting a profile on the rise for these 10:
As a former NFL player who was deeply involved in union issues, Murphy brings a unique vantage point to the side of NFL management for the upcoming labor negotiations. He's already a lead negotiator in the CBA talks as a member of the NFL Management Council's executive committee, and as 2011 looms he is seen as a respected figure who may play a pivotal role in helping to bridge the impasse that currently separates labor and management.
When the long arc of history is complete, and the NFL has finally returned to the Los Angeles market, you can count on Wasserman being very much involved at some level of the operation. The grandson of legendary Los Angeles studio mogul,
Who said nepotism is always a bad thing? Jones, 46, might have gotten his job because his big-talking papa,
Smith is only 40, but he's already in his fifth season as the Texans general manager and has spent the past 15 years in the league, starting as an assistant coach with the Broncos in 1996 and working his way up to the head of Denver's personnel department. For the past two years, Smith has been the youngest member of the league's eight-man competition committee, the most high-profile assignment you can garner as a club executive within the NFL. The first-place Texans have steadily improved under Smith's guidance, and his blend of competence and intelligence makes him one of the most attractive commodities in any NFL front office.
This wouldn't be the first time that a gregarious former Super Bowl-winning head coach (who also happens to be an ex-Raiders head coach) made the seamless and successful jump from the sideline to the booth and never looked back.
Like Stephen Jones in Dallas, Jonathan Kraft is the 46-year-old son who will be the next-generation leader of an ultra-successful and powerful NFL franchise. He truly is his father
Mayock's star has been on the rise as a widely respected NFL draft analyst for several years now, and the former Giants defensive back has become a trusted media voice in terms of his personnel judgments and the depth and thoroughness of his college scouting. He has superb contacts within the league, and this year he has added to his resume some very well received work as a game analyst on NBC's Notre Dame telecasts.
A member of the league's general manager advisory committee, Reese won a Super Bowl in his first year on the job in New York after replacing
This one admittedly requires a little projection on our part, but if you don't think the guy they already refer to as "the Sanchise'' has the potential to grow into an NFL power broker, then you haven't been paying attention. For one, star quarterbacks in the NFL always have a chance to turn into a face-of-the-league type. (See
Demoff didn't really start his NFL career until he was hired as a senior assistant to general manager