One year into his term as the Washington Commanders' general manager, Martin Mayhew has already left an impression on Pro Football Network's listing of the top front office personnel in the NFL. Alas, it's only the wrong one thus far.
Mayhew and the Commanders ranked 23rd amongst current decision-makers, a ranking that would've been the worst in the NFC East had the list not placed first-year general managers (including Joe Schoen of the New York Giants) at the bottom of the list. Washington failed to raise a divisional title defense in Mayhew's first year on the job, as they were instead reduced to their second season of double-figure losses over the past three years.
The low ranking is a result of Washington's struggles to get better after last year's 7-10 campaign, where they "got taken to the cleaners in the Carson Wentz trade," which saw them send three Day 2 draft picks to the Indianapolis Colts for the quarterback's roller-coaster antics.
Washington's caption is also critical of the team's inability to find a reliable long-term center, that role currently filled by Chase Roullier. The sixth-round pick from 2017 is coming off a fractured fibula sustained in a November contest against Denver. Current backup options include Tyler Larsen, 2020 fifth-rounder Keith Ismael, and second-year Commander Jon Toth. All backup options are relatively limited in starting experience.
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Washington is set to work through its third season under head coach Ron Rivera. Last year's disappointment after their first playoff appearance since 2015 has put Mayhew in a potentially explosive situation, as the list hints that the Commanders "could be a team that gets entirely blown up next offseason" if they fail to make any progress this season.
Mayhew does have experience in guiding rebuild projects, perhaps giving a unique opportunity to shoot up future lists. He previously held the same general manager position with the Detroit Lions (2008-15), notably taking the team from the depths of an 0-16 season to the NFC playoffs within three years (that 2011 berth being Detroit's first since 1999).
Washington's divisional rival, Howie Roseman of Philadelphia, rounds out the list's top three, while the opening two spots are respectively filled by Brandon Beane (Buffalo) and Eric DeCosta (Baltimore).