Survey Says: The Most Respected GM in the NFL Among Agents is ... Ozzie Newsome?

SourceCongrats, Bruce Allen.

According to a sampling of agents, you’re the least-trusted decision maker in the entire NFL.

“You never know if he’s shooting straight with you,” a veteran agent told USA TODAY Sports under the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue. …

Consider the two most respected NFL decision makers: Ozzie Newsome and Bill Belichick. It’s tough to argue with this result. Newsome, the Ravens general manager who edged Belichick by one vote, has built two Super Bowl winners and has added cache as a Hall of Fame player. Belichick has built a dynasty as the Patriots coach. …

One agent said of Newsome: “You can sit down and have a frank discussion with him. He won’t pull punches, but he’s fair.”

Another agent, who respects Belichick, offered: “Strictly business. Seems like there’s no emotion. Guy gets benched right before the Super Bowl. Harsh. It works, but it’s harsh.”

Belichick’s near-autonomous power seems like a factor given only one other coach — Kansas City’s Andy Reid — got a vote on the respect question.

Not everyone, of course, is so enamored.

Belichick was one of three names (including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Browns GM John Dorsey) named for both “most respect” and “least trusted.”

This is the funniest thing on the Internet today. Way funnier than a Rob Gronkowski motocross press conference. Even though, by USA Today’s own admission, the poll is totally non-scientific and represents a tiny sample of NFL player agents, it’s hilarious that any random group would put somebody other than Bill Belichick at the top of the Most Respected list.

This is like if you did a survey asking Hobbits “Who’s the scariest person in Middle Earth?” and they picked Saruman over Sauron. But I get it. Ozzie Newsome is a tough, determined negotiator. But at the negotiation table, Belichick is formless, insensate evil. Early last year Robert Klemko in SI did a long article about how every agent in the league is intimidated AF by Belichick. How guys like Chris Long in 2016 order their reps to get a deal done with the Pats in order to chase a ring.

“They’re a nightmare for agents,” one agent told The MMQB, “because you know that if your player wants to play for the Patriots, they’re going to take the discount.” …

“It’s simple,” Belichick says in his curt monotone, according to men who have been on the other end of the phone. “Does your guy want to win a Super Bowl, or doesn’t he?” …

“In Bill’s world, if you do what he wants, he likes you,” says one agent who has known the coach for decades. “If you don’t, you’re an a——.”

How does anyone compete with that? Even Ozzie Newsome, the Padawan who apprenticed at the elbow of his Sith Lord master back in Cleveland can’t. I mean, look at that list. Belichick alone has more rings than the other five names combined. And if you want to stretch it to give credit to Kevin Colbert for the Steelers’ two when he was just the Director of Football Ops before making it to GM in 2010, it’s still only a tie.

But hey, good for the others. Making this list is something they can bring up to their owners when they’re looking for a contract extension or go home and brag to their wives about. Meanwhile The Hooded One will just keep winning staring contests against these slithering vipers and intimidating the snot out of players twice his size and 1/3 his age.

However, in a spirit of bipartisanship, I’ll end with a couple of things we can all agree on. First that John Elway belongs on the Least Trusted list thanks to the Elvis Dumervil fiasco and the fact in his playing days the Broncos cheated the salary camp like mofos to win his two Super Bowls. Second, Bruce Allen is a dirtbag. If you polled one randomly selected agent or every single one registered with the league, he’s winning that election by acclimation. Here’s hoping he runs the Redskins forever because they deserve each other.