Rotoworld (s/o stujo) ranks all 32 NFL General Managers each year. Last year, Saints GM Mickey Loomis ranked in the upper third of the pack, at #10 overall. This year, the mighty have fallen, and Loomis has seen his stock drop nine spots to #19.
Mickey Loomis is the most successful general manager in Saints history. Unfortunately for Saints fans, that doesn't include recent history. Three of Loomis' past four rosters have finished 7-9, with two historically bad defenses and an eight-game suspension mixed in. Loomis is beholden to coach Sean Payton's impulses, but together, the duo has had trouble formulating a plan. The Saints spent all last offseason prepping for a power running attack before nevertheless tying for second in passing attempts. Kenny Stills was needlessly traded away, and a lack of depth at running back led to Tim Hightower filling in for an injured Mark Ingram. Hightower hadn't received a regular season carry in four years. One of the league's shakiest drafters, Loomis found a late first-round gem in Stephone Anthony, but the jury remains out on first-round OL Andrus Peat. All the while, Loomis has been a bottom-five general manager at manipulating the salary cap. Loomis is essentially operating off goodwill until he either turns things around or gets fired. The latter grows more likely every season.
While Loomis has continued to wave his magic wand and make moves in free agency despite the Saints glaring salary cap issues, the entire cap situation has yet to be solved. With a Drew Brees restructure looking less and less likely as the days go on, maybe the Saints will actually have legitimate cap space heading into the 2017 NFL offseason. Until that point, the previous four years' worth of Mickey Loomis "magic" have simply been delaying the inevitable and making the inevitable that much more hard a hit when it comes.
Personally, I disagree with Rotoworld's harsh criticism of the lack of depth on the Saints roster and pointing to Tim Hightower - putting his name in italics to emphasis how seemingly laughable that situation is. First, injuries happen, and they cannot be predicted. Yes, all teams should have contingency plans in the event of injuries, but there will be obvious drop-off from a starter to a back-up. If Drew Brees gets hurt and misses substantial time, is it really that outrageous that only a quarterback of Luke McCown's caliber is there to start in his place? If Carlos Hyde goes down in San Francisco, do any of the 49er's remaining RBs strike fear in the hearts of opponents? Mike Davis, Shaun Draughn, Kendall Gaskins, DuJiuan Harris, or Jarryd Hayne? Is that a knock on the San Francisco front office?
Secondly, Rotoworld makes it sound like Tim Hightower was unable to hold his own in an NFL offseason after missing multiple years. Mark Ingram averaged 64 rushing yards per game he played through Week 13. Tim Hightower, in Weeks 14-17, averaged over 81 rushing yards per game.
Loomis clearly deserves criticism for his scouting and drafting. He also is partly to blame in the Saints continued salary cap woes. Rotoworld takes it a step too far in mocking the Saints use of Tim Hightower. At the end of the day, though, I agree with Rotoworld's final conclusion: Mickey Loomis's termination is Looming (excuse me: I'll see myself out) ever closer.