Who is really in charge of all 32 NFL teams, including the Vikings?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • July 11, 2013 - 1:29 PM has an interesting feature on the power structure of all 32 NFL teams. It might not be earth-shattering stuff, but it is useful to see it all laid out in front of you. For a taste, here is what was said about the Vikings:

Who's really in charge? The Vikings overhauled their chain of command over the last few years, making Leslie Frazier permanent head coach and promoting Rick Spielman to GM. Brad Childress previously had control of the 53-man roster, and that proved problematic. One memorable example of this: The sudden release of Randy Moss in 2010, a decision the coach made unilaterally. Under the new system, Frazier reports to Spielman, and Spielman reports to the Wilfs.

Spielman now has final say over all football matters and the 53-man roster. But his biggest undertaking has been getting the team back in alignment, something he worked on during the lockout by having the coaches set up clinics for the scouts, to clearly illustrate the kinds of players desired at each position. Spielman and Frazier have organized a consensus-based system of decision making, with a renewed emphasis on the draft.

In that area, Spielman leans on George Paton -- who's been a GM candidate over the last two offseasons in a number of different places, and who goes all the way back to the late-1990s Bears with Spielman -- as well as Scott Studwell. Rob Brzezinski takes the lead on contract negotiations. And while the Wilfs are in the loop on the bigger calls by Spielman and Frazier, and sign off on the finances in significant moves, they largely let the football people do their jobs.

An outside perspective from an NFC Personnel Director: "They're well-respected guys. (Spielman is) a tireless worker -- he leaves no stone unturned -- and they've definitely got it going there now. Obviously, (Adrian Peterson) played out of his mind last year, but they've hit on a few guys, gotten younger, and it looks like they're headed in the right direction. ... You can tell they're putting their stamp on the team, getting their people in there. With Percy (Harvin), whatever happened, it was a headache for them, they felt it was time to move on, and they made a strong move, and you gotta commend them for it. They've also made a commitment to get better on (the offensive line) -- that's obvious with (Matt) Kalil -- and their draft was unbelievable this year. And Leslie's a real guy, a man's man. He played the game at a high level; his message is consistent; he won't flip-flop on guys -- they'll know what to expect every week."


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