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5 Ex-NFL Players We'd Love to See Become General Managers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Former quarterback Peyton Manning looks on prior to Super Bowl LII between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots | Elsa/Getty Images

Being a general manager in the NFL is no easy task, as we see countless teams cycle through GMs before finding the right guy for the job. It can be tricky finding the right guy, but most of the time, the best candidates are those who've been around the game before and know how the team dynamic truly works. Players know this better than anyone, making them intriguing options when a team is on the hunt for a new GM. There always seems to be vacant general manager positions around the league, and we'd love to see more former players step up into these roles. Here are five ex-players who could be great general managers given the opportunity.

5. Peyton Manning

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 15:  Former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning stands on the field before a game between the Denver Broncos and the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 15, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos | Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Manning's name has already floated around for potential general manager positions, most notably with the New York Jets before they hired Joe Douglas this offseason. No. 18 was essentially a coach on the field, calling his own plays and running his offense to perfection for over a decade. He knows the game better than most, and always seemed to put his weapons in the best position to succeed. With such a pedigree, Peyton would have no trouble finding a GM job if he's ever up for it.

4. Ray Lewis

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Hall of Fame inductee Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the game against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Baltimore, MD.  (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos v Baltimore Ravens | Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens' Hall of Fame linebacker was one of the most intensely passionate players we've ever seen come through the league. His heart and nonstop work ethic led him to Canton, and we wouldn't be surprised if it eventually led him to an NFL front office as well. His team would surely put an emphasis on defense, something that we don't see as often in today's NFL. He would also probably give his team their pregame speech before every contest, and that's something we need to see.

3. Tony Romo

STATELINE, NEVADA - JULY 14: Tony Romo speaks on TV after winning the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on July 14, 2019 in Stateline, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Devich/Getty Images)
American Century Championship - Final Round | Jonathan Devich/Getty Images

Tony Romo may have found his career after football in the booth as an announcer for CBS, but we wouldn't be shocked if an NFL team came calling if they were in need of a GM. He's clearly displayed his knowledge of the game through his broadcasting, essentially calling out plays before they even happen. For all intents and purposes, he's a football nerd, and would certainly have a solid team building philosophy if he were ever inserted into an NFL front office.

2. Jerry Rice

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  Retired NFL player Jerry Rice walks the Blue Carpet at the 2015 Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award Ceremony at Pepsi Super Friday Night at Pier 70 on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Pepsi)
The 2015 Pepsi Rookie Of The Year Award Ceremony And Pharrell Concert At Pepsi Super Friday Night At | Steve Jennings/Getty Images

The former San Francisco 49er great Jerry Rice hasn't been too involved with the game since retiring in 2006, but that doesn't mean he couldn't get back in the league if he wanted to. He's widely considered as the best wideout to ever do it, and has clearly showcased the strong work ethic needed to be a successful GM during his playing days. He would be unanimously respected by his players if he ever took a general manager job, and he would probably lure an abundance of free agents to join his squad as well.

1. Deion Sanders

BLOOMINGTON, MN - FEBRUARY 01:  Former NFL player and NFL Hall of Fame player Deion Sanders attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl LII Radio Row at the Mall of America on February 1, 2018 in Bloomington, Minnesota.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
SiriusXM At Super Bowl LII | Cindy Ord/Getty Images

This one may be a bit far-fetched, but could you imagine how fun a Deion Sanders-run team would be?! He has the swagger, the smarts and the passion required to be a great general manager. He's stayed close to the game during his career after football, working as a pregame commentator for CBS, as well as appearing on NFL Network through the years. Prime Time would make any team a prime location for free agents, and we have a feeling he'd be a great trade negotiator as well, with his alpha personality.