Let’s talk about the three worst general managers in Green Bay Packers’ history. Here’s a quick and arguable list, but I will posit that Mike Sherman is among them.
- Dan Devine
- Forrest Gregg
- Mike Sherman
Just a quick summation here. Up until the 1990s, the coach and general manager were always the same person in Green Bay.
As for Devine, probably the single worst hiring in Packers’ history. Not only did he bail before the 1974 season was over to take the Notre Dame job, he authored maybe the worst trade in history. The history of sports.
Check this out. Devine gave up the Packers’ first, second and third-round choices in 1975 AND — AND! — their first and second-round choices in 1976 for 34-year-old quarterback John Hadl. He played not two seasons with the Packers, throwing nine touchdowns and 29 interceptions in that span.
Those picks, traded to the Los Angeles Rams, helped make them into one of the best teams of the late 70s. Dan Devine should have been burned at the stake.
Forrest Gregg further similarly drove the Packers into the ground in the 1980s. Gregg tried to bring back the Vince Lombardi mentality and that translated to his duties as GM. As you’re probably aware, Lombardi was a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy.
That works when you perennially field one of the best teams in the league. The Packers were far from that in the 1980s, but Gregg didn’t see the logic in changing his Lombardi-like approach. No one wanted to play in Green Bay at the time, even a lot of the guys on the team. Many players around the league referred to it as Siberia. Other teams got an upper hand on their disgruntled stars by threatening to trade them to the Packers.
There were almost constant contract disputes because of Gregg’s hard-line approach, during his 1984-87 tenure. Another black mark on his record — trading for defensive back Mossy Cade in 1985. Cade is better known for sexual assault than playing football.
He played just two seasons with the Packers before going to jail.
As for Sherman, he made probably the Packers’ most disastrous free agent signing since unrestricted free agency entered the NFL — Joe Johnson.
A defensive end, Johnson notched 50.5 sacks for the New Orleans Saints from 1994 to 2001, including 12 in 2000. He played in just 11 games and recorded just two sacks with the Packers from 2002-03.
Sherman was promoted to double duty — coach and GM — when the legendary Ron Wolf retired.
He didn’t handle both roles well and was terrible at the latter.
In fairness, Sherman also made one of (arguably) the best trades in Packers’ history when he gave up a second in 2003 for a fourth and a guy I like to refer to as Al Fucking Harris!, known to most as just Al Harris.
Despite his failures as a GM, Sherman wasn’t a bad coach. He went 59-43 with the Packers, a record marred by his final season as coach. In 2005, Sherman’s team went 4-12, which was hardly his fault.