GMs must keep teams' options open

Updated: October 30, 2003, 10:43 AM ET
By Randy Mueller | ESPN NFL Insider
In this day of players wanting to be marketable and publicly proclaiming that they need the ball, it's a general manager's job to make sure the franchise has options when it comes time to decide whether to invest in a player for the long haul. It's probably no different in the real world. The boss' job is to manage the assets and spend the owner's money wisely. Teams that don't give themselves options usually end up forced into poor financial decisions.

Football is the ultimate team sport, and even though the helmets do hide players' faces and keep them somewhat anonymous, they are much appreciated and it is reflected in their pay scale. But is there any player who is indispensable to his team? Frankly, part of the general manager's job is to make sure there isn't.

Terrell Owens
And that's the dilemma several teams are going to face with star players this offseason.