8. Kevin Colbert
Colbert doesn’t have the luxury of being the Brian Cashman of the NFL, as the Steelers aren’t going to spend their way out of mistakes like the Yankees do in baseball. Instead, the 57-year-old GM is responsible for executing a very conservative plan, something that has been the norm in Pittsburgh since free agency began. If players get too expensive, he’s willing to let them leave because he always has another way of talent waiting in the wings.
7. Steve Keim
During his first year as general manager in Arizona, Keim was named Executive of the Year by several publications and web sites. And for good reason. He hired Bruce Arians, which was a slightly controversial decision given that he was giving the long-time assistant his first head coaching gig. And he signed Carson Palmer, another oft-criticized move given the QB’s age. But it paid off, as the Cardinals became a 10-win team and are on the rise.