General manger, Cleveland Browns
Lesser dealmakers would have crumbled. Eight teams said “no” before one said “maybe.” Then, it took four separate phone conversations with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before Phil Savage cemented the draft-day deal that put Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn in Browns uniforms.Sports Illustrated writer Peter King’s dissection of April 28, 2007, offered fans a glimpse into Savage’s deep well of front-office business acumen and provided further proof we are all lucky he was the one who survived the Browns’ 2005 dust-up that sent then-team president John Collins packing. And to think so many accolades came Savage’s way before anyone knew that Derek Anderson and Jamal Lewis (who both ended up here on his watch) would figure so importantly in the team’s 10-6 season, or that he would be able to sign both to new contracts in the off-season. Savage has once again given the city something to cheer about on crisp Sunday afternoons.