Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle might seem like a familiar name. He reports on all sorts of random transactions each year. He used to cover the Ravens, but he has moved on to the Houston Chronicle to cover the Houston Texans. He continues to post random NFL news, but he seems to be working on establishing more of a "voice" for his content.
Earlier this week, Wilson put together a ranking of the 32 NFL owners. Robert Kraft gets top billing, followed by Steelers owner Dan Rooney, Seahawks owner Paul Allen, Giants owner John Mara, and the Packers general ownership (they are operated as a public trust.
Jed York ended up at No. 28 on his list. The ownership below him includes the Rams (Stan Kroenke), the Raiders (Mark Davis), Washington (Daniel Snyder) and Jimmy Haslam (Cleveland). You may not like Jed York, but at least you don't have those guys running the San Francisco 49ers!
In discussing York, Wilson did not pull his punches:
The 49ers, under his stewardship, ran off eccentric, but winning coach Jim Harbaugh to the University of Michigan and installed a yes-man as head coach in Jim Tomsula. The youngest owner in the NFL in his mid-30s, York shows his age often in how he mishandles media and business situations.
He's known around the league as a silver-spoon kid compared to his more venerable brethren, many of whom built their own personal fortunes instead of being handed the keys to the kingdom by their parents. York is all-in with general manager Trent Baalke, but he may have chosen the wrong guy to back.
On the one hand, a sizable chunk of 49ers fans are not pleased with Jed York. The Jim Harbaugh situation played out incredibly poorly from a public relations standpoint, and the team is going through a pretty tough situation this year.
And yet, I still can see how York would be respected among ownership. Peter King talked about York being one of the more respected young leaders in the NFL, along side Jonathan Kraft. King has a lot of NFL contacts, but can be difficult to take too seriously at times. However, when it comes to NFL ownership I can see why York might be among the more respected owners.
Aside from not being a scummy potential felon like Jimmy Haslam, or just an awful dude like Daniel Snyder, he got a stadium built in California. That alone is a pretty big deal given the state of California's economy. Additionally, the front office asserted their dominance over head coach Jim Harbaugh. It rubs fans the wrong way, but I think among owners, that carries a whole lot of street cred.
It remains to be seen how it will all be viewed if the 49ers go in the tank, but from a business perspective, I think the York family ranks out higher than some might otherwise consider because of the business they have gotten done. You might not like how things have gone as a fan, but they are cashing in big time.