Bobby Beathard San Diego Chargers & Washington Redskins & Atlanta Falcons & Kansas City Chiefs & Miami Dolphins
"We did it a little bit different than a lot of people. A lot of people in the league thought I was nuts. Maybe that was true, because I started trading away first-round draft picks and first-round draft picks were valuable…but we figured if it was a draft that we had evaluated…and it was rich in talent, we could get players in the later rounds."
Bobby Beathard was a highly-regarded personnel administrator during his 33-year career which included stints with the Kansas City Chiefs (1966-67), Atlanta Falcons (1968-1971), Miami Dolphins (1972-77), Washington Redskins (1978-1988) and San Diego Chargers (1990-99).
Beathard, a longtime general manager and personnel administrator, played an integral role in the success of each of these franchises. He began his career as a part-time scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, but left to scout for the American Football League before returning to the Chiefs in 1966 when the team played in Super Bowl I. In 1972, Beathard was named director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins before the Washington Redskins hired him as general manager in 1978.
His visionary thinking soon became a template for the NFL where first-round draft picks were weapons to be used in trades. His keen sense for talent was apparent on each team, but especially in 1982 when the Redskins Super Bowl-winning team included 27 free agents signed by Beathard since he joined the team. In his 11 years in Washington, the Redskins had only three first-round picks. The team went to the Super Bowl three times and won twice.
Collectively, his teams won 10 division titles, seven league/conference championships and four Super Bowls – Super Bowls VII and VIII with Miami and Super Bowls XVII and XXII with Washington.
Beathard was hired as general manager of the Chargers in 1990 and immediately brought hope to a city hungry for a winner. In just his third season in San Diego, the organization won its first AFC Western Division championship in more than a decade and by 1994, the team made its first Super Bowl appearance.