The Green Bay Packers have made their decision regarding their general manager position, as they have landed on Brian Gutekunst to fill the spot left open by Ted Thompson.
Thompson took over as Packers GM in 2005 when the team stripped Mike Sherman – who was also the head coach at the time – of his upper-management duties. The following season, Thompson fired Sherman altogether. Thompson stepped aside about a week ago but will stay with the Packers in an advisory compacity.
Gutekunst was one of three internal candidates that were linked to the GM job in Green Bay. Until now, Brian Gutekunst had served as Director of Player Personnel. Of the other candidates, the Packers already had Eliot Wolf (Director of Football Operations) and Russ Ball (Vice President of Football Administration/Player Finance) in-house and were considered leading candidates for GM.
They were also linked to Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider, who started his career in Green Bay under former Packers GM Ron Wolf (the father of the aforementioned Eliot Wolf). But the Seahawks denied Green Bay the opportunity to interview Schneider. Incidentally, Schneider’s last contract with the Seahawks included a stipulation that specifically named the Packers as the one team he was allowed to get out of his deal with Seattle to go to. Since then, however, he and the Seahawks have a new contract in place that no longer has the Packers’ out-clause.
#Packers make great hire in promoting Brian Gutekunst to GM. Has a scouting pedigree, learned from Ron Wolf and should work very well with coach Mike McCarthy. Win, win, win.
— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) January 7, 2018
Between Gutekunst (who’s obviously staying now), Ball, and Eliot Wolf, it’s not likely all three stay on board. Reports indicate Ball will stay on board as the Packers salary cap guru. Which makes Wolf’s position tenuous at best. That offers an interesting twist since Ron Wolf is held in such high regard in Green Bay. It looks like that Packers have decided they’re okay letting the junior Wolf seek opportunities elsewhere.
If Eliot Wolf decides not to stay – and it sure seems like that will be the case — Russ Ball could wind up being the assistant GM. It would be a promotion and probably include a big raise.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) January 7, 2018
Gutekunst was lined up to interview for the Houston Texans GM job today, but the deal with the Packers happened before that took place. Next season will be Gutekunst’s 20th with the organization. He was originally hired by Ron Wolf.
Brian Gutekunst came to Houston Saturday and was supposed to interview today but accepted job to remain with Packers, I’m told. He wanted the GM job at Green Bay. Never had official interview with Texans.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 7, 2018