The news of the Kansas City Chiefs firing general manager John Dorsey was unexpected. Rarely — and not in my memory — has a general manager been let go at this point in the year, which is approximately a month before training camp starts.
There was nonetheless almost constant speculation that Dorsey would eventually leave to become the general manager of the Green Bay Packers.
Dorsey has strong ties to Green Bay. He spent his entire six-year playing career with the Packers. Dorsey then moved to the personnel department, where he worked from 1991 to 2012, ultimately holding the position of director of football operations.
Clearly, it would be a natural fit for Dorsey to replace current GM Ted Thompson when he retires (a day that can’t come soon enough).
But that seems unlikely.
The Packers have too many guys internally gunning for that job. The two most notable candidates are director of football operations Eliot Wolf and director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst.
Both have interviewed for general manager jobs elsewhere, Gutekunst most recently with the Buffalo Bills. Both men were finalists for the San Francisco 49ers GM job, but the Packers sweetened their pot to keep them home and both withdrew from consideration.
Frankly, we wouldn’t be surprised if both were interviewed by the Chiefs.
It should also be noted that in the past, the Packers have blocked Wolf from interviewing for jobs with other teams. He was said to be the Detroit’s top choice in 2016, but never got the chance to talk to the Lions.
Pretty simply, these guys have been in demand and will continue to be.
The third guy in this mix is vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball.
Ball has drawn no interest from other teams and is essentially a bean counter. Why you would want a bean counter as the general manager of a football team is beyond me, but we know the Packers are considering him for the position.
In short, when it comes to replacing Ted Thompson, the Packers have three potential replacements internally. Two of those guys are clearly GMs-in-waiting. The Packers have done everything they can to keep them in-house, from regular salary increases to promotions.
Thus, everything indicates the Packers’ next general manager will come from within.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson looked into that matter after Dorsey was canned.
After talking with sources, sounding like eventual Ted Thompson successor for #Packers would come from Wolf/Ball/Gutekunst trio. Not Dorsey.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) June 22, 2017
And what about hiring John Dorsey in another position?
The first question is where? What position is there for him?
The more important factor would be perception.
Bringing in someone from the outside, even if he isn’t actually an outsider, would no doubt rub Wolf and Gutekunst the wrong way.
Both men have been angling for a general manager job and indications are they will get a shot to fill that role with the Packers. Dorsey, no doubt, would be an unwelcome presence until that’s cleared up.
Two things seem pretty certain here. The Packers will hire from within and it’s unlikely Dorsey will return to the Packers in any role, much less GM, at this point.