The Green Bay Packers couldn’t seem to get any external candidates to interview for their vacant general manager job, so they went with an in-house candidate. The Packers’ new general manager is former director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst.
Gutekunst is received a five-year deal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2018
The move was likely spurred by the Houston Texans’ interest in Gutekunst. He was set to interview for their vacant general manager position on Saturday. That interview never happened. Gutekunst wanted the Packers’ job and the organization didn’t want to chance losing him.
Gutekunst has been with the Packers since 1999. He served as a college scout through 2011 and was named director of college scouting in 2012. In 2016, he was named director of player personnel.
Gutekunst reportedly had an opportunity to become the San Francisco 49ers general manager last year, but the Packers gave him a raise and a new title.
The Packers tried to interview several external candidates for the general manager job, but weren’t very successful. They were said to have interviewed former Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley on Saturday. Their request to interview Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton was denied, as we their request to interview Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider. Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie also turned the Packers down, as did Baltimore Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta.
It appears Gutekunst will be the sort of “fit” with Mike McCarthy that the coach spoke of on Thursday. McCarthy reportedly wasn’t interested in working with director of player finance Russ Ball had he gotten the general manager job. Aaron Rodgers reportedly wasn’t in the Ball camp either.
That likely helped team president Mark Murphy make the call on Gutekunst, as well. It was repeatedly said that Ball was the favorite for the job. However, the internal dissent quickly became an issue.