Eliot Wolf is leaving the Green Bay Packers to join John Dorsey and Alonzo Highsmith with the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns will name Wolf assistant general manager. Oddly, that is the title we had assumed was going to Highsmith.
So the Packers managed to piss just about everyone else in the front office off in hiring Brian Gutekunst as general manager. Wolf was pissed he didn’t get the job. So was his father. Highsmith was pissed because he didn’t think he’d get a chance to interview. After hiring Gutekunst, the Packers named Russ Ball director of football operations — that was Wolf’s title.
So we guess Gutekunst and Ball are happy, but that’s about it.
The Packers did attempt to keep Wolf, but they probably made their bed when they promoted Ball. Wolf reportedly also had an opportunity to join Reggie McKenzie with the Oakland Raiders.
What remains of the Packers’ front office is currently director of college scouting Jon-Eric Sullivan, director of pro personnel John Wojciechowski and of course, senior advisor Ted Thompson. Gutekunst had been director of player personnel. Highsmith was a senior personnel executive and Wolf was director of football operations.
Looks like Thompson and Ball made that front office a toxic environment.
Starting to look that way doesn’t it.
…and Murphy! Maybe Gutekunst. Who knows? Toxic Ball got promoted via title and more $ just to do what he had already been doing. I guess toxic pays off in the Packer front office.
Typical Packer transaction, OH!!! I mean NON-transaction. Do nothing and let talent move on. Under Thompson they consistently allow players to move on when they are just hitting their prime, so why not with Wolfe??? I’ve always been a Packer fan, but my loyalty is to the team, no longer the front office. At one time I was Green Bay through and through, but I’m tired of the front office not giving 2 amazing quarterbacks the players they need to surround them. Ron Wolfe understood this, and my guess is that he schooled his son well.
And now it’s just more of the same old mentality. Good luck Eliot, wherever you may land!!
I don’t think there was a realistic way to keep Wolf in the mix if he wasn’t going to get the GM position. He’s been in high demand for it elsewhere over the past couple of years. He didn’t get that opportunity in house, so he got it in Cleveland. Even if Eliot did stay in Green Bay and take on a “right hand man’ position (whatever that title was), his success gets tied to Gutekunst going forward. If things go well, he’s stuck in that position for a decade or more. If things go badly, he becomes a part of those failures and is probably let go in a scenario where Gutekunst is relieved of duty. It was a lose/lose for his career goals.
Good for him and I hope he has success there, because they deserve to get that team finally turned around. They’ve been a doormat for too long.
Due to the new kangaroo court power structure put in place by Murphy (aka The Bermuda Triangle or The Land Of Confusion) he probably made a wise career decision. I hope it works out for Gutekunst but I think the McCarthy/Murphy legs of the structure may prove to be “problematic”. Hopefully Ball isn’t gonna be working in the background to undermine this shit show.
John Dorsey is a fucking parasite. A damn leech! I understand people wanting higher positions in other teams but Dorsey takes and takes from one lone organization. Fuck him.
Highsmith and Wolf didn’t want to be here. What was Dorsey supposed to do, tell them no?
Nobody is dragging our personnel out of the door against their will. They’re taking offers they think and feel is better for them. If you got what you perceive to be a better job opportunity elsewhere, aren’t you going to take it? That’s not Dorsey’s fault.
C’mon, man, Dorsey is like a football prospector. He sifts the pan, plucks out the gold (Highsmith and Wolf) and leaves the worthless gravel.
Would you resent a prospector for finding gold? It’s his J-O-B man.
I wonder if a lot of this could have been avoided if the packers, oh, I don’t know, hired Dorsey months ago? He has been available since the summer.
If Eliot wanted a GM job, how does hiring Dorsey as GM solve that problem?
The bottom line is we had two qualified internal candidates for GM, and only one person can fill that spot. Whoever didn’t get it, between Wold and Gutekunst, was going to go elsewhere for the opportunity.
I agree Kato, they had a 5+ month window. But that would have entailed someone doing their job, not waiting for someone to tell him what to do…and too late to get Dorsey. I would have had absolutely no problem with Dorsey being the GM.
Odds are we may have still seen the change in power structure, which might have been a deal breaker for Dorsey. Gutekunst wanted to become GM, so for a new guy, he will accept any terms to get his name on the door. Besides Ball and Thompson laying some of their stink on this, McCarthy pushed his weight around to get out from under the GM, we all know how he views himself. An established GM worth their weight is gonna think twice before agreeing to this arrangement.
By my count, the Packers (or Wolf tree) have supplied more GMs to the NFL (6) than any other team, second only to the Patriots. In fact, it seems that any time a team goes outside for a GM, they pretty much ONLY take from the Packers or the Patriots, with a couple more coming from the Falcons. Where the Packers, Patriots or Falcons haven’t supplied a GM, an internal candidate is GM.
Doesn’t seem fair to the Packers.
I see the EW situation two ways. 1) He’s only had Green Bay experience. Perhaps he’s lacking in something and needs to live/work outside of the Packer organization to gain that broad spectrum of being exposed to multiple organizational structures. 2) Maybe additional experience just doesn’t matter. Take Mark Parker(Nike CEO) joined Nike right out of college. Worked his way up within the same company and is the best CEO that company has ever had, Forbes CEO of the year. — I guess we’ll never know with EW. Good luck to him and the Packers going forward. One thing regarding the Green Bay reporting structure, I have a feeling the HC reporting to Murphy is only a one year thing as he directed this one year, no coaching chance. After the year, Im willing to bet the head coach, no matter who it is will then report to the GM.
I don’t know if it’s that simple. I’d imagine the lawyers have to rewrite the bylaws. The same that was done back when Harlan hired Wolf.
I listened to an interview with Harlan today. That guy is incredible, his intelligence is just on a higher level. You can imagine where he sits on this new power restructuring. I seriously got goose bumps listening to him. Takes me back in time when Packer football was the highest priority, ice rinks and sledding hills weren’t thought about. Takes me back when this team had leaders, top to bottom.
Where might one find said interview?
Scroll down until you see the Harlan interview.
Great interview. Makes you question the current power structure put into place. Harlan didn’t criticize it, he said there isn’t only one way to be successful. However, I think he was just being courteous. He also said that he didn’t question Ron Wolf with decisions because he wanted the GM to have full control of football operations, which Wolf wouldn’t have accepted the position if that weren’t the case.
That reminds me of Murphy and Thompson. Murphy didn’t question anything and let Ted have full reign. Though Murphy should have stepped in years before he finally chose to (or was told to). Now as a knee jerk reaction he changes the entire power structure of the organization, and in essence, neuters the GM position because it took him so long to get rid of Ted. Now the GM can’t even hire his own coach. How many experienced guys are rushing to a position like that? Like Harlan said, why have a GM at all if he constantly has to seek permission from everyone else and be handcuffed to the opinions of guys with no football knowledge?
Another thing I found interesting, is Harlan said Wolf was a no BS kind of guy and as soon as he realized he made a wrong hire he changed it. There was no waiting around and lingering to see if things would turn around. That is the exact opposite of MM, TT, and MM. Holy crap do they let underperforming people linger. And that is why they are in the position they are in.
Yea cheese, i agree….I dig your outlook and your ability to examine and decipher things under the 1st and 2nd layer.
Bob Harlan is too nice of a guy to criticize his peers. He’s above that. But by his own words and beliefs, i think you can read between the lines concerning what he thinks about the new developments.
I’ll agree Harlan didn’t question Wolf, nor should he have, but i think those were two different era’s of time under different circumstance. Thompson walked in with a HOF QB and a winning culture. Ron Wolf walked in with his briefcase and a broom. Same concept though which i was ok with, until…Ted started losing it and being ineffective. Like you said, a few years ago.
I also enjoyed him detailing what he is into now concerning all the charities he helps raise money for. He’s just a stand up guy who doesn’t have to demand respect, it’s just automatically given.
Thanks, I appreciate your perspective as well. True that Thompson and Wolf walked into totally different situations. The longer this plays out the more messy this fiasco seems to get. Obviously, there’s a lot that we don’t know at the moment whether we claim to or not. One thing is for certain, things don’t quite add up and they seem rather sketchy. All of which will be discussed in future threads I’m sure.
Who can blame Wolf for choosing Cleveland? It is, after all, a more stable, better, and more positive situation than in Green Bay.
Any way you look at it, either Gutekunst or Wolf was out the door. Gutekunst was already in Houston and was more than likely the Texans next GM, in a perfect world we could of kept both, but really one was going to leave no matter what.
True. They’ve both been interviewing for GM positions for a while.