GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Still don’t think young Eliot Wolf is in line to become the Green Bay Packers’ next general manager?
Maybe this will convince you: Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider said the contract extension he signed last week does not contain an out clause that would allow him to leave for the same job with the Green Bay Packers. His previous deal with Seattle was believed to contain such a provision.
That means unless the Seahawks let Schneider go before the deal is done, he couldn’t take the job in Green Bay until after the 2021 season. Schneider grew up in nearby De Pere, Wisconsin, and had two stints with the Packers’ personnel department. He was the team’s director of football operations when the Seahawks hired him as general manager in 2010.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson would be 68 by 2021. He’s under contract through the 2018 season and although he hasn’t said publicly how much longer he will work, Packers president Mark Murphy told ESPN.com in February that he’s prepared for Thompson’s eventual retirement and has a succession plan in mind.
A month later, the 34-year-old Wolf was promoted to director of football operations. It was his fifth promotion since 2004, when the son of former Packers GM Ron Wolf broke in as a pro personnel assistant after he graduated from the University of Miami a semester early.
“He’s very capable,” Thompson said of Wolf in March. “He’s doing a great job in a business that is hard to be on top of all the time. He’s a smart guy, as everybody knows. He really likes what he does, he’s been doing it for a long, long time even though he’s [still young].”
Wolf and Schneider aren’t the only candidates to replace Thompson. Murphy could try to bring back Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey or Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. Both worked under Thompson immediately before taking their current jobs.
Another in-house candidate is Russ Ball, the Packers’ director of player finance. Although he works closely with Thompson, he doesn’t have a traditional scouting background.
The Packers have two other scouts in their personnel department who may be ready for general manager jobs soon: Alonzo Highsmith and Brian Gutekunst.
But Wolf seemingly is the leading candidate to replace Thompson.
The Packers put Wolf out front during the NFL draft even more than in years past, giving him multiple opportunities to talk to reporters after the team made selections. He even joked that one of the differences with his new title is that he gets to do more media conferences.