The Green Bay Packers officially announced the hiring of Brian Gutekunst as general manager and Russ Ball as executive vice president/director of football operations on Monday.
“We could not be more excited to elevate Brian to the position of general manager,” said president Mark Murphy. “He has earned this opportunity throughout his 19 years with the Packers, proving to not only be a skilled talent evaluator, but a trusted and collaborative leader. His time under the direction of former Packers general managers Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson will undoubtedly serve him well as we work toward our next Super Bowl championship. I am confident that he is the man that will help get us there.”
“First, I’d like to thank my mentor, Ted Thompson, for his friendship, and I am happy that we will continue to have the chance to work together,” Gutekunst said. “I want to thank Ron Wolf for giving me my first opportunity with the Packers, and of course Mark Murphy for the faith and trust he has placed in me moving forward. And finally, I must thank my wife, Jen, and our children for their constant sacrifice and unwavering support despite all of the time I have spent on the road and away from home. I look forward to getting to work with the rest of our talented personnel department and using every avenue available to build the Packers into a championship team again.”
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Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports the Packers are finalizing a deal to hire Brian Gutekunst as their new GM.
- Gutekunst was set to interview with the Texans for their GM position, but John McClain reports that Gutekunst never interviewed with the team because he accepted the job to remain with Packers.
- According to Adam Schefter, Gutekunst receives a five-year contract from the Packers.
- Albert Breer mentions that Gutekunst gets full control over Green Bay’s roster and will report directly to president Mark Murphy.
- As for Russ Ball, Mike Garafolo reports that it’s possible he’ll be given a new title at some point in the near future.
After a week of buzz that Russ Ball was the guy to watch for the Packers’ job, Green Bay elects to go with Gutekunst for the top job.
There’s already a lot of talk that this decision could lead to Eliot Wolf, who also interviewed for the job, to leave the franchise and seek an opportunity with another team.
The Packers requested interviews with some external candidates including Doug Whaley, Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider. However, some speculated that this was just the search committee doing their due diligence and Green Bay was likely set on promoting from within, which ultimately proved to be the case.
Gutekunst has been a popular GM candidate in recent years and was reportedly a finalist for the 49ers’ GM position last year before he agreed to remain with the Packers. The Bills also interviewed Gutekunst for their GM job last May.