With the general manager finally settled, the Green Bay Packers still have to finalize the hierarchy of their front office. That means, among other things, finding out if longtime personnel executive Eliot Wolf plans to stick around.
The Packers interviewed Wolf for the general manager vacancy along with eventual hire Brian Gutekunst, chief negotiator and salary-cap specialist Russ Ball, and former Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley. Understandably, Wolf might decide he can better improve his career prospects by moving out of Green Bay and into a new environment. The Cleveland Browns, who will interview him shortly, already employ former Packers executive John Dorsey as GM and Wolf’s former colleague Alonzo Highsmith in a prominent position. Wolf might not gain any responsibility, but the ability to showcase his work elsewhere could eventually land him the top job for some organization.
The Packers can’t offer Wolf their general manager position at this point, but they could increase his college scouting responsibilities to entice him to stay. Wolf has spent most of his career on the pro personnel side, which could explain why he hasn’t turned his many GM interviews into a GM job. Still, given that Wolf saw one of his peers pass him in Green Bay, heading to Cleveland might just feel more appealing no matter what opportunities Gutekunst offers.
While age and experience likely played a role in Wolf missing on multiple GM jobs, other factors have held him back as well. Namely, the Packers have blocked his chances to interview in the past. This trend affected other Green Bay execs such as Gutekunst too, and he doesn’t want to see that issue hold Wolf back should the opportunity arise. “I really want him to be here, Gutekunst said. “But I also know he has other opportunities, and I wouldn’t hold him back from that because I care about him.”
While the Packers worked to settle the remainder of their organizational vacancies, the Chicago Bears hired their next head coach: former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. Nagy helped revitalize the Chiefs offense and veteran quarterback Alex Smith this season. Chicago will rely on him to build up former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky. How well Nagy does so could determine whether the Bears remain NFC North doormats or emerge as a contender in the division.