The success of Ted Thompson has been up for debate in recent years, but his overall track record is a positive one in Green Bay. Since taking over as Green Bay’s General Manager in 2005, Ted Thompson has assembled teams that have won six division titles, been to the playoffs nine times (including the past eight seasons), been to four NFC Championship games, and won one Super Bowl. Those achievements aside, Thompson’s current contract only runs through the 2018 draft, meaning that a shift in General Manager could be on the horizon. Ted is 64 years old and rumors have circulated that he won’t be resigned again. Assuming a new manager is indeed hired in 2018, the question becomes, who will it be? The only given seems to be that whoever is hired will have ties to Green Bay, the team won’t go totally outside the organization in their hire. With that being said, let’s break down five candidates that have been linked to the job in the past.
5. Reggie McKenzie – Age 54
McKenzie is the first of three current NFL General Managers on this list. Currently the General Manager of the Raiders, McKenzie took over an abysmal Oakland in 2012 squad and turned them into a playoff team in 2016. He altered the culture and style of the team and currently has a young core poised to continue to improve off it’s impressive 2016 performance that was cut short by an injury to starting quarterback Derek Carr. Prior to beginning his tenure in Oakland, McKenzie spent 18 seasons with the Packers as a scout and Director of Player Personnel. Given his ties to Green Bay, he may consider jumping ship and joining the Packers as the new General Manager, and given his success, we may want him.
4. John Dorsey – Age 56
Much like McKenzie, Dorsey is currently an NFL General Manager. He spent nearly three decades with the Packers in a multitude of roles (including as a player, scout, and Director of Football Operations) before being hired by the Chiefs in 2013. He took over a 2-14 Kansas City team from 2012 and has produced four consecutive winning seasons, three 11+ win seasons, three playoff appearances, and one playoff victory (the team’s first since 1994). Though not originally from Green Bay, it’s like home to Dorsey, and he may consider a move back, should the Packers offer him a deal.
3. John Schneider – Age 45
For those of you who don’t know, John Schneider has been the General Manager of the Seahawks since 2010. Since taking the position, he has lead the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl victory, and assembled one of the best defenses in all of football. In short, Schneider has shown to be one of the better GMs in football, but that isn’t the only reason the Packers have been linked to him. Schneider was born and raised in Wisconsin, his pro career started in 1992 as a scout for the Packers, and he was a Personnel Analyst and Director of Football Operations for the Packers for eight years prior to being hired by Seattle. It was rumored that he had a clause in his contract which would allow him to opt out of Seattle should he receive an offer from the Packers, but he has since shot those rumors down. Given his success and popularity in Seattle, it’s unlikely he’d leave for Green Bay.
2. Brian Gutekunst – Age 43
With Gutekunst we have our first non General Manager of the list, though he was heavily considered for the 49ers General Manager position this season, prior to pulling his name from contention. He’s moved up the ranks with the Packers since beginning with them in 1999 as a scout, and he’s currently the Director of Player Personnel. By turning down chances to be the General Manager for another team, Gutekunst has shown a strong desire to stay in Green Bay, and he may know something we don’t about the future of the GM position, don’t be surprised if he’s the man for the job next year.
1. Eliot Wolf – Age 34
Wolf is in a similar boat as Gutekunst, just to a higher degree. He’s the golden child of the Green Bay front office. The son of former Packers General Manager, and Hall of Famer Ron Wolf, Eliot has been around the team since he was 10 years old. He did his first scouting report at the age of 14, and he began working with the team full time as soon as he graduated college in 2004. Currently, he’s Green Bay’s Director of Football Operations. Keep in mind that both John Schneider and John Dorsey were Director of Football Operations before going on to become highly successful General Managers in their own right. Wolf was considered for the General Manager positions in San Francisco and Indianapolis this offseason before he eventually pulled his name from contention in each case, just as Gutekunst did. The impression is currently that Wolf or Gutekunst will get the job, but you should consider Wolf the frontrunner. If hired next year (and assuming that all other General Managers hold their positions), Wolf would be the youngest GM in football by three years. His youth isn’t a sign of inexperience, but a sign of a long future, don’t be surprised if he gets the job.