Another Packers executive won’t be finishing out the GM interview process with the 49ers. The Packers will retain player personnel director Brian Gutekunst after he withdrew his name from the San Francisco GM search, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
One of the finalists for the NFL’s lone vacant GM job, Gutekunst instead signed a new deal to stay in Green Bay, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).
The Packers reached an agreement earlier this week to retain director of football operations Eliot Wolf, so the 49ers’ effort to pry one of Ted Thompson‘s top staffers won’t come to fruition. The Packers execs’ decisions to stay in Green Bay come after Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner announced he was withdrawing from the pursuit.
This could leave Vikings assistant GM George Paton in the driver’s seat for the job as the one known finalist still in the running. He’s set to meet with the 49ers next week. Although the team is keeping an eye on Cardinals’ vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports, Paton is expected to meet with 49ers brass — and possibly leading HC candidate Kyle Shanahan — on Tuesday. Michael Silver of NFL.com also tabs Paton (Twitter link) as the favorite to become the 49ers’ next GM and win what’s become a complex race not unlike what’s transpired in the derby to become their next coach.
Another name to monitor, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, is Jaguars director of player personnel Chris Polian. The son of Hall of Famer Bill Polian did not meet with with the 49ers this month as the organization conducted a thorough search featuring nine interviews.