Before he withdrew from San Francisco’s general manager search Friday, Packers player personnel director Brian Gutekunst had been the favorite to land the job “for two weeks,” a source close to the 49ers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle).
Eliot Wolf, another member of Green Bay’s front office, preceded Gutekunst in pulling out Thursday despite being a finalist for the position in San Francisco. The decisions Gutekunst and Wolf made don’t necessarily reflect poorly on the Niners, though, as a source close to the two told Jason Cole of Bleacher Report that “other factors” outside the team’s control led to their exits from the derby (Twitter link).
With Gutekunst and Wolf out of the picture, the GM-less 49ers could target Falcons director of football operations Nick Polk, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Polk is familiar with soon-to-be 49ers head coach and current Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, having worked with him in Atlanta the past two seasons. Speculatively, that could give Polk an advantage over the 49ers’ other GM candidates if they do pursue him.
As of now, San Francisco is set to conduct a second interview next week with Vikings assistant GM George Paton. Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough and Jaguars director of player personnel Chris Polian are also possibilities for the 49ers’ GM role. The team hasn’t yet scheduled a second meeting with McDonough, however, and it hasn’t met with Polian at all.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.