The Browns requested permission to interview Vikings assistant GM George Paton for their GM vacancy, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Paton worked in Minnesota with new Vikings head coach Kevin Stefanski, so he’d be a logical fit for the job.
Paton has been a prominent GM candidate in the last few offseason cycles, though he has also pulled his name from consideration on multiple occasions, including the Jets’ search that resulted in Mike Maccagnan‘s hire in 2015. Late last offseason, after the Jets canned Maccagnan, he rejected their offer to interview for the third time in his career.
When Paton said no to Gang Green, it was speculated that he was wary of the team’s internal discord and complicated power structure. The same could be said of the Browns, though his relationship with Stefanski could sway him. Indeed, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Paton will interview for the Browns’ gig.
On Monday morning, Colts executive Ed Dodds turned down the Browns’ invitation to interview. Meanwhile, former Browns exec and current Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry figures to be a top candidate.