Vikings Assistant General Manager and VP of Player Personnel George Paton has withdrawn from consideration for the Browns' GM vacancy, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Paton had interviewed with the Browns twice, and was seen as one of the favorites to become their next general manager.
This is great news for the Vikings. Paton is a key part of their front office, working closely with GM Rick Spielman and the scouting and analytics staffs.
Paton has spent the last 13 years with the Vikings. He was hired the same year as Kevin Stefanski, who recently left the organization to become the Browns' head coach. Paton was reportedly Stefanski's top choice for the GM position; their relationship was a big reason why Paton was believed to be seriously considering a move to Cleveland.
Instead, Paton has pulled himself out of the running, making the Eagles' Andrew Berry the clear favorite. Cabot reports that Paton felt it was Berry's job, and left the interview process with several concerns.
Paton, a top choice of new coach Kevin Stefanski, opted to remain with the Vikings because he had a number of issues he had to work through, and wasn’t entirely comfortable with how it would all play out. He left here on Thursday with some questions about the power structure and the division of labor. He also would’ve been the sixth GM of the Browns since 2012, and continuity was a big concern. In addition, as many as half a dozen GM jobs could open up next year, and he’s expected to have multiple opportunities. Paton was reluctant to accept the initial interview because he assumed the job would go Berry, a league source told cleveland.com. But he agreed to explore it for a chance to work with Stefanski.
The Vikings' front office structure will remain intact next season, which is great news for a franchise that has preached a desire for continuity in all areas.
Petzing joining Stefanski's staff
Vikings WRs coach Drew Petzing is joining Stefanski's staff in Cleveland. He'll coach the Browns' tight ends, according to multiple reports.
Petzing helped develop Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs during his six-year tenure with the Vikings, and also spent time working with the quarterbacks and running backs. He joins Stefanski and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer as former Vikings coaches that are now with the Browns.
The Vikings filled their offensive coordinator vacancy on Thursday with Gary Kubiak announcing he was taking the job, but they still need to hire a defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach, and now a wide receivers coach as well.