The Vikings will retain a valued member of their front office.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, George Paton, the Vikings’ assistant general manager, has taken himself out of consideration for the general manager vacancy with the Browns.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 24, 2020
Multiple sources reported on Wednesday that Paton had flown to Cleveland for a second interview with Browns ownership. That meeting went well, according to Pelissero, who tweeted that Paton was impressed by both interviews.
The presence of Kevin Stefanski, who was hired as Cleveland’s head coach on Jan. 12, seemed like it would be a tipping point for Paton, who had declined multiple GM interviews over the years. And the partnership would have made sense, especially considering Paton and Stefanski were employed together with the Vikings for 13 years.
But after taking some time to mull it over, Paton decided the job wasn’t the fit wasn’t right. For now, he’ll remain a right-hand man to general manager Rick Spielman as a member of the Minnesota Vikings organization.
Paton has served as an assistant under Spielman since 2007. According to the team’s official website, Paton’s primary focus is coordinating scouting and personnel functions within the Vikings’ Pro Scouting Department and lending his expertise to the College Scouting Department as they prepare for the NFL Draft.
Prior to the Vikings, Paton spent 6 seasons (2001-06) with the Miami Dolphins as Director of Pro Personnel. He began his NFL career in the college and pro scouting departments of the Chicago Bears, rising to the position of Assistant Director of Pro Personnel in 2000.
There’s no question the Vikings have to be happy about retaining their long-time talent evaluator. Seeing as he’s received so much attention for front office jobs around the league, you have to wonder how long he’ll stick around. Hopefully it’s for the long haul.