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Are the Packers positioning Eliot Wolf to become the next G.M.?


Eventually, the Packers will need to replace G.M. Ted Thompson. And a recent development unrelated to the 63-year-old General Manager is being viewed by some as a sign as to who his successor will be.

Pete Dougherty of interprets the recent promotion of Eliot Wolf to director of football operations as a sign that Wolf will take over for Thompson, the man who eventually took over for Wolf’s father, Ron.

Dougherty notes that Packers CEO Mark Murphy has said that he’s not willing to put the promotion in writing -- which may or may not circumvent the Rooney rule, the standard that requires at least one minority candidate to be interviewed for each head-coaching and G.M. vacancies. (As to coaching jobs, a clear commitment in writing to give the job to a successor has been recognized as an exception to the rule, a curious path to avoid the obligation.)

Murphy possibly prefers flexibility, given the possibility of bringing home Seahawks G.M. John Schneider, a Packers shareholder whose contract reportedly contains a clause allowing him to leave Seattle to become the G.M. of the Packers. Even if the Packers plan to promote Eliot Wolf, keeping Schneider in the running becomes a helpful piece of leverage for the contract negotiations with Wolf.

It’s still unclear when Thompson will step aside. Dougherty notes that Ron Wolf, who retired at 62, hit a wall at one point.

“It just took me longer to do things,” Ron Wolf recently told Dougherty. “If somehow somebody could have given me, instead of a 24-hour, a 36-hour clock I probably would have stayed.”

Eliot Wolf, now 34, may not necessarily stay. If the right opportunity comes along with another team, he could leave before Thompson does. And that could happen as soon as 2017, depending on which jobs open up after the coming season.