How Eliot Wolf's Move to Cleveland Impacts Green Bay
The Packers’ offseason reorganization is complete, and after Eliot Wolf ended up on the outside looking in, he’s now leaving Green Bay for Cleveland.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Wolf will be named the assistant general manager, working under former colleague John Dorsey with the Browns. He joins former Packers executive Alonzo Highsmith in the Cleveland front office.
What this means for Wolf
After the Packers shuffled their org chart, the ended up with a triumvirate of Brian Gutekunst, Russ Ball, and Mike McCarthy reporting to Mark Murphy. Gutekunst and Ball will oversee the football side of the operation, while McCarthy gained power comparable to someone at the top of the personnel group. He can reportedly no longer be fired by the general manager; only Mark Murphy holds that power.
All this left Wolf, named “director - football operations” in 2016, a level below the two men with whom he competed for the Packers’ top personnel job.
Wolf is just 35, and it could be a bit of a bit jump to put him ahead of two more senior employees, though it’s hard to speculate as to the exact reason he wasn’t made a part of the new power structure. What is clear, though, is Wolf had two options after Gutekunst and Ball ascended together: stay in his current role or seek a promotion elsewhere. Since the ceiling seems to have solidified above him, Wolf has chosen to move on.
What this means for the Packers
Whether or not he’d have made a good general manager is an open question, but Wolf is widely regarded as an excellent talent evaluator. Having an NFL general manager for a father lends itself to experience in that area, and Wolf has experience in spades.
On a more practical level, Wolf’s departure represents a further brain drain from the personnel side of the Packers’ organization. Having promoted Gutekunst to general manager and lost both Wolf and Highsmith, the top three positions in the Packers’ player personnel division are now vacant.
In short, even before he gets down to business remaking the Packers’ roster, Gutekunst has some work to do in Green Bay.