How Slow is Too Slow in the Packers GM Search?

In his news conference Tuesday afternoon, Packers president Mark Murphy said he anticipated starting interviews for the Packers’ imminently vacant general manager position “very quickly.” Acknowledging there are “important things going on right now,” Murphy also cited a personal guideline to  “fire quickly, hire slowly.”

In a fast moving business like the NFL, the Packers may not be able to afford to hire slowly. In fact, it was former Packers general manager Ron Wolf that said a team should always strive to “hire the best before anyone else does.”

So at what point would hiring slowly become a problem? When would you be concerned that the Packers are moving too slowly? Jon and Gary give their answers below.

Jon says Wednesday, January 10.

Mark Murphy has all the pieces in place for this to be a quick and easy decision. The Packers have the best quarterback in the known universe, a successful head coach (perhaps even highly successful), a rabid fan base, and football facilities resembling the Taj Mahal in both size and expense.

With that stockpile of assets, the Packers’ general manager job should be extremely desirable, and personnel men around the league should be polishing their resumes and LinkedIn profiles as they prepare to throw their hats in the ring.

What’s more, Murphy has a stable of strong internal candidates raring to go for their first GM opportunity. Both Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf have interviewed for general manager positions with other organizations, and Russ Ball and Alonzo Highsmith are highly regarded in Green Bay and elsewhere.

Given that set of circumstances, Murphy shouldn’t need to hem and haw about his next top personnel executive. If he hasn’t introduced a new general manager by next Wednesday, we should be concerned.

Gary says Friday, January 19.

Realistically, I think the search for the next general manager of the Packers should be over before the week’s end on the 5th with a press conference early next week.

Russ Ball, Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf are all strong internal candidates. Gutekunst and Wolf have already interviewed for general manager posts, and Ball has presumably worked closer with Thompson than any in Green Bay. While the news of Thompson’s removal as general manager was a surprise to the outside world, it likely doesn’t surprise anyone inside the front office.

Murphy will likely begin interviewing candidates as early as today, and no other general manager posts are available. Not that it would matter much, as the chance to build a team around a generational quarterback like Aaron Rodgers rarely presents itself.

What could complicate matters and delay the decision is the job status of potential external candidates. If Murphy seeks to interview Seattle’s John Schneider, Cleveland’s John Dorsey or Oakland’s Reggie McKenzie, it’s likely the Packers would need to trade some sort of asset to the team in order to hire them as general manager.

If the Packers are still without a general manager by the middle of the month, it’s likely that Murphy does not want to promote an internal candidate and has struggled to pry away an external candidate from another team.

If that happens, brace yourself for a rollercoaster of sources, leaks and fake news over the next two weeks.