Packers Hire Brian Gutekunst as General Manager

The Packers have hired Brian Gutekunst as their next general manager, according to multiple online sources.

Gutekunst was something of a dark horse among the three internal candidates for the job. Russ Ball was believed to be the favorite, while Eliot Wolf had the name recognition that comes from his famous father. In the end, though, it was Gutekunst that won out.

What this means for the Packers

Gutekunst comes from a strong scouting background. One league insider called him "one of the best college scouts in the NFL," and he made his name with the Packers by working his way up through their scouting organization.

Since 2012, Gutekunst star has been on the rise in the Packers' organization. He was named their director of college scouting that year and has worked up the org chart steadily since then, earning a promotion last year after interviewing for the vacant general manager position with the 49ers.

Beyond Gutekunst, it's probable that one or both of the other two internal candidates may leave now that a decision has been reached. Gutekunst was in talks to interview with the Houston Texans next week, and it's believed that Russ Ball may now have a shot to take that job.

Eliot Wolf, meanwhile, figures to remain a consistent candidate for other general manager positions around the league. At just 34 years old, he still has plenty of time to get his own shot at the top job in an organization. He may remain with the Packers for now, biding his time to jump to an ideal job.

It also remains to be seen how this could affect Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. He was reportedly not happy with the possibility of hiring Russ Ball, with former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Bob McGinn reporting McCarthy could leave if Ball got the job. How he works with Gutekunst could be a key factor going forward.