Wolf to stay in Green Bay, Gutekunst still in 49ers GM hunt

Kristopher Nichols
January 22, 2017

Nine potential general managers have been interviewed over the past 15 days, starting with the Packers tandem of Gutekunst and Wolf on January 5.

So why would Gutekunst go back to being a nameless, faceless cog in Green Bay rather than running the 49ers' football operations? They will eventually fill the job, but it might be of simple attrition.

While the 49ers are poised to hire Kyle Shanahan as coach once the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator is done in the playoffs, Trent Baalke's successor as general manager remains to be determined.

While Wolf is out of the picture in San Francisco, Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst and Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton remain top candidates.

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So while the move up the 49ers' flow chart would have been real and the job title is certainly impressive, the actual power gained would not be all that significant for Gutekunst. Shanahan can not officially be hired until Atlanta's season is over.

But Shanahan wasn't demanding full control of the 49ers' 53-man roster, according to a report from CSN Bay Area that was published before the news broke of Gutekunst bowing out of the GM search.

That includes Arizona Cardinals executive Terry McDonough, who interviewed with the 49ers earlier this month, and Jacksonville Jaguars director of player personnel Chris Polian, who has not interviewed with the team but has drawn interest.

And if you are not comfortable with the guy you are going to be working with, a promotion is not always all that it's cracked up to be.

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