Packers promote Gutekunst to general manager

Packers continue GM interviews with top internal candidate Friday

The Packers named Gutekunst the GM before another team could do it first.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle first reported the news, noting that Gutekunst came to Houston over the weekend to interview for that vacant job - Rick Smith stepped away for personal reasons - but declined the Houston gig in order to take Green Bay's job. He started as a regional scout, a position he held for 13 years. The Packers had interest in Seahawks general manager John Schneider, a Green Bay native, but the team's request to interview Schneider was denied. He was promoted to director of of college scouting in 2012 and director of player personnel in March of 2016. ESPN reported that the Packers also interviewed ex-Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley.

That's good news for Mike McCarthy, who reportedly isn't in good graces with Ball and could've been out as the Packers' head coach if Ball was named GM.

Gutekunst, 44, will enter his 20th season with the Packers in 2018.

Gutekunst attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, playing football for two seasons before suffering a career-ending shoulder injury.

By hiring Gutekunst instead of Ball, whom many saw as the odds-on favorite to get the job, the Packers opted to hire a candidate whose background is in player personnel. Dorsey was hired as the Browns' GM last month, and Highsmith left the Packers to join Dorsey last week.

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