GREEN BAY - After withdrawing his name from the San Francisco 49ers' general manager search earlier this month, Green Bay Packers personnel executive Eliot Wolf will get another shot.
This time, it’s in the AFC. Wolf is among six candidates expected to interview with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for the team’s general manager vacancy, according to the team’s website. Interviews could be conducted this week while the NFL congregates in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl.
The Colts' opening is one of the NFL’s more attractive GM vacancies in recent years. It appears Irsay plans to retain coach Chuck Pagano for the 2017 season, potentially forcing his next GM to wait at least a year to hire his chosen coach. But in a league in which quarterback play means everything, Irsay’s next GM would inherit Andrew Luck.
Wolf, a possible successor for Ted Thompson, received a pay raise after withdrawing from consideration for the 49ers' opening earlier this month. The Packers also intend to change his title.
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The son of Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf, Eliot Wolf has been a fast riser since being named a pro personnel assistant at the age of 21 in 2004. He was promoted to director-football operations in March, a year after being promoted to director of player personnel in 2015. Prior to that, Wolf spent three seasons as director of pro personnel.
Wolf, 34, was listed as a candidate along with Kansas City Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard, Seattle Seahawks co-director of pro personnel Scott Fitterer, Seattle Seahawks co-director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner, Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, and Colts interim GM/vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III.
Should Wolf depart, the Packers would have other in-house options to succeed Thompson. Brian Gutekunst and Alonzo Highsmith are highly respected personnel evaluators. Gutekunst also interviewed with the 49ers before withdrawing his name this month.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy also could promote vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball to succeed Thompson. Ball brings a different perspective to the job, with a history based in cap management and contract negotiations instead of player evaluation.