As the 49ers continue to wait to name Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan their next head coach, the list of candidates for the general manager position took a turn as Packers executive Eliot Wolf pulled out of the race Friday.
Wolf, the son of former Packers general manager Ron Wolf, is in his first season as the Packers’ director of football operations after receiving a promotion last year.
The 49ers interviewed Wolf, along with Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst, on Jan. 5. Gutekunst has also withdrawn from the 49ers’ consideration, according to the Mercury News.
If Wolf performed like his father, the 49ers could be in great shape. Wolf has the ability to become the successor to Packers general manager Ted Thompson. With Seahawks general manager Jon Schneider reportedly dropping the Packers clause from his most recent contract, Wolf resides solely in the on-deck circle, so his mind isn’t set on the 49ers.
The 49ers are expected to involve Shanahan in the process to name the next general manager. With Gutekunst and Wolf out of the race, expect to hear more about Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, who works with general manager Rick Spielman. The duo has worked on the personnel staffs of the Bears and Dolphins before joining forces in Minnesota.
Paton completed his first interview for the 49ers general manager position on Jan. 6. Sources say Paton received a second interview on Wednesday. Paton has been highly sought by other NFL teams. If Paton accepts the job, the Vikings might be one step closer to replacing an important piece of their scouting operation, heading into a draft without a first-rounder.
So who else is still in the mix?
Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough remains a possibility. If given the job, McDonough would be the second of Cardinals general manager Steve Keim’s right-hand men to land general manager jobs elsewhere.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
In the meantime, the 49ers should be concerned about filling holes in their defense, so they can effectively run a 3-4 or a 4-3.