Russ Ball may have inside track to Packers G.M. gig

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Monday night’s item regarding the scramble for power in Green Bay omitted a candidate for the G.M. gig who some in league circles believe will emerge with the job.

Packers V.P. of football administration/player finance Russ Ball, while not a “football guy” in the classic sense, has become a respected member of the front office based on his negotiation skills. (Recently, for example, Ball persuaded receiver Davante Adams to take the bird in the hand, even though he simply had to sit and wait for the two in the bush.)

It’s believed that Ball and CEO Mark Murphy have a close relationship, and that Ball could emerge from the internal Willie Wonka competition with the golden ticket. Case in point: Eliot Wolf and Brian Gutekunst have been taking interviews in recent hiring cycles, possibly because they know or sense that Ball has emerged as the next in line.

However it plays out, the looming contest for control of the Packers will be an important storyline over the next few weeks, with one of the most coveted jobs in football unexpectedly and suddenly in play.

17 responses to “Russ Ball may have inside track to Packers G.M. gig

  1. I don’t know if Elliot and Brian’s interview cycles mean that Ball definitely has the inside track to GM.

    It’s possible that they simply were doing so because no one thought Ted would step down – this year forced that situation. Elliot and Brian haven’t been linked to any other jobs at all this year.

    I also don’t know if Murphy or the board will allow a GM that isn’t a player/talent evaluation guy as the feeling is that the talent level being brought in isn’t good enough or happens often enough. They don’t lose Ball just because someone else becomes GM – he can still do the financial wizardry he’s known for.

    I think that if the GM is internal – he’ll be asked to provide his mock drafts for the last several years and with the hindsight that’s available – they’ll be able to see who has an eye for talent and who doesn’t and THEN from that group, look for the one that also has the philosophy that will work best. Build via the draft but augment with FA type of GM. Rounds 1-3 are your builders, 4-5 are fliers or used to get back into 1-3.

  2. Again, let’s write an arrticle naming everyone in order to say “see, we were right”.

  3. If Ball gets the GM spot – Wolf, Gutekunst, and Highsmith all bail for other organizations at once because they’ve no ladder to climb in GB. They peaked.

    I think if Wolf gets it – they retain Ball and Gutekunst at the least.

  4. “If Ball gets the GM spot – Wolf, Gutekunst, and Highsmith all bail for other organizations at once because they’ve no ladder to climb in GB. They peaked.

    I think if Wolf gets it – they retain Ball and Gutekunst at the least.”

    I see it the other way, if Ball gets it its because of his business skill set. If one of the others get it, its because they think they are better talent evaluators then the others and may cause hard feelings. I think regardless there maybe some movements as they see the opportunity close for them in Green Bay.

  5. How’s this schmooze of news, packalackys?
    An MM lickspittle has the inside slant.
    Never heard this guy’s name, ever, from you so-called “most knowledgeable football fans.”
    Bunch of big-mouthed buffoons.

  6. screamingyellowzonkers says:

    January 2, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Was “Green Bay” the most coveted GM job in the 70s and 80s?
    I think not.

    But when you have Rodgers, it will make any GM look good I suppose.
    ____________________________________
    That’s not what Florio’s talking about. The job is not about Rodgers.
    From one of Florio’s posts yesterday…

    The news that Packers G.M. Ted Thompson will transition to a new role means that the Packers will be looking for a new G.M. Which will spark one hell of a scramble for the ability to run a football operation without having to ever answer to a traditional owner…

  7. We don’t need any of Mark Murphy’s friends in there as GM. Get someone who knows football. Murphy could leave too and take McCarthy with him. Those 3 can leave and continue to build the amusement park around Lambeau that they are so excited about.

  8. I think Ball would be terrible as a GM. Great, so he can negotiate contracts, but it doesn’t sound like he’s much of a talent evaluator. With him you’ll get a lot of team friendly contracts for the crappy players that they draft. Wahoo.

  9. “Packers V.P. of football administration/player finance Russ Ball, while not a “football guy” in the classic sense, has become a respected member of the front office based on his negotiation skills.”

    Look no further then Cleveland to see how a non football guy works out. (Sashi Brown)

  10. “Look no further then Cleveland to see how a non football guy works out. (Sashi Brown)”

    To be fair the biggest problem in Cleveland is the con man owner. 41 mil under the cap last year, 63 this season, while the top 24 teams under the cap are 12 mil or less. That’s a whopping 51+ million dollar talent gap in player budget to most other teams. No coach or GM could do well in that situation.

    Cleveland will remain awful until scam artist Haslam sells the team.

  11. There are a lot of names being mentioned. But I would think they would chose a guy with inside football knowledge. I would list Wolf, Gutekunst, Schneider, Dorsey, and McKenzie ahead of Ball, but I think Murphy and the Board already have someone in mind.

  12. Florio and skimbell hit the nail on the head. The Packers GM job is “the most coveted” because there is no spoiled billionaire owner who has to be constantly coddled and babysat.

  13. Hope you enjoy your version of the Bears’ ‘Sweaty Teddy’ … a Bean Counter that doesn’t have a clue about the NFL yet always wants to be in the middle of decisions.

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