Some have expressed confusion regarding the ability of the Vikings to deny Green Bay’s request to interview assistant G.M. George Paton. Assistant coaches can be interviewed for head-coaching jobs during the bye week; why not potential General Managers?
The answer is simple — the rules allow a team to deny requests for permission to interview front-office employees for General Manager jobs until the team’s season ends. That same provision does not apply to vacant head-coaching positions.
Once the season ends, the Vikings no longer can block Paton from interviewing for the Green Bay job, or for any other G.M. job. Until their season ends, the Vikings now must deny any other requests to interview Paton, since the power to deny interview requests can’t be used selectively. (There’s currently only one G.M. job available, in Houston.)
It’s entirely possible that Paton simply doesn’t want to interview for the Green Bay job, and that instead of turning the Packers down he asked the Vikings to deny permission. That’s not an unprecedented approach.
For example, Paton may not want to leave. Likewise, he may believe that the Packers eventually are going to promote from within, making him less inclined to enter a contest he doesn’t believe he’ll win.
Whatever the case may be, the Packers can submit another request to talk to Paton when the Vikings’ postseason run ends. If. of course, the Packers haven’t filled the vacancy yet.