Report: George Paton “wasn’t entirely comfortable” with Browns G.M. job

Getty Images

It’s critical that the 2020 Browns consist of a power structure that resides at all times on the same page. That apparently wouldn’t have happened if Vikings assistant G.M. George Paton had taken the G.M. job there.

Via Mary Kay Cabot of, Paton removed his name from consideration for the Browns G.M. job because Paton “had a number of issues he had to work through, and wasn’t entirely comfortable with how it would all play out.” Paton also left his second interview with “some questions about the power structure and the division of labor.”

Paton’s decision to stay in Minnesota caps a process that Paton was leery to even commence, given his belief that Andrew Berry was the top choice for the job.

It seems, based on Cabot’s article, that chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta wants Berry and that new coach Kevin Stefanski wanted Paton. Which, if accurate, becomes the latest example of a high-level power struggle with strong “I told you so” potential if when Berry, now the presumptive favorite to get the job, doesn’t work out.

According to Cabot, Paton spent roughly eight hours at team headquarters in Ohio on Tuesday for his second interview. He left unsure whether it was a good fit.

In addition to working with Stefanski, the G.M. also will have to navigate DePodesta, a four-year employee (that’s like 40 in Browns years) who seems to be acquiring more power and influence as key figures like Sashi Brown, Hue Jackson, John Dorsey, and Freddie Kitchens come and go.

Paton went before he even arrived, which for him was the right call. While coaches head often get a second chance if the first stop doesn’t work out, General Managers usually get one bite at the apple. They need to make it the best bite they can.

44 responses to “Report: George Paton “wasn’t entirely comfortable” with Browns G.M. job

  1. It wouldn’t make sense to take that job. He’s the heir apparent to Spielman and Spielman could be gone after next year. If Spielman stays, Paton can find a better job than Cleveland if he wants it.

  2. “General Managers usually get one bite at the apple”

    I have been saying the same thing all along… why would any front office employee want to waste their bite for Haslam. The guy has fired 5 GM’s in 7 years.

  3. If DePodesta is going to have this much power, they need to just call a spade a spade: Make him the GM. Does he have the talent or qualifications to do the job? Probably not. But being the puppet master behind the scenes with all the power and none of the responsibility is never going to work either.

  4. I mean you can make fun of Minnesota and stuff but at least there’s no dysfunction in the “power structure”. Pretty anyone would still rather be in Minnesota than..*gag*..Cleveland.

  5. When the hell did John Dorsey get fired? I read this site everyday and have never seen that article. Saw plenty of ink spilled on Kitchens exit.

  6. Clearly Paul DePodesta is the defacto GM he just needs to find someone stupid or desperate enough to be his Cris Carter fall guy to can next year after the Browns struggle to win 4 or 5 games. DePodesta just needs to bring Todd Haley back to stoke the dumpster fire for entertainment during the off-season

  7. You mean he didn’t think Cleveland was the perfect job? I can’t imagine what would make him feel that way.

  8. Paton is quality and he’s turned down other jobs; he must have been disrespected by the offer like Stephanski. The difference was Stephanski gave in and Paton said no dice. Well played, he will be a GM of a very good team one day.

  9. Does it surprise me that there’s palace intrigue before the thing is even put together? No, sadly no. I may never see a Browns organization get its act together through actual smart management before I die so I’m left praying to the football gods. Please, ghost of Paul Brown, please help us despite ourselves. We know not what we do over and over and over and over….

  10. It’s funny how this coach amd GM search just so happened to go the way everyone thought depodesta would go. There was no true search. He wanted stepanski last year. Mean old Dorsey told him no. Now he went into this certain he wanted one person.thats a bad way to search, have your mind made up. Now we get berry, who let’s be honest was the favorite. He joins sashi brown with slightly more football experience. Dont forget browns fans these are the guys who said wentz sucked and watson wasnt good. Look at the talent they passed up. They also hired hue Jackson,who was to dumb to know that the plan was to tank.

  11. Its a huge warning sign that the new HC is already at odds with DePodesta.
    Let DePodesta hire the GM and if he fails get rid of both of them (and the HC).
    Let Haslam spend his ill gotten gains on the guaranteed salaries of many former GMs and coaches.

  12. There’s hope Cleveland fans. Just look at Jed York in San Francisco. The funny thing is, nobody has seen or heard from Jed in 3 years, and shockingly they’re in the super bowl. Just hire a good coach that understands personnel, and get the heck out of the way.

  13. charliecharger says:

    There’s hope…look at Jed York in San Francisco..hire a good coach that understands personnel, and get the heck out of the way.

    Agreed!…but also need to hire a compatible HC and GM and allow them to run the show — including ridding the building of any/all backstabbers and those not all-in.

  14. Have you ever been to Cleveland? Nobody is entirely comfortable in Cleveland… That’s it end of story

  15. Why not Eliot Wolf for GM? Sure,he was a Dorsey hire but I thought he was going to stick around even after the draft.Is Andrew Berry’s “vision” and “leadership” really so much better than Wolf?

  16. Soon as Kubs became OC Patton knew Spielman and Zimmer were going to be gone next year unless the Vikings win the super bowl and that will not happen with zim calling the defense

  17. Smart man to remove his name for GM. Every day the Steelers and Ravens say thank you Ohio for the Bengals and Browns.

  18. Smart move by Paton. After the 1st interview, probably walked out of the building saying no way…. But does this really surprise anyone? The only surprise is that this happened in a week and a half, I figured at least right before the draft before the implosion starts.

  19. Not to mention Elliot Wolf is the Asst. GM. So you have a Chief Strategy Officer who seems really like the true GM, an Asst. GM already in place, and a meddling owner. It’s easy to see why Paton bowed out.

  20. Honestly any Real Viking fan who pays close attention to the Vikings, know that Stefanski wasn’t really the mastermind behind the vikings offense this past year. Yeah he called plays, but Kubiak was the one who pretty much came up with the Scheme of the offense and the route they should play. Everyone knows that Stefanski was trying to play it too safe and try to play the opposite of what we were in the games we lost huge in where we moved away from running the ball and playing play-actions. I am for one as a Viking fan glad to see Stefanski gone, as I think he was lucky to get promoted to OC and only got the position out of good timing after Shurmur left. Kubiak taking over I think will make the Vikings Offense even better this upcoming season.
    Browns fans, I feel for ya. You upper-management need to get on the same page, and decide a plan instead of just taking your money. You guys are good fans and deserve so much better.

  21. Time for the league to intervene. It’s simply bad business to allow the Browns, Bengals, and Redskins to continue to field that aren’t worth the price of admission.

  22. Paton has years of experience with a dysfunctional team, you would think that is his best attribute for the job with the Browns. If he is coming from the Vikings and he thought the Browns were a hot mess, it must be bad in Cleveland

  23. Getting everyone in the office excited about somebody departing, then being told he’s coming back and will still be your boss, never works out. It just doesn’t.

  24. Brobokil says:

    I mean you can make fun of Minnesota and stuff but at least there’s no dysfunction in the “power structure”. Pretty anyone would still rather be in Minnesota than..*gag*..Cleveland.


    Know little about the Browns, but you’re spot on about Minnesota’s management. The Wilfs are giving the current staff every opportunity to succeed (maybe too many) because they’re good people. Despite what the trolls like to blather. You ain’t getting that in Cleveland.

  25. stellarperformance says:
    January 26, 2020 at 8:33 am
    Getting everyone in the office excited about somebody departing, then being told he’s coming back and will still be your boss, never works out. It just doesn’t


    That has to be the worst attempt t trolling I have ever seen. Don’t you have a Super Bowl to prepare for?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.