Eliot Wolf has been on the short list of candidates for teams seeking new general managers for the past few seasons. The trick is prying him away from the Green Bay Packers, the only organization he has ever worked for and one that would like to keep him.
Could the New York Giants, an organization steeped in tradition much like the Packers, be the team that gets Wolf to leave Green Bay?
“I assume he’d take it if offered,” said Jason B. Hirschhorn of SB Nation’s Packers web site, Acme Packing Company. “[Ted] Thompson has blocked Wolf for jobs where the GM didn’t have final say over the roster, but I believe the GM has that power in NY.”
Who is Wolf?
He is a 35-year-old who has worked in Green Bay’s personnel department since 2004. He has been promoted a number of times as the Packers try to beat back suitors, and his title is now Director-Football Operations.
Wolf’s father, Ron, was Packers’ GM from 1991-2001 and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
Wolf has been sought after for several years. He reportedly interviewed for GM jobs with the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, and was denied permission to interview with the Detroit Lions in 2016, where Ernie Accorsi was leading the search.
Ted Thompson, John Dorsey, Reggie McKenizie and John Schneider are among the executives with whom Wolf has worked.
Why it would work
Wolf has obviously been groomed to run an organization, and has worked with a lot of quality personnel people.
The Packer philosophy under Thompson has been to build via the draft and to use free agency sparingly, as a supplement to your roster. The Giants, because of too many failed draft picks in recent years, have had to spend heavily in free agency and have not been able to keep enough draft picks beyond their rookie contracts.
Wolf also understands what it is like to be part of an organizational with historic significance within the NFL. That is likely to appeal to Giants’ ownership.
Why it wouldn’t work
This is painting with a broad brush, but you wonder if the stain of the Ben McAdoo experience will make the Giants shy away from dipping into the Green Bay well once again.
One takeaway from the McAdoo era, and from watching the Packers limp along while Aaron Rodgers was injured, is that perhaps it has been Rodgers — and Brett Favre before him — who made the Packers. Not the Mike McCarthy system and the personnel department.
It is also entirely possible that Wolf won’t be interested in leaving the Packers, anyway. Ted Thompson is 64 and has been Green Bay GM since 2005. He won’t stay forever, and Wolf could be the heir to the GM throne in Green Bay.