Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton is no longer an option for the Cleveland Browns as he has withdrawn himself from the running.
This really is not all that surprising, George Paton has decided to stay in Minnesota. The Vikings assistant general manager was one of the candidates interviewing for the Cleveland Browns general manager position.
Paton was in Cleveland for a second interview earlier this week. The fact that Paton interviewed not only once, but twice led some to believe that he may have been the leader for the job.
Jimmy Haslam and Paul DePodesta have spoke about alignment throughout this process and that is why George Paton was in the mix for the general manager position. Kevin Stefanski is quite familiar with Paton and that could have worked to their advantage as they search for alignment.
George Paton interviewing with the Browns felt more like a courtesy to Kevin Stefanski than anything. The fact that Paton has withdrawn himself from consideration certainly points in that direction, even with the two interviews. Paton doesn’t interview with other teams often. In fact, he has turned down interview requests from other teams in the past. George Paton actually interviewed with the Browns this time around which was a bit surprising.
This could also be a case of seeing how the Browns operate, realizing the issues they have and passing on the opportunity. The Browns have had issues with their organizational structure for years. Paton may have had genuine interest, but could have saw the inner workings and simply said no thanks.
The Browns now have two other options that they have interviewed. Andrew Berry and Monti Ossenfort. Berry seems like the frontrunner at this moment in time, but could easily pass on the Browns just like Paton did. That would put Cleveland in quite a bind.