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Packers hire Brian Gutekunst as general manager

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The Green Bay Packers are staying in-house to fill their vacancy at general manager.

The Packers are promoting director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst to function as Ted Thompson's successor in the GM role, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Sunday, via a source informed of the situation. The new deal is for five years, per Rapoport. The Packers confirmed Gutekunst's new position Monday.

The decision comes just one day after Green Bay's request to interview Seahawks Super Bowl-winning general manager John Schneider was denied. A De Pere, Wisconsin native, Schneider cut his teeth in the Packers front office from 1993-96 and again from 2002-10 under the regime of recent Hall of Fame selection Ron Wolf.

As is often the case in the NFL, deadlines spur action. Gutekunst was in Houston, set to interview for the Texans' GM opening, when he reached agreement with Green Bay, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Now that Gutekunst is out of the running in Houston, Bills executive Brian Gaine is the favorite to succeed Rick Smith as the general manager, Rapoport added.

Viewed as a rising star under Thompson, Gutekunst has spent the past 19 years in the Packers front office. A candidate for the openings in San Francisco and Buffalo last offseason, he was deemed the frontrunner for the 49ers' job until he backed out to return to Green Bay under a new deal. It was then that the Niners turned to John Lynch as Kyle Shanahan's personnel boss.

Gutekunst isn't alone as a highly regarded front-office operative in Green Bay. While he will be tasked with overseeing personnel and the draft, VP of football administration/finance Russ Ball will likely handle the salary cap and contract negotiations. Wolf's son, Eliot, is a candidate to be promoted from director of football operations to Gutekunst's top lieutenant in personnel.

It's no surprise that the Packers have settled on one of their own to succeed Thompson. From the front office down to the 53rd man on the roster, this organization's braintrust stresses a philosophy of developing their own talent and standing by it.

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