George Paton had a chance to go to St. Louis and become the general manager. But rather than take that position, the long-time personnel man has elected to stay in Minnesota and accept a promotion to assistant GM under Rick Spielman. In a statement Spielman said, “George has been an integral part of our personnel department since he arrived in 2007/ His work ethic, leadership , professionalism and keen eye for identifying talented football players will continue to be a major asset for our organization as we take on the challenges of competing in the NFC North and winning the Super Bowl.”
On the surface this seems like a head-scratcher. Why wouldn’t you take a full GM job over an assistant position? But dig a little deeper and you easily see why Paton chose the Vikings over St. Louis. Money certainly had something to do with it, but so did the reality of what the GM title really means in St. Louis. The Rams didn’t hire Jeff Fisher so he could answer to some GM they brought in after the fact. Fisher is the guy calling the shots, and whoever becomes GM there will be GM in name only. So it was easy for Paton. A real assistant GM job with a bump in pay over a fake GM job in another town where the head coach has all the real power. George Paton is nobody’s lackey.