George Paton ready to leave Vikings, will again be among most-coveted GM candidates

After turning down numerous opportunities to run other NFL franchises in recent years, league sources said Vikings esteemed assistant general manager George Paton is ready to leave the organization this winter if the right situation emerges. Paton remains on a short list of men considered the most attractive to other owners, along with Joe Douglas (Eagles), Will McClay (Cowboys) and Nick Caserio (Patriots).

Paton has been a finalist for several GM jobs in the past and has also withdrawn from consideration in numerous instances as well. A year ago he was seen as the only truly viable candidate for the Packers GM opening from outside that organization; the Vikings denied Green Bay permission to interview him. Paton has been with the Vikings for 12 seasons, and has very strong ties to general manager Rick Spielman, who he was also with in Chicago and Miami.

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There has been a sense in recent years that Paton might not actually be willing to move on from Minnesota, given how many opportunities did not appeal to him, but sources close to the executive maintain that he is very open to taking over a franchise in 2019 and expect him to explore numerous opportunities. There could be upwards of a half-dozen GM changes in the NFL, depending on how certain clubs fare in the final month of the season.

Several sources suggested Miami as one potential landing spot that would have considerable appeal to Paton. Paton has interviewed with the 49ers and Colts, among others, and has withdrawn from consideration in the past when the Dolphins, Jets and Chiefs sought to interview him for openings. However, sources said a return to Miami would not be out of the question if the Dolphins were to make front-office changes this offseason.

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Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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