According to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis, despite media speculation, Broncos General Manager George Paton will still be the general manager of the team regardless of who they hire to be their head coach.
There has been media talk and speculation that General Manager George Paton would be fired if the Broncos hired a head coach like Sean Payton who would want the final say in roster management. Klis states that Payton had a good working relationship with the Saints' General Manager Mickey Loomis for 15 years and that those two could coexist.
Contrary to some media speculation, George Paton is returning as the Broncos’ general manager, regardless of who Penner ultimately decides to hire as head coach. Remember, even if Sean Payton asks for final-say authority on roster decisions – as would be his right given his gravitas and resume – he had a productive and professional partnership with Saints’ GM Mickey Loomis that worked well for 15 years.
If the Broncos do hire Sean Payton, which is building some small momentum, he would very likely get the final say in roster decisions. Owner/CEO Greg Penner has already stated the new head coach would report directly to him which put Paton’s status in an awkward position. However, it appears that they already have some planned power structure between the owner, the new coach, and GM George Paton.
Despite being on the hot seat, and rightfully so, I think Paton has done enough to keep his job, at least through this draft process. Yes, the Wilson trade looks awful and hiring Hackett was a major bust, but Hackett has shown he is a damn good talent evaluator during his two drafts.
He selected cornerback Patrick Surtain II with his first pick and he is already the best cornerback in the league. He then got Javonte Williams who looked promising pre-injury and a starter along the offensive line in Quinn Meinerz. Baron Browning looks like a promising edge rusher, Caden Sterns flashed potential, and this past year, Greg Dulich and Damarri Mathis turned into key starters for the team and are likely starters next year.
If you can keep Paton in a talent evaluator position, a role he is comfortable with as a former scout, and working well with Sean Payton, we could have a really good Payton and Paton pairing.
If it does not work out, we could see Paton let go after the draft. Moving on from Paton now would not be smart considering it would leave the Broncos without any draft prep. So, if a move does happen in the near future, I would look for it then. However, I am hopeful the two can coexist and form a good working relationship together. Paton was a well-respected and sought-after general manager candidate, so it is possible Payton already has a good opinion of him.
In the end, Paton is not going anywhere, at least for now. We shall see what the future holds, especially if they hire Sean Payton. If they end up hiring David Shaw or specifically Dan Quinn, I do not see this being an issue at all. However, Klis going out of his way to mention it is just another indicator of Sean Payton likely being the Broncos' head coach.
We shall see if my instincts are correct here.