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Is this the year the Vikings finally lose George Paton?

There are some connections out there

Vikings' Assistant GM George Paton has been a hot name over the past couple of seasons.
Yep. . .still using the same picture of George Paton.
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Nearly every offseason since 2012, when there has been a General Manager opening in the National Football League, the name of Minnesota Vikings’ assistant GM George Paton has been connected to the search in some way. He has had numerous interviews for positions outside of Minnesota over the years, but has always chosen to stay as Rick Spielman’s right-hand man.

With half a dozen GM openings across the league this season, is there a chance that the Vikings could finally lose Paton? Over behind the great E$PN paywall, Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano think that there’s at least a chance that it finally happens because Paton has connections with at least a couple of clubs that have openings.

The Vikings’ VP of player personnel/assistant GM has bowed out of several GM jobs in the past, most recently turning down an offer from the Browns. But there’s a belief he’s more ready to make the move than in the past, and his interview with the Lions was in person, in Detroit.

Paton has a strong connection there, too — Chris Spielman, special adviser on the Lions search, is the brother of Vikings GM Rick Spielman, who has worked with Paton for the better part of two decades. Paton also is interviewing with the Broncos, where his nephew, Rob Paton, is a scout.

Paton is very highly regarded across the NFL as a personnel guy, and it’s actually pretty surprising that he’s stayed with the Vikings as long as he has. As we mentioned previously, he’s had plenty of opportunities over the course of the past few years and has even turned down potential interviews with numerous teams. It seems to be more of a matter of when Paton is going to leave Minnesota as opposed to if.

This is just one of a number of situations that we’re going to need to keep an eye on over the course of this offseason, and whenever there’s some movement on this issue we’ll have the news for you as soon as we can get it out.

(Hat tip to the folks at The Vikings Wire for noticing this tidbit first.)