This whole Eliot Wolf situation has been simmering in the background as the Green Bay Packers prepare to face the New York Giants. The current state of affairs — that director of football operations Eliot Wolf was allowed to interview for the 49ers general manger opening — came as a surprise. It was a surprise because Wolf was not allowed to interview for the same position in Detroit last year.
Even though it would have been a promotion, the situation is simple. The Lions requested permission to interview Wolf while the Packers’ season was still in progress. The Packers, thusly, did not have to grant permission and Ted Thompson chose not to. The Lions found someone else and moved on.
The situation was the same with the 49ers’ request this year. So why did the Packers grant permission this time around?
Apparently because the Wolfs — both Eliot and his father, Ron — were angry he was denied permission the previous year.
Friends of Wolf said he was disappointed not having the chance to speak with the Lions about a job for which sources said he was the frontrunner.
Moreover, those same people said Ron Wolf, the Packers’ retired GM and a mentor to Thompson, wasn’t pleased at all.
Obviously, it’s not the best idea to continually anger the people who work for you. Blocking your employees’ ascendence doesn’t do much for the working environment either.
With Thompson, it’s a unique situation. He was brought up under Ron Wolf and you’d expect they’re friends or, at the very least, share a mutual respect. So it must have been pretty awkward when Thompson denied the Lions’ request.
Now, of course, the Packers stand to lose Wolf. The good news is, there are plenty of good candidates to replace Thompson if Wolf does leave.