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Gutekunst succeeds Thompson as Packers GM

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Brian Gutekunst was promoted to general manager of the Green Bay Packers on Monday after working the last two seasons as the team’s player personnel director.

He succeeds Ted Thompson, who is staying with the organization as a senior adviser. The Packers said Gutekunst will have complete control over all roster decisions, including the draft and free agency.

The Packers went 7-9 in an injury-plagued season, finishing with a losing record and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Gutekunst has been with the organization for nearly two decades after being hired in 1998 by Hall of Famer Ron Wolf.

The team also promoted Russ Ball to executive vice president/director of football operations. Ball has been the salary cap expert and chief contract negotiator as the team’s vice president of football administration/player finance.

Team president Mark Murphy announced the promotions, as well a change in organizational structure. Gutekunst, Ball and coach Mike McCarthy will all report directly to Murphy.

“The process of identifying our next general manager gave us the opportunity to analyze our entire football operation,” Murphy said. “While we have enjoyed a lot of success, we need to improve.”

He said the change will increase the “frequency of communication and collaboration. Ultimately, it will make the Packers better.”

–Associated Press

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