George Paton is going to be the Denver Broncos' next general manager. 

Paton spent the past 14 seasons in Minnesota and has served as the assistant general manager for the last eight. Here's five things to know about Paton:

He and Rick Spielman were one of the best front office duos

The Vikings' GM, Rick Spielman, is considered one of the best in the league. And a large part of that was because of Paton. 


From a friend's couch to Broncos GM, George Paton's journey Denver starts in a Chicago basement

George Paton: 'I feel like this team is a sleeping giant'

Paton has been Minnesota's "salary cap expert" and is widely respected in Minnesota's front office. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero told that "George Paton is one of the most universally respected personnel men in the entire NFL."

Paton helped bring in players like quarterback Kirk Cousins, running back Dalvin Cook and undrafted wide receiver Adam Thielen. The Vikings have had 55 Pro Bowl selections since Paton joined the organization in 2007. 

He's turned down several GM jobs

Due to the Vikings' success under Spielman's and Paton's leadership, Paton has been through several GM interviews over the years. This year, he interviewed in Detroit and Carolina for their openings before choosing Denver.

In previous years, he interviewed with the Rams in 2012, declined requests from the Jets in 2013, and interviewed with the Bears, Dolphins and Jets in 2014. He interviewed with the Colts and 49ers in 2017, and turned down one with the Chiefs. And he withdrew himself from the Browns job last year. 

He walked on as DB at UCLA

Before getting into the NFL, Paton was a standout player. He played quarterback and defensive back at Loyola High School in Los Angeles before walking on at UCLA. 

He played defensive back for the Bruins for four years under legendary coach Terry Donahue and earned a scholarship by his senior season. He was considered one of the hardest workers on the team, according to his college roommate and teammate, John Winnek. 

"He's super intense," Winnek said. "He's one of those guys who does things 100 mph. He gives everything his all to whatever he's doing."

He played professional football in Italy, Austria

After his time at UCLA, where he graduated with a bachelor's in history, Paton spent the next three years playing and coaching overseas.

He was a player/coach for a few professional football teams in Italy and Austria, before deciding to return to the United States and become a high school coach at his alma mater. 

He was a 'sophomore coach' before getting his break in NFL

When Paton returned to the U.S. in 1994, he became the coach of the Loyola High School sophomore team, also known as the junior varsity squad. Paton served in this role for three seasons before getting his break with the Bears in 1997. 

Paton's high school friend, teammate and future assistant coach at Loyola, Chris Rising, said Loyola "probably had the best coached sophomore team in the country" thanks to Paton. 

Load comments