After Mark Murphy’s recent comment calling Aaron Rodgers a “complicated fella,” it has been suggested by many that the Packers’ President and CEO might have overstayed his welcome in Green Bay. Murphy, himself, was a former NFL player. In addition, he was the Athletic Director at Northwestern University. It stands to reason, then, that whoever replaces Murphy would have a similar background in administration. Here, we present three individuals who would be incredible replacement candidates should Murphy be let go or retire.
Eliot Wolf- Former Packers Executive
Eliot Wolf has a long history that ties him to the Green Bay Packers. His father, of course, is the legendary Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf. The senior Wolf was responsible for the constructing the Super Bowl XXXI winning team.
Eliot Wolf has held several administrative positions with the Packers in the past. From 2004-2008, he was a pro personnel assistant. In 2009, he was promoted to the Assistant Director of Pro Personnel. He held that position until 2012 when he was named Director of Pro Personnel. In 2015, Wolf was again promoted. This time he was named Director of Player Personnel. Wolf held that position for just one year because he was promoted again. In 2016, he became the Packers’ Director of Football Operations.
After Ted Thompson was fired, Eliot Wolf was one of the leading candidates to take over as Packers’ general manager. However, the position went to Brian Gutekunst and Wolf took an Assistant General Manager role with the Cleveland Browns. He held that position until 2019. Last season, Wolf was hired as a front office consultant for the New England Patriots.
Greg Byrne is the current Athletic Director of Alabama, the college football power house. Since assuming the position in 2017, the University of Alabama has won two National Championships in football. Prior to coming to Alabama, Byrne was the Athletic Director of the University of Arizona from 2010-2017. During his tenure, Arizona won a National Championship in baseball in 2012. From 2008-2010, he was the Athletic Director of Mississippi State University.
The downside to Byrne, of course, is that he does not have any experience working for any professional franchise. Mark Murphy did not either, but he at least played in the NFL. That being said, Greg Byrne has shown great leadership presiding over one of the best football programs in the history of college sports. Would he be open to leaving such a high-profile position? Perhaps President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers would be high-profile enough to lure him away, but who knows?
Dawn Aponte has been an administrative force in the NFL for 25 years. The following is a quote from her bio on NFL.com: “Throughout her 25 years in football, Aponte has developed expertise in matters relating to contract negotiations, salary cap management, labor and CBA issues, and day-to-day management of the football business and administration operations.” That sounds exactly like the kind of person the Packers need as President and CEO.
In order to hire Aponte, though, the Packers would need to convince her that working for one NFL franchise is more desireable than working for the NFL as a whole. Currently, Aponte is the Chief Football Adminstrative Officer for the NFL. Stepping down to help run a single franchise might be a bit of a demotion for her. However, her expertise in the areas of contract neotiation and salary cap management make her the ideal fit for Green Bay.
Will Mark Murphy be fired? It would take a special meeting of the board to make that happen, and no such meeting is scheduled. At least, none that is public knowledge. One thing is certain: Aaron Rodgers and Mark Murphy are at some kind of impass. Rodgers disagrees with Murphy’s philosophy of running a team. Murphy views Rodgers as some kind of problem. After all, when Matt LaFleur was hired, Murphy reportedly told Rodgers, “Don’t be the problem.” Clearly, there is tension, and this is not the first time Murphy bungled communication with a Hall of Fame quarterback. Perhaps it is time to go.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content
Follow me on Twitter at @theotherAdams14 and follow us @WiscoHeroics1 for more great content. Check out our merch page here and use promo code Wisco at check out for $1 off! To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!