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Vikings exec George Paton selected as Broncos GM

Paton, a 14-year Vikings employee who was the top assistant to GM Rick Spielman, will be in charge of the draft, free agency and the roster for the Broncos.
Credit: AP
This undated photo provided by the Minnesota Vikings shows George Paton. John Elway's replacement as Broncos general manager will be Vikings executive George Paton. Elway announced the hiring Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Paton spent the last 14 seasons with Minnesota, including the last six as vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager. He's been one of the hottest names on the GM circuit in recent years. (Minnesota Vikings via AP)

The Denver Broncos have decided on a new general manager for the NFL franchise, and their gain is the Minnesota Vikings' loss. 

From five finalists for the job, Denver selected Vikings executive George Paton. He will report to Broncos legend John Elway, who is keeping his title as president of football operations as he transitions out of the GM role he's had for the last decade. 

Paton, a 14-year Vikings employee who was the top assistant to GM Rick Spielman, will be in charge of the draft, free agency and the roster for the Broncos. Bigger decisions facing the franchise will still be run past Elway. 

"Early in this process, it became clear why George has been such a coveted GM candidate for so many years," Elway said in a statement Wednesday. "He is a proven evaluator who knows every detail of leading football operations. With his experience in all aspects of the job -- the college and pro sides, salary cap, trades, working with the head coach and bringing the staff together -- George has waited and worked for the right opportunity, which shows that he is smart and serious about winning."

NFL Network's Tom Peliserro said Paton signed a 6-year deal with the Broncos, who tweeted that their new GM helped the Vikings acquire a league-high 13 Pro Bowlers during the last 10 NFL Drafts. 

Denver is coming off an injury-riddled 5-11 season, with the club mired in a four-year run of losing records, their worst stretch in the Super Bowl era.