George Paton will remain with Vikings

A key member of the Minnesota Vikings front office has accepted an offer to remain with the team rather than pursue the St. Louis Rams general manager job.

George Paton, a longtime friend and colleague of Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, was one of two finalists for the Rams job. He was scheduled to meet with owner Stan Kroenke over the weekend and was considered the favorite for the job, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

But there is widespread uncertainty in the NFL about the authority of the position the Rams are hiring for, given their decision to hire an established coach in Jeff Fisher. Late Friday night, Paton decided to stay with the Vikings under the new title of assistant general manager, according to the team.

That title will clarify the role Paton has played for much of his five years with the Vikings, heading the pro scouting department and having a supervisory role over college scouting as well. His connection with Spielman began when the two were with the Chicago Bears in the late 1990's. Paton eventually joined Spielman with the Miami Dolphins in 2001 and then with the Vikings in 2006.