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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Vikings set to hire another personnel executive

Vikings vice president Rick Spielman is about to reunite with one of his key colleagues from the Miami Dolphins.

The Vikings are finalizing a deal to hire George Paton to a significant personnel job, according to two league sources. Paton will work under Spielman and help him oversee the Vikings' college and pro scouting departments, much like a director of player personnel for many other teams.

That is a slight -- but significant -- promotion for Paton, who has been the Dolphins’ director of pro personnel since 2001.

A Dolphins spokesman declined comment, and a Vikings spokesman also declined comment.

This isn’t the first time Paton has followed Spielman to a new NFL city.

According to his biography in the Dolphins’ media guide, Paton’s first job was in 1997, with the Chicago Bears. At the time, Spielman was the Bears’ director of pro personnel. In 1998, Paton was promoted from a scouting assistant to pro scout. In 2000, Spielman left to become the Dolphins’ vice president of player personnel. In 2001, Paton was named to his current position with the Dolphins.

Paton was a four-year letterman as a defensive back at UCLA from 1988 to 1991. After graduating with a degree in history, he played professional football in Italy and Austria.

It is not clear how Paton's hire will impact anyone on the current staff. But no one under Spielman had the authority over both the pro and college scouting departments. Scott Studwell, who is the Vikings director of college scouting, is well-thought of in the organization.


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