USA TODAY Sports
A new candidate emerges.
First reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer -- Paton will also be visiting with the Cleveland Browns over their vacant GM spot. Paton has been general manager Rick Spielman's right-hand man over the last several years, and is considered integral to the Vikings' success.
The song remains the same in terms of his background -- pro player scouting. There mounting evidence that the Carolina Panthers will aim to hire someone from professional talent evaluation standpoint, not in a college scouting role. Paton was a finalist for the St. Louis Rams' vacant GM spot last year, interviewing with the organization twice. The Vikings were so concerned with Paton leaving that they promoted him to assistant general manager, persuading him to stay in Minnesota at least another year. Now it's unlikely they'll be able to keep him away from a GM job for the second straight year.