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    Jim Thomas: Paton, Snead finalists for Rams GM Job

    By Jim Thomas, St Louis Post Dispatch

    After a lengthy process to hire a general manager, with the number of candidates interviewed approaching double figures, the Rams are reaching the finish line.
    Emerging as the two finalists Friday night were Minnesota director of player personnel George Paton and Atlanta director of player personnel Les Snead.
    And multiple sources told the Post-Dispatch on Friday that it's Paton's job to lose. Paton came upon the scene late. He wasn't among the original list of candidates the Rams received permission to interview in early January. He didn't interview with the Rams until Jan. 31, but was impressive enough that he was brought back Monday for a second interview.
    Paton has been director of player personnel for the Vikings for the last five seasons. He also had stints with the Miami Dolphins from 2001-06 as director of pro personnel, and before that was in the Chicago Bears' front office. Paton played defensive back at UCLA from 1988-91.
    Snead, meanwhile, was among the first three candidates to interview with the Rams. In fact, his interview came before Jeff Fisher was hired as head coach and took place with Kevin Demoff, Rams executive vice president for football operations.
    But after Fisher was hired, Snead had a second interview with the Rams on Feb. 1, to give him a chance to get in front of Fisher.
    Snead has been with Atlanta's personnel department for 13 seasons, including the past three in his current position. He played tight end in college at Auburn and got his first NFL personnel job as a scout for Jacksonville in 1995.
    Paton and Snead are expected to meet with Rams owner Stan Kroenke this weekend, and the new GM could be in place by early next week.
    According to a variety of league sources, including in some cases the candidates themselves, six GM candidates have been eliminated from consideration: Lake Dawson, vice president of player personnel for Tennessee; Joey Clinkscales, vice president of college scouting for the New York Jets; Brian Gaine, director of player personnel for Miami; Tom Gamble, director of player personnel for San Francisco; Ron Hill, vice president of football operations for the NFL; and Steve Keim, director of player personnel for Arizona.
    All have been notified by the Rams that they are out of the running.
    "They wanted to know if I would be interested in another position, but I declined," Hill said. "I would not leave the VP job here (with the NFL) for anything other than a GM job."
    Dawson and Gaine were considered up-and-comers, but perhaps a little short on experience. Keim and Clinkscales were among the only candidates with a lot of experience in college scouting. Keim, in particular, has a good reputation as an evaluator of college prospects and had some support within the building at Rams Park. Gamble has a strong résumé, with experience at the college and pro levels.
    Paton's experience is almost exclusively in pro personnel, but he is considered bright and works well with others.
    The Rams have received very good reviews on his work with the Vikings, who despite recent struggles have had good success both in the draft and free agency.
    If Paton is indeed the new GM, he will get some help from another Snead — Rich Snead. Leagues sources said Friday that he has been hired by the Rams. Snead's exact title is unclear at this point, but he has extensive experience in college scouting and worked with Fisher previously in Tennessee's front office.
    All told, the Rams are known to have interviewed nine candidates for the GM position. One of the first interviewees, Ryan Grigson, was hired as GM by Indianapolis.
    The Rams also received permission to interview Omar Khan, director of business and administration for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but after initial indications that he would interview this week it now looks as if that interview will not take place.
    -----------------------------

    Interesting to say the least, excited to see who gets it.


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    Re: Jim Thomas: Paton, Snead finalists for Rams GM Job

    Paton was just promoted to assistant GM in Minny...

    I wonder if one eliminated person will be elevated to at least give Kroenke another candidate to minimally compete with Les Snead, or if this means it's Les Sneads job uncontested

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    Re: Jim Thomas: Paton, Snead finalists for Rams GM Job

    Jim Thomas just tweeted that Les Snead will go into contract talks with the Rams.

    Guess we found him.

    Rams entering contract talks w/atlantas les snead to make him teams new gm. -- jthom1 (@jthom1)

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