Packers’ Decision Regarding the New President’s Education Policy

Packers’ Decision Regarding the New President’s Education Policy Was Correct

The top applicant from Green Bay for a significant position was already inside the structure. Trevor Lawrences also discusses expectations, Brandon Aiyuk, the Panthers stadium, and other topics.
You should take notice of the Green Bay Packers’ choice to choose Ed Policy as their president, CEO, and chairman. Not because it comes as a surprise (this one was almost as shocking as the Chicago Bears selecting Caleb Williams first overall in April), but rather because of the significance of the impending change.

The position that Mark Murphy has held for Policy since 2007 is the closest one in the NFL to ownership without actually owning a team of your own, even if Policy won’t own the Packers.

And that’s one reason why Green Bay ran such a thorough process, going above and beyond what was required through the league’s mandated hiring practices, even with such an obvious successor to Murphy right down the hall from the sitting president.

That process started in the winter, with the team assembling a search committee made up of its own board members, and retaining the search firm Korn Ferry. They sketched out a list of around 90 candidates to work from and got that number down to around 10 by Memorial Day. Then, over the past month, that group did a round of Zoom interviews with the search committee, and a smaller group of finalists was invited to Green Bay for a final round of in-person interviews to wrap up the process.

All of this is coming a year ahead of time. By team bylaw, Murphy is required to step aside at 70 years old. He’ll turn 70 on July 13, 2025, and the plan was to set this up for a transition that can happen over a year’s time. With Policy already in-house, it’ll be easy for Murphy to captain that transition, before ceding the position a year from now.

And for everyone else in Green Bay, it sure feels like this is the right conclusion.

Again, that position is unlike any in major American sports, where the team president more or less functions as the owner at league meetings, and as the one voting on league proposals and holding the final say on any big hire within the organization. It’s not a football position, per se. But it’s adjacent, with the current structure having GM Brian Gutekunst, coach Matt LaFleur and EVP of football operations Russ Ball all reporting to Murphy.

It’s also one Policy’s proven himself suited for over the past 12 years. The son of former San Francisco 49ers president Carmen Policy, who ran that franchise during its Joe Montana–Steve Young glory days, and a Stanford Law graduate, Ed was plucked by the Packers from the league office in 2012 to be the team’s general counsel, with the idea this could eventually happen.

Six years later, he became COO, and led the team’s construction of the Titletown district, while also spearheading TitletownTech, a venture with Microsoft focused on discovering and investing in tech startups.

So he had a half dozen years in each role and impacted a lot of folks along the way.

“I have been fortunate enough to know Ed for over a decade and worked with him during my tenure in Green Bay,” said Tennessee Titans president of football operations Chad Brinker, who worked in personnel for the Packers from 2010 to ’22, via text. “Ed’s a great fit for who the Packers have been and where they are headed. The variety of experiences that have shaped him—in Green Bay, as a consultant for the NFL, Arena League commissioner, a lifetime around the game—and his presence as a communicator and a leader are unique.

“In my mind, he is what Green Bay has been about, which is finding, training and developing talent, while also having a vision for the future. The seamless transition from Mark to Ed will be a great benefit to the Packers and their trajectory.”

Brinker himself was someone Policy mentored on the business side of the game and one of the dozens who saw, on a day-to-day basis, how the whip-smart exec blended that business acumen with all the institutional knowledge he’s had literally growing up as a person, and then a professional, in the league. Add that to his ability to connect with folks (this was a very popular decision internally last week), while bringing humility to a position that requires a decisive hand (something Murphy did too), and the call here became academic.

Yes, it was a significant one. Ultimately, though, that wasn’t the hardest decision to make.

• From last week’s talk with Trevor Lawrence, I do have one remaining.

When it comes to his position within the organization, the quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars doesn’t have a great legacy to follow—at least not one like that of Drake Maye in New England or Bo Nix in Denver—so I asked him about his thoughts on the opportunity that has been given to him.

“There’s been some great players here. Mark Brunell, Blake Bortles, David Garrard,” Lawrence says. “There’s been guys that have been great players, and I don’t want to discredit any of those guys. But obviously, we’re a newer team, and I’m sure you know we don’t get a ton of respect around the league. So it feels good to be in a position now where, when I got here as a rookie, didn’t have any respect, we weren’t good that year, had a really bad year, and we were able to bounce back the year after. Now, expectations have flipped.

“That’s exciting in and of itself. And obviously there’s a lot more work to do. The dream is to win a championship here, and to be able to do that would be amazing, not only for pride for myself, but for our team and for this city. Winning a championship can do so much good for a city. And Jacksonville, I think, is primed for that. It feels good to be playing for a team that hasn’t gotten much respect over the years, I don’t know, for me, that’s exciting.”

• It’s still wild to me that Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper was able to get $650 million in public funding to renovate Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte, just a couple of years after his Rock Hill practice facility project went kaput. South Carolina pledged $290 million in public funding for that project, and when the bonds didn’t come on time, Tepper wound up shutting the whole thing down, leaving an unsightly, gigantic hunk of steel and concrete in the suburban town near an interstate interchange.

The city council, rather than the people of Charlotte, voted the stadium renovation funding through.

The upside here is that the stadium has one of the best physical locations in the NFL, and Charlotte’s proven to be a good market for the league in the 30 seasons since coming aboard as an expansion team. So it’s good that they’re staying specifically where they are. I just can’t imagine there are very many other NFL cities where Tepper would’ve been able to take the route that he did.

• I’d remind everyone assuming that Brandon Aiyuk is done with the Niners that things were worse with Deebo Samuel and the team two years ago, and an extension got done.

Based on what they’ve already offered Aiyuk, it’s crystal clear that San Francisco very much wants to keep its No. 1 receiver. My guess would be when the dust clears, the sides will be able to find some common ground and get something done. We’ll see.

• It’s fair to say that Travis Kelce’s visibility is at an all-time high, thanks to a certain iconic girlfriend he’s got. I’m not sure any football player did anything this month that got the attention Kelce did for his appearance on stage at Taylor Swift’s concert in London over the weekend. Which, in turn, is obviously very good for the NFL—and why so many people suspected this was a ruse at the start (we’re well past that, at this point).

• Hearing New York Jets receiver Garrett Wilson call last year “the worst year of my life” to ESPN’s Rich Cimini was eye-opening to me, because it came a week after I’d heard Robert Saleh laud the receiver’s professionalism and reliance in making it through the mess of 2023. I’d say that bodes well for where Wilson’s career is going from here.

The Kansas City Chiefs made the decision on Monday to cut Isaiah Buggs following two sets of offseason charges (one for animal cruelty and the other for domestic violence/burglary). This move is noteworthy because Kansas City has struggled off the field in the previous two seasons but has resisted cutting players before this one.

• As a programming note, we will have a mailbag for you on Wednesday. After that, I will post my regular Monday content, albeit a little shortened, before taking a few weeks off to refuel for training camp and the season.

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