- Ted Thompson
DateOfBirth=birth date and age|1953|1|17
Bring Brett Favre back=
Ted Thompson (born
January 17, 1953, in Atlanta, Texas) is the current general manager of the NFL's Green Bay Packersfranchise. Thompson was named to the post on January 14 2005by Packers president and CEO Bob Harlan. Thompson took over the general manager duties from Mike Shermanwho had been serving as both head coach and general manager. Prior to becoming the Packers' general manager, Thompson served with the Seattle Seahawksas their vice president of operations from 2000 to 2004. Thompson had previously worked for the Packers organization from 1992 to 1999, serving as their assistant director of pro personnel in 1992, their director of pro personnel from 1993 to 1997, and as their director of player personnel from 1997 to 1999. Thompson also had a 10 year playing career in the NFL as a linebackerand special teamsplayer with the Houston Oilersfrom 1975 to 1984.
Career as a Player
Ted Thompson was signed by the
Houston Oilersas an undrafted free agent out of Southern Methodist University in 1975. Thompson won a spot as a back-up linebacker and special teams player and held this position for 10 years. Although Thompson only started eight games during his career, he proved durable playing in 146 of 147 games.
Thompson worked in
Seattlealong with former Packers and current Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren. During Thompson's five seasons in Seattle, the Seahawks advanced to the playoffs twice. Several players Thompson helped acquire through the draft played key roles on these teams. Some of the notable players Thompson selected in his tenure with the Seahawks were running back Shaun Alexander, kicker Josh Brown, guard Steve Hutchinson, and wide receiver Darrell Jackson, cornerbacks Marcus Trufantand Ken Lucas, safeties Ken Hamlinand Michael Boulware. Thompson also missed on a number of questionable, at best, first day draft picks in Seattle including: First round pick Chris McIntoshin 2000, second round pick Ike Charltonin 2000, first round pick Koren Robinsonin 2001, second round pick Anton Palepoiin 2002, third round pick Kris Richardin 2002, and first round pick Marcus Tubbsin 2004. In 2005, however, following Thompson's departure to the Packers, the Seahawks had their best success in team history, reaching the Super Bowl. Naming Tim Ruskell the new president of football operations, the Seahawks were more aggressive utilizing free agency in 2005. They also were able to re-sign All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones to a multi-year contract, QB Matt Hasselbeckto a long-term contract and able to keep RB Shaun Alexanderby declaring him their "franchise player". The 2005 second round draft pick, LB Lofa Tatupu, is credited with bringing the Seattle defense to the next level and helping get the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
Mike Shermanas general manager of the Packers in 2005. When Thompson was hired the Packers were over the salary capfor the upcoming 2005 season. Some of Thompson's first decisions included declining to resign starting guards Mike Wahleand Marco Riveraand releasing starting safety Darren Sharper, three key components of the team's three-time NFC North division championship team. Thompson's first draft netted a quarterback in first round pick Aaron Rodgers, as well as defensive starters in safety Nick Collinsand linebacker Brady Poppinga. The drafting of Rodgers was especially notable in that he had been expected to be selected much earlier in the draft but wound up falling to the late first round. In free agency following the draft, Thompson signed low-priced players, picking up guards Matt O'Dwyerand Adrian Klemmto make up for the losses of Wahle and Rivera. However, O'Dwyer was cut during training camp, and Klemm was benched towards the end of the season. Thompson acquired several free agents during the season that proved more successful, including running back Samkon Gado, tight end Donald Leeand wide receiver Rod Gardner. Still, the team struggled to overcome injuries at numerous offensive skill positions, most notably season-ending injuries to #1 running back Ahman Green, #2 RB Najeh Davenportand #1 wide receiver Javon Walker, and Green Bay finished the season with a 4-12 record, the worst record for the franchise since 1991.
Thompson's first action during the 2006 offseason was the firing of head coach
Mike Sherman. Sherman was replaced on January 12, 2006 by Mike McCarthy, who came to the Packers after previously serving in the role of offensive coordinator for both the San Francisco 49ersand New Orleans Saints. McCarthy also served as quarterback coach for the Packers in 1999, giving him hands-on experience with franchise quarterback Brett Favreand some familiarity with Thompson. The hiring was considered a surprise to many in NFL circles, as McCarthy was not considered a prime head coaching candidate despite the number of head coaching vacancies.
In terms of talent acquisition, the 2006 offseason was a modestly impressive one for Thompson and the Packers. The Packers entered the offseason with a league best $32 million available under the salary cap. However, Thompson elected not to retain several veterans including kicker
Ryan Longwell, center Mike Flanagan, or linebacker Na'il Diggs. Thompson retained several other veterans, as the team resigned Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Kampman, running back Ahman Green, guard Kevin Barryand fullback William Hendersonto new contracts. Thompson also was more active in free agency than he was in 2005, focusing mostly on defense by signing safety Marquand Manuelfrom the Seattle Seahawks, defensive tackle Ryan Pickettfrom the St. Louis Rams, linebacker Ben Taylorfrom the Cleveland Browns, and defensive back Charles Woodsonfrom the Oakland Raiders.
2006 NFL Draft, Thompson amassed 12 picks and continued his restructuring on the defensive side of the football. With the fifth overall pick in the draft, Thompson selected linebacker A.J. Hawkfrom Ohio State. Thompson later added another Big Ten linebacker, Abdul Hodgefrom Iowa. Thompson also addressed offensive deficiencies during the draft by nabbing wide receiver Greg Jennings, guard Jason Spitzand guard Daryn Colledge. Several of these draft picks have contributed almost immediately to the Packers' lineup. Jennings, Colledge, Spitz, and Hawk started the entire year and a 5th round pick, Tony Moll, started 10 games in his rookie season while other offensive linemen were out with injuries. Jennings, Hawk, and Colledge were also selected to NFL's official all-rookie team.
Thompson's 2006 free agency work is generally regarded as an improvement over his 2005 results. Although Manuel was a disappointment and Barry suffered a season ending injury in training camp Pickett, Green, and Woodson had strong 2006 seasons.
The 2007 season was a successful one for Thompson and the Packers. With a league-best $21 million available below the salary cap, the Packers' lone free agent signing in the offseason was former NY Giants cornerback
Frank Walker. There were rumors indicating that the team was interested in trading for Oakland Raiderswide receiver Randy Moss, but Moss was instead dealt to the New England Patriots. Most notably, in September Thompson traded a 6th round pick in the 2008 NFL Draftfor New York Giants' running back Ryan Grant, who was starting by game eight and went on to have an outstanding season.
2007 NFL Draft, Thompson selected University of Tennesseedefensive tackle Justin Harrellwith the #16 overall selection in the first round (they received this pick from another team). This move was a surprise selection to many fans because Harrell was not a widely known player and many felt the team had more pressing needs. In addition, more widely-acclaimed players such as Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinnwere still available at that selection. Thompson was booed by many of the 2,000 fans in attendance at the Packers Draft Party in the Lambeau Field Atrium as a result of the pick. Fans and draft prognosticators also widely panned Thompson's selection of James Jones in the third round. Despite heavy criticism, Harrell, Jones, and several of Thompson's other 2007 draft picks played significant roles for the Packers during the 2007 season. Although Harrell was recovering from a college biceps injury, he played significantly in the Packers final five games because of injuries to other players. James Jones served as the Packers' third receiver and finished third among rookies in receiving (47 receptions for 676 yards). Other notable members of the Packers' 2007 draft class include running backs Brandon Jacksonand DeShawn Wynn, who were early season starters for the Packers, Korey Hall, who served as the team's starting fullback, safety Aaron Rouse, who tallied two interceptions while filling in for injured players, and kicker Mason Crosby, who led the NFL in scoring in 2007.
Despite the offseason criticism preceding the 2007 season, Thompson and the Packers were the surprise team of the NFL through the 2007 season, as they finished the regular season with a 13–3 record. The Packers made it to the NFC Championship game, losing to eventual Super Bowl champions the
New York Giants, 23-20 in overtime.
Thompson was voted Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year for his 2007 work on March 25, 2008.
The 2008 offseason and training camp has been a rather rocky one thus far that Thompson has had to endure. While free agency was quiet, with the team's lone signing being linebacker
Brandon Chillar, Thompson has been at the center of the controversy surrounding quarterback Brett Favre's desire to play during the 2008 season. Thompson, along with Packers' management and head coach Mike McCarthy, have been adamant about their desire to move on with Aaron Rodgersas the team's new starting quarterback. Favre, meanwhile, has expressed through national television his frustration with Thompson regarding hiring and personnel decisions. As a result, on July 11th, 2008, Favre along with his agent James "Bus" Cookasked for his unconditional release from the Green Bay Packers. Thompson had repeatedly stated that the team will not release him and at the time were engaged in a standoff with Favre that could have ended with Favre taking up to a $25 million buyout to remain retired and participate in a marketing and merchandising role with the team. Thompson and the Packers have also kicked around the idea of trading Favre to another NFC Northrival as a last resort, presumably the Minnesota Vikings(Favre's preferred destination), should an agreement with the Packers not be worked out.
On August 6th, 2008, Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional 4th round pick. The pick becomes a third-round pick if Favre takes the majority of the team's snaps at quarterback, a second-round pick if he takes 70 percent of the snaps and the team makes the playoffs, and a first-round pick if Favre takes 80 percent of the snaps at quarterback and the Jets reach
Super Bowl XLIII. The Jets will also owe the Packers three first-round picks if Favre is traded to an NFC North team.
* [http://www.packers.com/team/staff/thompson_ted/ Profile of Ted Thompson]
* [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=292988 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article highlighting the hiring of Ted Thompson as Packers GM]
* [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=410813 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article discussing 2006 free agency to date]
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