Green Bay Packers: Top 5 Moves Ted Thompson Has Made
The signing was a blessing in disguise for Packer Nation as Thompson was responsible for the Packers winning their fourth Super Bowl championship in 2010.
There have been many moments that have left fans shaking their heads, but in the end, they have turned out to be defining moments in Thompson's tenure as general manager.
Out with the Old, in with the New
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During his first year as general manager, Thompson managed to make his mark on the team.
He started by cutting ties with some aging veterans who he didn't feel could contribute anymore. He decided to do a whole makeover of the team. He started by letting veterans Mike Wahle,OG and Darren Sharper,S and Marco Rivera,OG, go via free agency.
Thomspon caught a lot of flack by basically rebuilding the Packers(10-7) who were the defending NFC North champions. However, this rebuilding phase only lasted for about two years as the Packers were back in contention during the 2007 season.
Thompson had his plan coming in. In retrospect, it was big for him to bring in his guys who were going to compete longer than those veterans that he let walk.
Building Through the Draft
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The 2005 draft was one of the biggest in franchise history, in terms of long-term talent that was acquired.
It was also Thompson's first draft in which he was criticized for taking a quarterback in the first round. That quarterback? You guessed it Aaron Rodgers.
Thompson also drafted perennial Pro Bowler Nick Collins in 2005.
Thompson has found much of his talent through the draft.
Here's a list of notable draft picks:
- AJ Hawk LB
- Daryn Colledge OT
- Gregg Jennings WR
- James Jones WR
- Mason Crosby K
- Desmond Bishop LB
- Jordy Nelson WR
- Jermichael Finley TE
- Matt Flynn QB
- Clay Matthews LB
- BJ Raji NT
- TJ Lang OT
- Jarius Wynn DE
- Brad Jones OLB
- Bryan Bulaga OT
- Mike Neal DE
- Morgan Burnett S
- James Starks RB
- Randall Cobb WR
- Derek Sherrod OG
Not Trading for Randy Moss
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During the 2007 offseason, there were rumors that Thompson was going to trade with the Raiders for All-Pro receiver Randy Moss. The deal fell apart, and Moss was eventually traded to the Patriots who went 18-1 that year while losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl.
The Packers went 13-3 in 2007 and lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions in the NFC Championship. With the way the Giants were playing, there wasn't much Moss could've done for the Packers if they would've had him. Also, they couldn't have done much then they already did that year. Thompson not trading for Moss allowed the younger guys like Gregg Jennings to develop into playmakers.
Bringing in a guy like Moss could've tore the locker room apart and had a negative impact on the youngest team in the league.
Quarterback Brett Favre was angry that the deal fell through, but Thompson proved he was set in his ways and wasn't going to budge for anyone.
Diamond in the Rough Coach
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During the 2005 offseason, Ted Thompson fired fan-favorite head coach Mike Sherman and hired a former offensive coordinator for the same position.
Mike McCarthy had no prior head-coaching experience and spent the previous season as the offensive coordinator for the 49ers. His offense was ranked 32nd overall. There weren't many fans who were thrilled with this hiring, as well as Brett Favre who had lobbied to get Steve Mariucci hired.
Thompson proved he was in charge by not caring what others thought and sticking to his guns. McCarthy has since established himself as one of the franchises best head coaches.
He's helped lead his team to two NFC Championship appearances, 63 regular-season wins, four playoff appearances and the biggest accomplishment—the Super Bowl XLV championship.
Looking back, there's no doubt that Thompson made the right move by hiring McCarthy.
Letting the Old Gunslinger Roam Free
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For every person who agreed with Thompson at the time, there were three other people who would blast him for letting Brett Favre leave the team.
At the time, it looked like it would be a curse that would haunt the franchise for years to come, but Thompson handled the situation perfectly.
He had proper faith in Aaron Rodgers to give him the reigns of the team and never look back. Favre, as we all know, went to the Vikings and had a remarkable '09 campaign in which he demolished the Packers in two games.
At the end of the day, this team won a Super Bowl without Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers is a top-three quarterback in the league right now.
It has worked out perfectly, and looking back, it was the perfect move to not let Favre come back.