In terms of making trades, Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers does not make many that involve getting players who are currently on NFL rosters. Thompson has only done that on five occasions since 2005, when he became executive vice president, general manager and director of football operations.
That was after Thompson had been in the Seattle Seahawks front office from 2000-2004, helping Mike Holmgren. Thompson started out his NFL front-office career in 1992 in Green Bay, where he was mentored by general manager Ron Wolf. Thompson worked primarily in the pro personnel department in his first stint with the Packers that lasted through 1999.
The most notable player Thompson has traded for since he came back to Green Bay was RB Ryan Grant, who Thompson acquired in 2007 for a sixth-round draft pick (to be used in the 2008 NFL draft).
That pick, along with two others, was used in the 2009 draft to move up and select LB Clay Matthews in the first round after a trade with the New England Patriots. Matthews was the second pick of the first round that year for the Packers, with the first selection being defensive lineman B.J. Raji.
The NFL draft is where Thompson does most of his maneuvering. Thompson has made 20 trades involving draft picks.
I believe this is where Thompson will do his wheeling and dealing again in 2012. In fact, I think Thompson will be aggressive again in the 2012 draft and trade up, just like he did in the 2009 draft. Thompson also traded up in the 2008 and 2010 drafts.
Thompson also will probably trade back a time or two in this year's draft, as that is his trademark.
However, if Thompson is going to make a trade for a current NFL player, I believe he may talk to an old friend in Oakland. Reggie McKenzie is the new general manager of the Oakland Raiders after being in the Green Bay front office since 1994.
McKenzie has worked closely with Thompson in his two tenures with the Packers and was named director of football operations in 2008 by Thompson before he left for Oakland earlier this year.
McKenzie took over the top job with the Raiders after the death of legendary owner Al Davis. McKenzie inherited a team with many problems. He has had to fire the coaching staff and hire a new one, plus has inherited a salary cap that is way over the expected cap limit that will be around $120 million.
McKenzie has had to make difficult personnel decisions because of that situation, which included cutting CB Stanford Routt last month. Even with the release of Routt, the Raiders still have a payroll that exceeds $145 million. Obviously, McKenzie still has a lot of work to do.
Add to all of that, the Raiders do not have a selection in the 2012 draft until the fifth round thanks to trades (Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell, etc.) and a supplemental draft selection (Terrelle Pryor).
That leads me to a deal that I believe Thompson might think about making with McKenzie for outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.