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Ted Thompson has shocked some in Packer nation by actually signing a few free agents in 2012. Thompson and the Packers have already signed C Jeff Saturday, DE Daniel Muir and DE Anthony Hargrove in free agency.
Thompson is not done, either.
The Packers are currently hosting DE/OLB Dave Tollefson during a free-agent visit. If the Packers sign Tollefson, there would be a very obvious theme. Besides being very capable NFL players, all of the new additions have something that everyone in the Green Bay organization strives for. That would be a Super Bowl ring. Tollefson already has two, just by himself.
Thompson has an excellent track record in Green Bay since he took over the front office in 2005. The reason?
Thompson has stayed true to his formula. Thompson has built the roster of the Packers primarily through the use of the draft. Thompson has also re-signed free agents on his own team, as opposed to signing players from other teams, although he will at rare times—like this year.
Thompson is better known for signing "street" or rookie free agents. Players like CB Tramon Williams, CB Sam Shields, QB Graham Harrell, TE Tom Crabtree, DL Howard Green, LB Robert Francois and S Charlie Peprah fall into this category.
Whatever Thompson does usually works. The proof is in the pudding. Thompson must stay true to his philosophy in 2012 as well. He also must stay true to his past experiences—especially the ones that have led to success.
Sometimes, Thompson will take risks. It was somewhat risky when he signed Charles Woodson as a free agent in 2006. It was definitely risky when he traded Brett Favre in 2008. It was also risky when he traded three draft picks to move up to select Clay Matthews in the the first round of the 2009 NFL draft.
As you can see, Thompson can be aggressive in his goal to bring another Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown. The Packers have 12 picks in the 2012 NFL draft. Four of those 12 picks came via the compensatory route (two fourth-round picks and two seventh-round picks), as the NFL announced last week.
Teams cannot trade compensatory picks, but all the other picks can be utilized to move up and select a player a team may find as an ideal fit on their respective team. That is what happened in 2009, when Thompson traded three picks to move up and select Matthews.
As a matter of fact, Thompson traded up in three straight drafts—2008, 2009 and 2010.
That all led to the Packers winning Super Bowl XLV after the 2010 season. Then the Packers went 15-1 in 2011, only to lose in the postseason to the eventual Super Bowl champions...the New York Giants.
Thompson knows the Packers are a championship-caliber team, a team he himself has developed. That is why he will do what it takes (within reason) to bring another championship to Green Bay.