Ted Thompson's Five Worst Moves as Green Bay Packers General Manager
Ted Thompson has made some great moves as the Packers General Manager, but like all General Managers in the NFL, Thompson has made some moves that if he could do over he surely would.
Here is a look at Thompson's biggest mistakes as
General Manager of the Packers.
Releasing Jon Ryan
Canadian punter Jon Ryan was not spectacular when he was with the Green Bay Packers, but he was consistent; which made his release shortly before the start of the 2008 season very puzzling.
Thompson felt that the team needed someone who could do a better job of directional kicking and pin opposing offenses near their own goal line. Since Ryan's release,the Packers punting game has struggled to find any sort of consistency.
The Packers replaced Ryan with Nick Frost, who did not even finish the season before being replaced by Jeremy Kapinos.
Although below average in his time with the Packers in 2008, Kapinos was given the punting job in 2009 and had one of the worst net punting averages in the league.
This year the Packers have brought in Tim Masthay. who was released by the Colts before the season last year, and Australian rules football player Chris Bryan, neither of whom have any real NFL experience.
And although the coaching staff has had very positive things to say about both players, there is some doubt on whether or not either one will be the starting punter for the Packers when the season starts.
Not Making a Play for Randy Moss
Before the 2007 season there were rumors of a trade of Randy Moss to the Packers. Although it was confirmed that the trade was discussed, how close this came to actually happening is anyone's guess.
Rumors have persisted that this trade not happening was one of the biggest causes of friction between Favre and Thompson.
The New England Patriots ended up trading Moss in exchange for a fourth round pick. Moss helped the Patriots reach the Super Bowl in 2007 putting up astounding numbers 23 touchdowns and 1,493 yards, along the way.
Would Moss have had as big of an impact on the Packers? No one knows for sure, but it is possible considering the Packers were one overtime field goal away from getting to the Super Bowl.
Cutting Anthony Smith
Thompson has been widely criticized for his lack of free agent signings, but the signing of Anthony Smith last year seemed like a great fit.
Smith was a young and talented safety who underperformed in Pittsburgh, but Smith had experience in the Packers' new 3-4 defensive scheme.
Smith made some plays in the preseason, causing some speculation that he could take some playing time away from Atari Bigby. To the surprise of many, Smith was released in the last round of cuts before the season started.
Compounding Smith's release was the release of Aaron Rouse a few weeks later, leaving the Packers secondary with only Derrick Martin, Matt Giordano, and Jarrett Bush behind Nick Collins and Bigby.
Ultimately, it could be argued that the lack of experience in the secondary was responsible for the Packers eventual downfall.
Selecting Justin Harrell
Justin Harrell has seen the field in only 13 games since being selected with the 16th pick in the 2007 draft. In those 13 games he has two starts, 28 tackles, and 0 sacks.
Lack of talent is not what made the pick of Harrell a bad one, nor is it why he has been so unproductive as a pro. What made the choice so poor was Harrell's injury history, which was well known in college and is what has continued to sabotage his pro career.
The Packers selected two defensive linemen in this year's draft, which could be an ominous sign for Harrell. Chances are if Harrell can't prove he can stay healthy and be productive this summer, he will be cut before the season starts.
Neglecting the Offensive Line
Despite having two aging tackles, Thompson has done very little until this year to bolster the offensive line either through the early rounds of the draft or free agency.
Thompson has drafted nine offensive linemen prior to this year, mostly in the mid to late rounds.
Three are no longer on the team, Breno Giacomini and Allen Barbre, are in danger of being cut, Darren College and Jason Spitz have been average, TJ Lang looks promising, and Josh Sitton has been solid.
Until this year, Ted Thompson had never used a first round pick on an offensive lineman, preferring to try to build the line through mid round picks. This strategy, combined with the need to shift the entire offensive line around if one player got injured, almost ruined the Packers season in 2010 and nearly got Aaron Rodgers killed.