Former Packers GM Ted Thompson Dies at Age 68

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2021

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson is seen during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson died Wednesday night at the age of 68, head coach Matt LaFleur announced Thursday. 

Thompson announced in 2019 that he was diagnosed with an autonomic disorder, which impacts the autonomic nervous system and can cause fainting, fatigue and cognitive impairment as well as problems with regulating heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, among other symptoms.

He said at the time that the diagnosis was the reason why he stepped down as GM of the Packers in 2017 in favor of his role as senior advisor to football operations.

The Atlanta, Texas, native served as the Packers' general manager from 2005-17. Before that, he spent eight years in the organization in various roles, including director of player personnel. He worked for five years as the Seattle Seahawks' vice president of football operations before returning to Green Bay to become the GM in 2005.

Thompson was part of the Packers front office when Green Bay won Super Bowl XXXI to conclude the 1996 season, and he later built the Packers team that won Super Bowl XLV at the end of the 2010 campaign.

During Thompson's time as GM, the Packers reached the playoffs nine times and won the NFC North on six occasions.

Unquestionably, Thompson's biggest move as GM of the Packers was selecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, which was Thompson's first draft as GM.

At the time, it was a controversial selection since veteran and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre was still the Packers' starting quarterback and was still playing at a high level.

Rodgers sat on the bench behind Favre and learned for three years before finally getting an opportunity to start in 2008, and he went on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, as he is likely to win his third NFL MVP award this season and remains in the running to win his second Super Bowl.

Thompson's fingerprints are all over the 2020 Packers, as he was chiefly responsible for drafting wide receiver Davante Adams, offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, center Corey Linsley and running back Aaron Jones in addition to Rodgers.

As a result of his strong drafting and roster management, as well as his construction of a Super Bowl-winning team, Thompson was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 2018.

Thompson was a football lifer, as he broke into the NFL as a player in 1975 after a successful collegiate career at SMU.

He spent 10 seasons with the Houston Oilers from 1975-84 as a backup linebacker and special teamer, appearing in 146 games.

Thompson will be best remembered as the architect of several great Packers teams, and his impact on the franchise will continue to be felt for years to come.