Ted Thompson, who has had a remarkable run as Green Bay Packers general manager since taking the job in 2005, won’t be the Packers’ GM anymore.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday evening that Thompson will “transition into a new role within the organization.” The Packers will start looking for a new general manager. The team has had only three general managers since 1991: Ron Wolf, Mike Sherman and Thompson.
The Packers were 125-82-1 since Thompson took over as GM. That includes a Super Bowl win. His pick of Aaron Rodgers in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft turned out to be one of the most important in the league in many years. It allowed the Packers to move on from Brett Favre — many Packers fans didn’t like that Thompson wouldn’t take Favre back when he tried to come out of a short retirement in 2008 — to Rodgers.
Thompson also was notoriously conservative in free agency. He rarely signed anyone, preferring to build almost entirely through the draft. His draft-first mentality led to a lot of success, but perhaps his aversion to free agency kept the Packers from getting back to another Super Bowl. A new general manager might bring an entirely different philosophy.
This could lead to Eliot Wolf remaining with the Packers. Wolf, the director of football operations for the Packers, has been considered a potential GM for many years, but was blocked in Green Bay because Thompson held the job. The Packers will interview other candidates of course, but Wolf is likely to be on a short list. Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball are two other promising internal candidates who will presumably be considered.
Thompson did a fantastic job for the Packers, and his legacy in the team’s history is secure. It will be a shock to see someone else running their front office, and interesting to see if the new GM can have nearly the level of success Thompson did.