A man of few words was compelled to say a few after Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy announced today a new, multi-year contract extension for General Manager Ted Thompson. Thompson was already scheduled to conduct his first news conference of training camp after practice today which is when the deal was announced. As you would expect, the deal negotiated not by Ted, but for him, dominated the session. Here are the highlights.
Audio: Ted Thompson.
After a 10 year playing career as a backup linebacker and special teams player for the Houston Oilers, Thompson first came to Green Bay in 1992, hired by then General Manager Ron Wolf. He rose through the ranks as a scout, scouting director and player personel director before following former coach Mike Holmgren to Seattle. He built the Seahawks into an NFC Champion in short order. Former President Bob Harlan convinced Thompson to return in 2005 after the Mike Sherman dual role idea fizzled quickly. After one season, Thompson let Sherman go and hired his first head coach, Mike McCarthy. They had a five year plan and just like the marriage of Wolf and Holmgren, the Thompson-McCarthy tandem produced an NFL Championship in year five, beating Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas after the 2010 season. Under Thompson's watch, the Packers have been a playoff team six times and they've won four NFC North titles, the last three in a row.
His very first draft choice was Aaron Rodgers. After the painful trade of Brett Favre in 2008 when he wanted to come out of a retirement he announced in March of that year, Thompson and the Packers forged ahead. Rodgers rewarded that decision with an NFL and Super Bowl MVP trophy. Hardly a free spender in free agency, he's still landed impact players like Charles Woodson, Ryan Pickett and maybe this year, Julius Peppers. A diligent scout still, Thompson prefers to see prospects first hand and that diligence has unearthed a bevy of late round draft picks who have produced for the Pack.
McCarthy has also proven to be a pretty good hire. He needs 11 victories to pass Vince Lombardi for second most in franchise history, behind only Curley Lambeau. It's a pretty safe bet Thompson will be the boss when that milestone is eclipsed.