Packers General Manager Ted Thompson took exception to the notion that he’s not an active participant in free agency.
He’s just a ninja about it, that’s all.
Thompson said more about veteran pass-rusher Julius Peppers than anything during his pre-draft press conference, and seemed as proud of adding such a productive player quietly as he did the act of adding him.
“People who say we don’t use free agency are wrong,” Thompson said, via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We’ve always dabbled in free agency. Sometimes you can spend a lot of time and effort recruiting a guy, which we’ve done in the past, and nothing comes of it, and nothing comes out publicly and people assume we didn’t try to do something. We almost always, almost every offseason, try to do something in free agency, certainly with our own guys but also with guys around the league.
“This happened fast. It happened very quietly. It was one of those rare things where the thing was put to bed and everybody was back home before anybody knew about it. Quite frankly, it was kind of refreshing to do it that way. We obviously followed him throughout his career, and we look forward to seeing him in a Packers uniform.”
Thompson was clearly excited about adding a player with 119 sacks and 40 forced fumbles to a defense that needed some pop opposite Clay Matthews.
“There’s no evidence of any decline in his play, in our opinion,” Thompson said of Peppers. “He still has the same athletic traits that he had coming out. He’s had a remarkable history in the NFL in terms of durability. We’re looking forward to it. I think he is, too.”
And the fact that business was conducted out of the spotlight suits Peppers as well, as the 34-year-old has never enjoyed the spotlight, except when it finds him on the field.