Ted Thompson: We’re not opposed to free agency

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There was a report from Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last month that Packers coach Mike McCarthy is “fed up” with General Manager Ted Thompson’s aversion to adding veteran players in free agency.

The Packers have generally preferred drafting and developing their own players since before Thompson was in the job, although they’ve made the occasional foray into free agency to add players like Julius Peppers to the roster. Thompson said Thursday at the Combine in Indianapolis that he heard the report about McCarthy’s feeling and didn’t know “where that came from” and that the team is open to adding players through any avenue if they believe they’ll be helpful.

“We value draft and development,” Thompson said. “We value free agency. We have guys like Julius Peppers, guys that have been free agents. If you can help us win football games and be a good teammate and that sort of thing, you have a place for us. So we’re not opposed to doing that.”

One thing Thompson says that the Packers won’t do is radically change their approach this offseason because of a perception that a window to contend will close if they don’t strike now. He said “we’re not going to chase a ghost” to satisfy that concern, which may mean more business as usual for the Packers over the next month.

91 responses to “Ted Thompson: We’re not opposed to free agency

  1. How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .

  2. He is 100% right. Teams that spend big in free agency typically do so to make up for poor drafts. My Atlanta Falcons are the perfect example… and it makes me very sad.

  3. Some 20 years w/ back to back HoF QB’s and only 2 Lombardi’s to show for it, pathetic. On the plus side Farve’s interception records (regular and post season) will never be touched.

  4. People are upset they’re taking the best approach??

    there’s about 28 other teams that wish they could follow the team building plan of GB.

  5. The Discount Double Checker needs some veteran help to block for him otherwise the Packers will continue their downward slide.

  6. Green Bay is very active in free agency but it usually means signing their own players. TT has a knack for knowing when to let one of his own go and who to re-sign. That’s why the Packers are one of the most consistent franchises in the league….

  7. You know, sometimes you need to grow and develop from within the organization before you start spending big for one shot.

    In the Vikings case, they must first get a roof that doesn’t fall down when snow touches it before they can break the bank for Bernard Berrian.

    Or something like that.

  8. touchdownroddywhite says:
    Feb 25, 2016 11:35 AM

    How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .

    —————————————————

    Hmm… was this a joke statement, and he’s aware of Denver’s free agency acquisitions and championship this year?

    Ware, Ward, Emmanuel Sanders, Talib…. and that was just 2014.

  9. After the “fed up” comment, attributed to the always-popular unnamed sources, McGinn wrote “Thompson does generally do an excellent job of building a roster. His drafts have been the foundation for the Packers’ success.”

  10. After the “fed up” comment, attributed to the always-popular unnamed sources, McGinn wrote “Thompson does generally do an excellent job of building a roster. His drafts have been the foundation for the Packers’ success.”

  11. touchdownroddywhite says:
    Feb 25, 2016 11:35 AM

    How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .

    ==========================
    Uhh, this years Broncos?

    Manning, Talib, Ware?

  12. Can you say schism between TT and McCarthy?

    Ahh, the rebuilt Vikings, with Zimmer at the helm, in only his 2nd year, dethroned the pack.

    All the guys on the Vikes that made a difference in 2015 were all talent scouted, drafted, and developed by the Vikings-Peterson, Barr, Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, Rhodes,Kendricks,Diggs, Daniell Hunter, McKinnon, and Bridgewater.

    Vikes just have done it better than the packers.

    TT has made 2 draft picks that even matter: Rodgers and Matthews. And, Rodgers fell to him.

    TTs busts are too many to mention.

    As Vikings fans, yes, we hope the packers continue in the same path!

    Why do you think McCarthy is outraged?

    The talent on the roster-drafted by TT-can NOT compete with the 3rd youngest team in the NFL, with one of the nasteiest defenses in the league!

    Yes, gbay, please continue to praise TT.

    TT had Rodgers fall to him. Without Rodgers, the packers fall apart. That has been proven-their record as abysmal without Rodgers.

    With him, they STILL lose to the Vikes, in Lambeau, as the season showed.

  13. .
    Forays into free agency do not always entail signing high priced / low value guys on day one. Belichick mainly shops in the clearance department , hoping to find role players and veteran depth. Late in the season when the inevitable injuries hit, these guys are often starting.
    .

  14. touchdownroddywhite says:
    Feb 25, 2016 11:35 AM
    How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .

    Ummm Denver…

  15. ruvelligwebuike says:
    Feb 25, 2016 11:55 AM

    You know, sometimes you need to grow and develop from within the organization before you start spending big for one shot.

    In the Vikings case, they must first get a roof that doesn’t fall down when snow touches it before they can break the bank for Bernard Berrian.

    Or something like that.

    bridgh2o says:

    Wow……dude has o go back 7 years ago! I would say Jared Allen more than made up for a miss on Berrian.

    Our current talent on the 2015 team was essentially all scouted, drafted, and DEVELOPED by the Spielman and Zimmer.

    Your team is the graveyard of busts: Brohm, Harrel, Flynn, and too many to list.

    Suck it my man….we are the champs!!!!!!!

  16. I love the Packers, but what people forget is Green Bay isn’t exactly a hot destination city, which I think is ridiculous because especially on offense how would someone not want to play with Rodgers?

  17. touchdownroddywhite says:
    Feb 25, 2016 11:35 AM

    How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .

    —————————————————————–

    So we’ve proven the Broncos used it. Let’s examine the Seahawks. The other team that’s done REALLY well lately. Lynch FA, Avril FA, Bennett FA, Graham FA,

  18. “How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .”

    ======================================

    I understand what you’re saying, but your timing was really bad (Denver). I think free agents are fine as long as they are not over hyped. There is a reason why a team is letting them go, and the reason why (Over the hill,wants too much money,attitude) should be the #1 thing considered before even checking the player out.

  19. I remember when they used to sign free agents like Reggie White. I can see why they are determined to avoid mistakes like that again. (For those of you who do not understand sarcasm, this is a good example)

  20. touchdownroddywhite says:
    Feb 25, 2016 11:35 AM

    How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .

    ————————————————————-

    What about the Patriots? They’re a team that’s dominated. Do they use FA? We don’t even need to discuss that. It’s common knowledge the Patriots constantly dip into FA. Plus big name additions Moss and Revis. And they won super bowls after both acquisitions

  21. Manning, CJ Anderson, Emmanuel Sanders, Ware, Chris Harris Jr, Ward, Talib, Marshall…

    All free agent pick ups for Denver…combine that with 3 starters on the offensive line picked up thru free agency…yea safe to assume if the Packers took advantage, they’d probably have a couple more trophy’s…

  22. Your team is the graveyard of busts: Brohm, Harrel, Flynn, and too many to list.
    ————–
    Ummm………..Brohm was a 2nd round pick that nobody thought was a reach like Ponder. Harrell? Had injuries and never recovered from them.

    The most puzzling is Flynn. The guy was a 7th round draft pick. By no definition would he EVER be considered a bust. Just more unknowledgeable Vikings fans mad that their team has never won anything.

    Would you like to discuss what the Vikings gave up to draft Corduroy Patterson in the 1st round? SKOLOLOL

    Or perhaps how the Vikings passed on Rodgers in the draft not once but twice for Troy Williamson and Erasmus James? Ouch!

  23. To touchdownroddywhite:

    I understand it usually becomes a cover up for bad drafs/ development. I believe it should be for filling a hole or two on a team but the odds are against teams that solely use this to win in this day. Ask the Redskins for years under Snyder. Those teams never had a cohesive locker room and never did anything. But you said you can’t think of any? Here is one that did make it work. The Broncos just did it with about a 1/3 of their starters.
    Offense:
    Peyton manning, Emmanuel Sanders, Evan Mathis,Louis Vasquez,Andre Caldwell,
    Defense::
    TJ Ward, Aqib Talib, Demarcus Ware

    So it can work, even though I believe in what TT is doing since I believe in draft and development as well. I saw this happen when free agency started primarily in 94 when the niners basically bought that team to get over the hunch. Go back and see how many free agents were signed for that one year and win it all. Over half that team were free agents and DeBartilo was sick of losing in the NFC championship. I know cause they destroyed my team. Thanks.

  24. “How many teams just in the last 5 years have swung big in free agency because they felt they were “just a couple pieces away”? How many reached the mountain top? I can’t think of any. . .”

    The Broncos just did. Of course, that wasn’t a one season thing, they added big names over a couple of years, but regardless, they did it.

  25. bridgeh2o says:
    Feb 25, 2016 12:13 PM

    Your team is the graveyard of busts: Brohm, Harrel, Flynn, and too many to list.
    Suck it my man….we are the champs!!!!!!!
    —————————————–
    smh…
    Acting like your team just won a Superbowl when all your team did was squeak by with a division title cause the other team was wiped out with injuries.

    Flash in the pan division winner, I’m sure dolphin fans are still celebrating 08.

  26. kevinoc63 says:
    Feb 25, 2016 12:21 PM
    I remember when they used to sign free agents like Reggie White. I can see why they are determined to avoid mistakes like that again. (For those of you who do not understand sarcasm, this is a good example)
    —————————–
    Who was eating our cap room at the time when we signed Reggie?

    I’m sure Seattle will be just as active in FA now as they were when Wilson was on his rookie contract.

  27. TT is a good GM (when he comes up from the basement), but you have to wonder if the Pack couldn’t have been a bit better the last few years by adding one or two pieces to supplement the homegrown talent like New England isn’t hesitant to do or like Denver did last year. Like Denver this year, that could have made and in the future could make the difference.

  28. The haters are out early. Vikings fans are on the prowl even before the draft which is when they usually start trotting out their talk of dynasties and guaranteed super bowls but this year they seem to have stayed engaged; perhaps because they’re not used to playing football in January (or even November for that matter) that anyone watches.

    I do however love their posts about the greatness of the Vikings and the imminent decline of the Packers. Its somehow amusing whilst ironically both sad and pathetic all at once.

  29. myeaglescantwin says:

    People are upset they’re taking the best approach??

    there’s about 28 other teams that wish they could follow the team building plan of GB.

    Luck into a franchise QB and see how far he can take you with little to no help?

  30. I’m sure every team generally prefers drafting and developing their own players. I doubt there are many teams with more free agents than draft picks on the roster. You have to take advantage of every vehicle for adding talent and you have to be smart about it.

    Take the NFC North champion Vikings, for example. The backbone of their team is great young draft picks, but there are also key players that were acquired via free agency without breaking the bank. Lynval Joseph was one of the best DTs in the league this year. He signed as a free agent when he was 26 years old and had proved himself as a solid player. Terence Newman started at cornerback all season after signing a one year $2M deal.

    The key is to make good decisions in the draft and add talent to fill in gaps without handicapping your ability to resign your own players that you want to keep when they hit free agency.

  31. Would Denver have won the Super Bowl this year if Elway had been opposed to free agency in the manner that TT is opposed? How about the Patriots, or the Seahawks? Aaron Rodgers will be 33 in December. There are those GB fans such as I who think that TT is squandering Rodgers’ best years by being bullheaded. I look at TT as a great Chief Scout. GM – – – no. Hire Eliot Wolf and move on.

  32. It’s like saying, “we’re not going to satisfy any of the fans need for a Superbowl unless we can win every Superbowl.”

    Sounds to me that he already is chasing ghosts.

  33. ariani1985 says:
    Feb 25, 2016 12:13 PM

    Seriously, would any free agent want to live in a town where the nicest restaurant in town is an apple bees followed up by the quickie mart?
    ———————————————————————
    Have you ever been to GB? Have you ever been to Lambeau Field? I doubt it. People like u are SO shallow. . .

  34. So which is it? Is McCarthy ticked off about this, or was it just a made-up story to attract attention on a slow news day?

    In fairness to the Packers, while they are teams out there that have successfully used free agency to build Super Bowl champions, the Packers have maintained a consistent playoff participant without having to do that. It’s not like they are the only consistently successful team that likes to build through the draft.

    What I’m curious about if is there really is a rift between McCarthy and Thompson. Perhaps McCarthy wants the Packers to target specific free agents, and Thompson isn’t listening to him? If it’s not that, what else could it be?

    McCarthy isn’t the GM, and he isn’t going to get that job. It sounds like he needs to spend more time getting better production out of his roster (players like Cobb and Lacy under performed this past year), and less time griping about the roster’s make-up.

  35. Green Bay fans and the team are used to winning. They have been doing it for a long time. Last year they really weren’t up to their usual standards and this is hard to accept for an organization that has set the bar really high. I am not surprised a little frustration popped up. But I am also not assuming this is any more than that. I hope my Vikings ignore all this and work hard. Green Bay is not going to roll over anytime soon.

  36. Look at the last three super bowl champions, adding wisely in free agency can have huge rewards.

    Teams that freak out though in free agency usually are top ten draft picking annually.

  37. If you want a good team with a chance at a SB every 12-15 yrs, he may be your guy.

    If you are very close to a SB but your GM is too scared to go out and get a player or two to put you over the top…TT.

    He needs to go. He is stuck in the 1980’s with his philosophy.
    Bring back Schneider who has an out clause for only GB!
    1-1 in SB with Sea since 2010 with NO HOF caliber qbs…..
    TT 1-0 in 11 years with FAVRE and RODGERS as your qb…..nuff said.

  38. They both got to go.

    Been to long need a fresh start but sadly they will be fired when A-rod hangs up the cleats.

    I am a big time Packer fan.

    Look at how poorly they handle filling in holes on the defense. Or how poorly the Packers defense plays in crunch time.

    Micah Hyde is the new Jerrett Bush. I cringe when he on the field on defense. He is terrible.

    Clay Mathews is getting older and he is star on that defense.

    I predict a solid year from the Pack but no Superbowl because of the defense’s talent issues.

  39. Have the Packers ever spent anywhere close to the salary cap? Yes, you don’t want your team spending big for old free agents every year and then getting in salary cap problems. But….to sign maybe 2 free agents in 8-9 years that have made a difference, all while “saving” money? I’d prefer a team that has a mixture of developing their own talent and filling a few spots with decent free agents. And I would hardly call 1 SB win in 21 years “the model” to building a winner.

  40. Sure the Broncos won the SB, but going all in has consequences, and while it did pay off it will catch up to them as doing so does with every team…. the Vikings went all in with Favre and have been to playoffs twice since he led them to the NFC title game

    The packers can keep doing what they are doing make the playoffs and once they get there anything can happen they were a few plays from playing Carolina in the NFC title game. Eventually i would like to see them go all in when it’s closer to Rodgers last rodeo. He still has a good 5 years left though. They can still go into the FA pool now… but they don’t like to spend that silly money all those other teams do on 1st “tier” FAs. Just ask the Phins how that has been working out with Suh and Wallace

  41. Draft and development does not work. Reason, these guys who you develop, if they do start to get better after three years, leave to make mo money. Ted lets them go and gets nada for them except he trained them to be good.

    He let Cullen J a pro bowler and Wells a pro bowler walk because he refused to match the money.They he has spent years trying to replace these two guys with one bum after another. So much for draft and development.
    Hey Ted let the colleges develop these guys then pick the winners of the group not the undrafteds who couldn’t make it into Div I you idiot

  42. Hmmmm…let me get this strait. Since their top personnel guy Reggie McKenzie left the Packers and went to be the Raiders GM, the Raiders have been having outstanding drafts and the Packers have struggled mightily.

    It’s not rocket science what’s going on here boys.

  43. This board censors everything. I did a little experiment and my worthless one liner didn’t get censored but my well thought out three paragraph reply did. Nothing offensive at all. So congrats on being a HUGE DICK! There. That will give you something to censor!

  44. You would think a legacy of abject failure and a culture of bland, lifeless Scandahoovian nothingness would lead to Minnesotans having some sort of humility.

    Wrong. The worst people on planet Earth.

  45. It seems to me that if you fill a few select holes thru Free Agency, you have more freedom to chose the Best Player Available in the first few rounds of the draft. I’m hoping that TT is signaling that he might just do that this year.

  46. To answer a couple of concerns here on this board, since 1994 one team has won the NFC North 16 times and it ain’t the bears, Vikings or Lions. This team has pretty much been built through the draft, some good hits, some not so good. You increase your odds of hitting by having more picks!
    Some valid points on this board, GB needs OL as I have stated our OL is highly, highly over-rated.
    A deep draft for OL and DL (Another GB Need) Finally, GB needs talent and speed at the LB position to get to Super Bowl 51. Deep draft for LB’s this year. Bad year for WR’s and DB’s!!!

    Vikings are improving. Bridgewater will get better as long as they build an OL around him.
    Detroit is headed down, Bears need a lot help at a lot of positions. If the Bears trade out of their pick and move down, that could get interesting!
    If they stockpile picks (They already have 11 now), they could actually show some improvement. They have a dilemma trying to sign Jefferies now and the untested White at WR.
    They know it’s a lean year at WR, so do they pick local favorite Treadwell. A huge improvement over Jefferies!!!!

    By the way Lacy will be just fine and don’t be surprised if we draft his alumni mate Henry in the 3rd rd.

    Scout 1

  47. Ummm………..Brohm was a 2nd round pick that nobody thought was a reach like Ponder. Harrell? Had injuries and never recovered from them.

    The most puzzling is Flynn. The guy was a 7th round draft pick. By no definition would he EVER be considered a bust. Just more unknowledgeable Vikings fans mad that their team has never won anything.

    Would you like to discuss what the Vikings gave up to draft Corduroy Patterson in the 1st round? SKOLOLOL

    Or perhaps how the Vikings passed on Rodgers in the draft not once but twice for Troy Williamson and Erasmus James? Ouch!

  48. “Win the NFC North and/or compete in the Playoffs.
    Business as usual…..”

    Which includes losing in the playoffs when you play real competition.

    2 HOF QBs for 20 years total; 2 SBs. Something is very wrong. Even real GB fans know it.

  49. unless ted thompson has a shot to sign von miller or muhammed wilkerson he won’t won’t sign anybody. the packers only sign big name free agents like reggie white charles woodson and julius peppers. ted thompson knows aaron rodgers is good for 4-5 more years. he will stick with the draft and develop philosophy and develop brett hundley to become the next warren moon. its the packers way. besides its green bay a little town its hard to get free agents to come there and teddy will never ever over pay any one.

  50. The Packers have two big problems that can’t be missed: their GM isn’t good enough at identifying and drafting/signing talent and their coaching staff isn’t good enough to maximize the talent they do have.

  51. The teams Ted Thompson are putting together are not true contenders. They got smacked around by Seattle and San Fran for 4 years in the playoffs in Aaron Rodgers prime years.

    The offensive line is held together with duck tape and on defense their best player is playing out of position 2 years running with pretty average talent.

    The best teams draft well and pick up the right pieces when needed in free agency or via trade.

  52. While McCarthy still probably needs one more Superbowl win to get his ticket to Canton stamped, I suspect that Ted is already in. With 2 Executive of the Year awards and a Superbowl win, he likely has a bronze bust awaiting him.

  53. so, the Packers should be the ’96 Marlins? just go buy a bunch of players and then a fire sale? who wants a mercenary team? no, thanks. i guess if you’ve NEVER won a Super Bowl, i suppose. meh. we win OUR way. a couple here and there. and if you check, the Packers signed two of the top free agents in the HISTORY of free agency. (Reggie White & Charles Woodson.) no go somewhere with that.

  54. Ahh, the rebuilt Vikings, with Zimmer at the helm, in only his 2nd year, dethroned the pack.

    All the guys on the Vikes that made a difference in 2015 were all talent scouted, drafted, and developed by the Vikings-Peterson, Barr, Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, Rhodes,Kendricks,Diggs, Daniell Hunter, McKinnon, and Bridgewater.

    Vikes just have done it better than the packers.

    TT has made 2 draft picks that even matter: Rodgers and Matthews. And, Rodgers fell to him.
    ==================================
    I didn’t realize that the Vikings traded up for all of those players.

    Or did some of them fall to them in the draft as well?

    By the way, Bridgewater didn’t make a difference this year- unless you consider that, with a better QB, the Vikings very well might have moved further along in the playoffs.

  55. conormacleod says:
    Feb 25, 2016 2:19 PM

    Have the Packers ever spent anywhere close to the salary cap? Yes, you don’t want your team spending big for old free agents every year and then getting in salary cap problems. But….to sign maybe 2 free agents in 8-9 years that have made a difference, all while “saving” money? I’d prefer a team that has a mixture of developing their own talent and filling a few spots with decent free agents. And I would hardly call 1 SB win in 21 years “the model” to building a winner.
    ==================================
    The Packers have won 2 Super Bowls and have been to 3 in the last 21 years.

    The Vikings haven’t even been to a Super Bowl in the last 39 years, and have never won one.

    Yet Vikings’ fans will lecture other teams’ fans on how to build a winner.

    It’s like Cubs’ fans telling Cardinals’ fans how to build a winner.

  56. Thompson saying that is like a junkie saying he knows he needs to get clean.
    You know it is good for you, but you do not have the strength to do it or the intelligence.

    Bring back Schneider!!!

  57. packer fans think wining the division is a world chamionship ….. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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