Former Packers G.M. Ted Thompson passes at 68

2011 NFL Scouting Combine - Media Day
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Former Packers General Manager Ted Thompson has died. He was 68.

Thompson became the G.M. in 2005, and he remained in that role through 2017. His initial first-round pick, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, continues to be one of the very best players in all of football and the presumptive 2020 NFL MVP.

The Packers won Super Bowl XLV with the roster built by Thompson, and his fingerprints continue to riddle the current roster. From Rodgers to receiver Davante Adams to running back Aaron Jones to offensive tackle David Bakhitiari and beyond, key players still on the team were acquired by Thompson.

He believed in drafting and developing talent, with minimal free-agency splashes. Still, Thompson made a big one in 2006, signing cornerback Charles Woodson from the Raiders.

Thompson, who played for the Oilers from 1975 through 1984, arrived in Green Bay in 1992. He stayed through 1999 before joining the Seahawks for five seasons, returning to the Packers as the G.M.

We extend our condolences to Thompson’s family, friends, and colleagues.

29 responses to “Former Packers G.M. Ted Thompson passes at 68

  1. RIP Ted, you were a great GM. Although I often wished you would have been more aggressive in Free Agency, you had a keen eye for talent and drafted some of the best players in Packers history!

  2. Yes, no Vikings fans have ever made any unsavory, uninformed, or crass comments . . . not!

    Mr. Thompson compiled more super bowl winning rosters than our Vikings GMs ever have . . . in the whole futile history of our franchise.

    Condolences to family and friends. Rest in peace, Mr. Thompson! Way too young . . .

  3. 🙁

    Super sad news. A great scout and evaluator of talent.

    Built competitive Packers teams throughout his tenure.

    A disciple of Ron Wolf.

    RIP.

  4. Thank you for the kind write up Mike. RIP Ted. Thank you for the great packer squads and many fun times watching them. Go Pack Go.

  5. Ted’s enduring legacy as a champion will be forever remembered. He gracefully and successfully helped preside over the most difficult QB transition in NFL history.

    RIP to a great champion.

  6. Wow, sad news. He will always be remembered fondly in Packer country for his commitment to excellence and the Lombardi Trophy he brought here.

    R.I.P.

  7. Thanks for the memories, Ted. You seem to have left things in good hands here. Rest In Peace.

  8. Thank you for our most recent Lombardi Ted, and the talent still remaining for this run. While in his prime before his health deterioration, one of the best talent scouts out there. Never one to promote himself even though he deserved it.

  9. While he won’t go down as being popular with the fans, he made all the right decisions in eventually identifying, drafting, grooming, and installing Brett Favre’s eventual successor, and drafted a hell of a team to get us to our first SB since 1996. Hats off Teddy! RIP.

  10. Oh, man, I’m really sorry to hear this. I wish he would have been able to hang around for the current Packers’ playoff run.

  11. Had a hand in trading for Favre and drafted Rodgers – that alone is HOF worthy. What I really respected was that he never sought personal recogniton. 68 is way too young. RIP TT.

  12. Ted flew under the radar. And built a pretty good football team in the process. I think the thing about him that is the least mentioned is thier ability to draft offensive linemen. Oh , there were the busts, but thier oline play has been above average for close to 15 years with an innumerable combination of players. RIP Ted. You did the Packer Nation well

  13. Had a hand in trading for Favre and drafted Rodgers – that alone is HOF worthy.
    =====

    That series of events was a trainwreck of the highest proportion.

    The Packers tried to pay Favre off to keep him retired
    Once it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, they tried to block him from playing
    They didn’t give Rodgers a vote of confidence, they told Favre he could compete
    The PR nightmare was so miserable, they hire GW Bushs former press secretary
    .. and after all that, they traded Favre, when they could have done so with less fuss

    The team was a few plays away from a Super Bowl months earlier… they fell to 6-10

  14. He spent when he had the money and Rodgers was on a Rookie contract. Outside of some bad years which every GM has he drafted extremely well and the team was always in the mix. Unlike some GMs that take over a talented roster, he took over after Mike Sherman who had gutted the team and couldn’t draft to save his life. Thompson’s first several drafts shaped the franchise and brought a title to Titletown. RIP TT, you did Green Bay a great service!

  15. I think the thing about him that is the least mentioned is thier ability to draft offensive linemen.
    =====

    More impressed with his success with WRs.. but maybe I shouldn’t be;

    Bak, multi-year All-Pro
    Sitton, multi-year All-Pro
    Linsley, All-Pro
    Lang, Pro Bowler
    Bulaga, 10-year starter
    College, 9-year starter
    Tretter, Newhouse, Giacomini started 4 years or more here or elsewhere

    Most of the those guys were picked in the mid rounds of the draft. Bulaga being the only guy picked in the 1st.

    Drafted Hutch in Seattle, arguably the best G of his era

    Just crazy.

  16. Unlike some GMs that take over a talented roster, he took over after Mike Sherman who had gutted the team and couldn’t draft to save his life.
    =====

    I wouldn’t argue Sherman was a good GM, but he hardly left the team in the shape people claim. The guy won 44 games prior to Thompson taking over.

    Chad Clifton started in SB XLV and dominated, frankly
    Mark Tauscher started through 2009, one of the best RTs in football
    Scott Wells was a Sherman draftee, a Pro Bowler
    Javon Walker was essentially flipped for Greg Jennings

    Aaron Kampman was a 2x Pro Bowler for Thompson
    Al Harris was a 2x Pro Bowler for Thompson, a Sherman trade acquisition
    Cullen Jenkins was a key player on the line in 2010, a Sherman UDFA
    Nick Barnett was a 6 year starter for Thompson
    Corey Williams, via trade, netted Thompson a 2nd rounder

  17. Thompson was a revolutionary when he first became GM. Aside from drafting Rodgers, he built a system that largely circumvented the salary cap by focusing on the development of young players. As a consequence, he never had to let his best players walk, because the Packers could always afford to re-sign them.

    The high water mark was when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, in spite of a ridiculous number of season-ending injuries, because they had so much depth behind the starters (highlighted perhaps by the rookie season of Sam Shields, a UDFA WR who developed into a difference-making CB by the playoffs).

    Ironically, that was also the beginning of the end. The new CBA signed after that season gutted OTAs and other off-season workouts. Deprived of the time to coach up draft picks and UDFAs, Thompson’s dependence on those players stepping up became less of the reliable talent factory it had been, and more akin to buying a bunch of lottery tickets–hit-and-miss, unreliable, and ultimately unsustainable.

    The system no longer worked, but Thompson never adapted, and the Packers’ well eventually ran dry (with many cracks in the foundation being covered by #12’s brilliance until, in the late McCarthy years, that just wasn’t possible anymore). By the end of his tenure, the fans’ ire was well-deserved.

    Still, that doesn’t diminish the greatness of his early years, and his place in Packers history is rock solid. RIP, Ted. You will be missed.

  18. Ted was a wonderful man as well as a great GM. My wife worked as his assistant for several years and he always showed respect and appreciation for all she did for him and the team. He loved God, his family and friends and the Green Bay Packers. He will be missed.

  19. Man, 68…so sad. He was a leader in building teams in the cap era, but as a previous poster said, he didnt adjust well to new realities in the later years. All that said, by all accounts he was a good person and it sucks to see people miss out on their “golden years”

  20. Ironically, that was also the beginning of the end. The new CBA signed after that season gutted OTAs and other off-season workouts. Deprived of the time to coach up draft picks and UDFAs, Thompson’s dependence on those players stepping up became less of the reliable talent factory it had been, and more akin to buying a bunch of lottery tickets–hit-and-miss, unreliable, and ultimately unsustainable.

    The system no longer worked, but Thompson never adapted, and the Packers’ well eventually ran dry (with many cracks in the foundation being covered by #12’s brilliance until, in the late McCarthy years, that just wasn’t possible anymore). By the end of his tenure, the fans’ ire was well-deserved.
    =====

    I think coaching was a bigger part of that failure.

    McCarthys scheme went stale, and Capers just went completely sour. More like rotten.

    Thompson had a couple poor drafts, as does everyone, but for the most part, he was drafting talented players. He had the wrong guy at the top.

  21. I interviewed with those guys for an internship years ago when Reggie, Eliot, Tim and Dorsey were there. It was a special group of dudes. Ted was pleasant in the brief interaction. But his department was a reflection of him. Rip

  22. Extremely humble man that always put the team first. Always very judicious with team resources even though there was no owner restricting his spending on big money free agents. Selfless, kind and generous human being. He will be missed by all and especially GB Packer Nation. RIP

  23. Ted has 2 Super Bowl rings from his time in Green Bay and he went to a third Super Bowl with the Packers.

    He was Ron Wolf’s right hand man starting in 1992 and was a huge part of building that 1996 team that won a Super Bowl. Also built the team that went back to the Super Bowl in ’97.

    Ted also built the Seattle team that Mike Holmgren took to the Super Bowl in 2005.

    A man of few words, and as steady as they come. His success was never a surprise to anyone.

    Ted taught current Pakers GM Brian Gutekunst everything he knows. Gute will tell you the same.

    Ted meant a lot to everyone in Packer Nation and he will always be in the hearts and minds of us all.

    Rest in Heaven Ted and we will never forget.

    #OneTeamOneNation

    #PackerNation!✊

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