GREEN BAY, Wis. – Former Packers general manager Ted Thompson – who drafted Aaron Rodgers, traded Brett Favre and produced the team that won the Super Bowl XLV – has died, according to coach Matt LaLeur. He was 68.
Thompson, who played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Houston Oilers (1975 to 1984), served as the Packers’ general manager from 2005 to 2017. The Packers took him into an advisory role for the 2018 season due to his health announcement.
In May 2019, after he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame, Thompson announced that he was suffering from an autonomic disorder, a condition that causes weakness and cognitive issues. Packers president Mark Murphy did not cite Thompson’s health due to the decision to remove him as general manager shortly after the 2017 season.
Thompson said at the time of his announcement that his doctors did not believe his position “fit the profile of someone suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”
“Our condolences go out to his family,” LaFelur said on Thursday. “Certainly he is a man who has been held in this building in the highest regard and I think it is all around the league. He had a tremendous impact not only on the people in this building, but obviously the faction as well is. [current Packers GM Brian Gutekunst] And many of our personnel, but also people in other departments. His influence is still felt today when you look at our roster, but I think he has a tremendous influence among many people from across the league when you look at the other GMs he has learned under him.
“So of course we are sitting here today with heavy hearts. I have only a few opportunities to meet them over the years, but I only know how important they were to people in this building.”
Thompson’s first draft pick as the Packers’ general manager was Rodgers, who fell to No. 24 overall to Green Bay.
Prior to the 2020 draft, Gutekunst, who served as a scout under Thompson, described that decision as courageous given that the Packers had Favre still playing at a high level.
Gutekunst said, “It must have taken courage to do that at the time, and how many years that decision made for the organization, that stuck with me.” “It could have been real easy to do something different. He thought it was the right thing to do, and he did it. He was always with me.”
Weeks later, Gutekunst will select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round.
Thompson traded Favre to the New York Jets in August 2008, transitioning from Rodgers to Favre. However, Thompson downplayed some fans’ desire for a draft-and-development plan – largely unseen by free agents – as he and coach Mike McCarthy, whom Thompson hired in 2006, had a team Led to four NFC title games (2007, 2010, 2014, 2016) and eight straight playoff performances (2009 to 2016).
One of Thompson’s first acts as a Packers scout in 1992 was to watch the film at Favre and give an evaluation to then-GM Ron Wolf, who was considering trading for the quarterback.
“[Wolf] Left me in a dark room, and I saw something of it, and he comes back in and he goes, ‘Well, what do you think?’ ‘Thompson told ESPN in 2016. “And I said,” What do you think? ‘And he goes,’ I like that. I think I’m going to trade number 1 for him. ‘ I said, ‘I think you should do that.’
“He didn’t need any help, but I’ve said before: Brett, that for the limited time he got to play in Atlanta, it wasn’t all great. But when he got to the Green Bay Packers, it was very it was good.”
Thompson worked as a scout for the Packers until 1999, when he joined Mike Holmgren with the Seattle Seahawks. In 2005, then-Packers president Bob Harlan brought him back to Green Bay, making him general manager for the first time.
“I saw that he came in and when he was very green, he was working for Ron Wolf, who is a demanding boss, and he was so good that Ron promoted him twice,” Harman. Said in Thomson’s induction into the Packers Hall of Famous. “The first man Mike Holmgren wanted to take with him to Seattle was Ted Thompson. Ted went to Seattle, formed a Super Bowl team, and I thought that when it was time for us to get someone, he wanted what He wanted to. ” “
Soft-spoken Thompson often shied away from the headlines but occasionally eluded his adorable sentiment. He was self-reliant about his playing career, which included special teams in particular, and was widely respected by his players.
“He’s not a man of many words, but he always has a positive attitude,” former Packers guard TJ Lang told ESPN in 2017. The leader of your team feels the same about your team, it definitely weighs on people. “
Thompson draft picks still on the roster include Rodger, kicker Mason Crosby, offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, center Corey Linsley, wide receiver Davante Adams, running back Aaron Jones and defensive back Kenny Clarke.