One of the great architects in Green Bay Packers history, Ted Thompson passed away on Wednesday night, just days after his 68th birthday.
With Thompson as the teams general manager, the Packers compiled an overall regular season record of 125-82-1. The Packers also made the playoffs nine times during his 13-year tenure, posting a 10-8 postseason record. It included four NFC Championship games (2007, 2010, 2014 and 2016) and a 2010 Super Bowl victory.
When Thompson took over, his very first draft pick in 2005 was Aaron Rodgers (24th overall). That pick put the Packers in the competitive drivers seat for years to come.
“I’ll never forget your loyalty,” said Aaron Rodgers during a prerecorded video at Thompson’s 2019 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “I’m going to always be thankful for the time I had to spend with you, and the fact that you took a chance on a young kid from California. Thank you for your vision, thank you for believing in me year after year, thank you for representing the Green Bay Packers so well. And I’ll see you down the road.”
Thompson was certainly underappreciated during his time in Green Bay, but if it bothered him, he never led on. He didn’t care about getting credit, he just wanted to win. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in May of 2019.
Thompson’s mark on the organization came mostly through the draft. A total of 19 players selected during his tenure went on to make Pro Bowls. A total of 12 players on the current roster were acquired by Thompson, including four that were voted as first-team All-Pro selections this year, Rodgers, Davante Adams, David Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley. Thompson also acquired current players Mason Crosby, Kenny Clark, Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Kevin King, Dean Lowry, Lucas Patrick and Robert Tonyan before he was replaced by Brian Gutekunst.
Thompson started his scouting career with the Packers in 1992, left in 2000 with Mike Holmgren for Seattle and returned to Green Bay in 2005 to take over as General Manager.
Now, several key players on the roster today, are one win away from a shot at another Super Bowl in Titletown.