Ted Thompson, Inexperienced Bay Packers GM who picked Aaron Rodgers in NFL draft, gained Tremendous Bowl XLV, dies at 68

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Former Packers normal supervisor Ted Thompson — who drafted Aaron Rodgers, traded away Brett Favre and constructed the workforce that gained Tremendous Bowl XLV — died Wednesday, in response to the workforce. He was 68.

Thompson died at his house in Texas, the workforce mentioned in a launch.

“Ted was a person of nice character and integrity who cared deeply for his household and associates,” present Packers normal supervisor Brian Gutekunst mentioned in an announcement. “He was trustworthy and hard-working. He valued his scouts and all the time did what he felt was proper for the Packers group.

“I realized a terrific deal from Ted and can all the time be appreciative for the chance he gave me. He was a soccer man and a scout’s scout, however extra importantly, he was a really particular one who will probably be significantly missed.”

Rodgers expressed his condolences on Twitter: “Thanks Cowboy Ted!”

Together with 10 seasons as a participant within the NFL with the Houston Oilers (1975 to 1984), Thompson served as Packers normal supervisor from 2005 to 2017. The Packers moved him right into a marketing consultant function for the 2018 season partially due to his declining well being.

In Could 2019, after he was inducted into the Packers’ corridor of fame, Thompson introduced that he was affected by an autonomic dysfunction, a situation that causes weak spot and cognitive points. Packers president Mark Murphy didn’t cite Thompson’s well being as a motive for the choice to take away him as normal supervisor instantly after the 2017 season.

Thompson mentioned on the time of his announcement that his medical doctors didn’t consider his situation “match the profile of somebody affected by power traumatic encephalopathy.”

“Our condolences exit to his household,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur mentioned Thursday. “Definitely he is a man that is held within the highest regard on this constructing and I feel simply across the league. He is had an incredible influence, not solely on folks on this constructing and clearly [Gutekunst] and a whole lot of our personnel folks, however folks in different departments as effectively. His influence continues to be felt to at the present time once you take a look at our roster, however I feel he is had an incredible influence amongst many individuals throughout the league once you take a look at the opposite GMs which have realized below him.

“So actually we’re sitting right here with heavy hearts at present. I’ve solely had just a few alternatives to satisfy him over the past couple of years, however I simply know the way vital he was to many individuals on this constructing.”

Thompson’s first draft choose as Packers normal supervisor was Rodgers, who fell to Inexperienced Bay at No. 24 general.

Earlier than the 2020 draft, Gutekunst, who served as a scout below Thompson, referred to as that call brave provided that the Packers had Favre nonetheless enjoying at a excessive stage.

“To have the braveness at the moment to do this, and what that one choice did for the group for what number of years later, that caught with me,” Gutekunst mentioned. “It may have been actual simple to do one thing totally different. He thought that was the fitting factor to do, and he did it. That is all the time caught with me.”

Weeks later, Gutekunst would choose quarterback Jordan Love within the first spherical.

Thompson oversaw the transition from Rodgers to Favre, buying and selling Favre to the New York Jets in August 2008. Though Thompson drew the ire of some followers for a draft-and-develop plan — largely ignoring big-money free brokers — he and coach Mike McCarthy, whom Thompson employed in 2006, put collectively a workforce that reached 4 NFC title video games (2007, 2010, 2014, 2016) and made eight straight playoff appearances (2009 to 2016).

Considered one of Thompson’s first assignments as a Packers scout in 1992 was to have a look at movie on Favre and provides an analysis to then-GM Ron Wolf, who was considering buying and selling for the quarterback.

“[Wolf] left me in a darkish room, and I watched a few of it, and he comes again in and he goes, ‘Nicely, what do you assume?'” Thompson advised ESPN in 2016. “And I mentioned, “What do you assume?’ And he goes, ‘I like him. I feel I will commerce a No. 1 for him.’ I mentioned, ‘I feel you ought to do this.’

“He did not want any assist, however I’ve mentioned this earlier than: Brett, that restricted time he acquired to play in Atlanta, it wasn’t all fairly. However it was fairly when he acquired to the Inexperienced Bay Packers.”

Thompson labored for the Packers as a scout till 1999, when he joined Mike Holmgren with the Seattle Seahawks. In 2005, then-Packers president Bob Harlan lured him again to Inexperienced Bay by making him a normal supervisor for the primary time.

“I watched him are available and be a part of us when he was very inexperienced, working for Ron Wolf, who’s a demanding boss, and he was so good that Ron promoted him twice,” Harlan mentioned at Thompson’s induction into the Packers’ corridor of fame. “The primary man that Mike Holmgren needed to take to Seattle with him was Ted Thompson. Ted went to Seattle, constructed a Tremendous Bowl workforce, and I simply thought when it was time for us to get any person, he was the one I needed.”

The soft-spoken Thompson usually shied away from the highlight however often let his wry humorousness shine by means of. He was self-deprecating about his enjoying profession, which consisted largely of particular groups, and was extensively revered by his gamers.

“He is not a person of many phrases, however he all the time has a constructive perspective,” former Packers guard T.J. Lang advised ESPN in 2017. “He is all the time acquired a smile on his face. You possibly can positively inform that any time the man on the high, the chief of your workforce, feels that method about your workforce, it positively rubs off on the blokes.”

Among the many Thompson draft picks nonetheless on the roster are Rodgers, kicker Mason Crosby, offensive sort out David Bakhtiari, heart Corey Linsley, broad receiver Davante Adams, operating again Aaron Jones and defensive sort out Kenny Clark.

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