Ted Thompson’s Frugal Approach Hurting Packers?

Packers GM Ted Thompson operates about as conservatively as any general manager in the league, and it is difficult to argue with the results, as Green Bay has qualified for the playoffs eight years in a row and captured a Super Bowl title in the 2010 season. But Thompson has recently come under fire for his recent poor draft record, and his decision to let T.J. Lang walk in free agency this offseason may have widened the chasm between the front office and the players/coaching staff.

Ted Thompson

As Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel writes, Packers’ coaches and players were “incensed” by Lang’s departure, and their anger might not stem solely from the fact that they lost a valuable member of the club. McGinn writes that Green Bay’s front office has a growing reputation in the league for being cheap, which has hurt the Packers’ image within the locker room and in the court of public opinion.

The Packers consistently roll over a significant amount of cap room from one year to the next, and today they sit over $22MM under the cap, which will in all likelihood allow them to carry over a great deal of money to the 2018 cap as well. As McGinn observes, Thompson is overly concerned that the NFL’s revenue-sharing system regarding network television and other endeavors might one day end, perhaps in the not-too-distant future. As such, Thompson believes that by saving money “for a rainy day,” he is protecting the franchise from a potential financial nightmare.

But even if last year’s ratings decline were a harbinger of things to come, and even if the league is forced to make dramatic changes in the way it does business, an immensely popular club like the Packers would have time to adjust and to preserve its financial well-being. So when Thompson fails to re-sign players like Lang — which, in a vacuum, is certainly a defensible decision — or when he fails to dip his toes into the deep end of the free agent pool from time to time, he opens himself up to criticism. Last year’s Josh Sitton debacle, when combined with Lang’s departure, has put Green Bay’s offensive line in a very precarious position, and now the Packers may be forced to draft a guard from a draft class without many top-tier O-line prospects when they could have been focusing almost exclusively on defense.

There have been recent reports suggesting that Thompson could step aside into a senior scouting position, but he does have two years left on his contract and vice president Russ Ball appears to share Thompson’s conservative thinking. It is therefore difficult to see Thompson leaving his present role until he is ready, but it is likewise easy to see how the team’s players and coaching staff could be increasingly frustrated with their front office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Ted Thompson’s Frugal Approach Hurting Packers?

  1. tylerall5

    I don’t know how, as a gm with tons of dollars, you let two premier offensive linemen walk and leave your all world quarterback exposed.

    • psmitty58

      Guard is not as critical as tackle, and Taylor did an admirable job replacing Sutton. I’m sure, taking into account they know a lot more than we do, they’ve got a plan for Lang. RELAX people, the only thing between the Pack and the Super Bowl, is injuries. Only the Pats can match the run of success the Pack has had, and they only have us by 1 championship in the last decade or so of football.( and they cheat)

  2. Connorsoxfan

    The Micah Hyde resigning was also a no brainer at the price he went at. If they let one of the guards walk, and spent on another who they liked better, that would’ve made sense. What they did does not.

  3. nsoddycu@gmail.com

    It’s a business. I liked Hyde, he made our secondary more balanced because he could play every position. However, Byrce and Evans both are extremely athletic for being a safety and they showed promise last year,their play making ball hawks that need to get more pt. As for our offensive line, Taylor was a great replacement for Sitton, younger and way more durable. Obviously rg will be the question mark this year but the draft and developing players can easily fill that void. Trust the process, be patient, and enjoy the ride.

    • Duck222

      Yes this is a business, A what have you done lately one… an TT has not done much good lately… his draft an develop strategy has turned into a draft an develop for another team… Thanks for the memories but its Time to move on for TT

  4. yeah GB should hire matt millen as GM and stop being a publicly owned team and make jerry Jones and Snyder 50% owners. That will make the paint chip eaters happy

  5. wrigleyhawkeye

    The only reason he’s received the accolades he’s received is because Rodgers has been good enough to make up for many of the deficiencies. Remove him and this team is on par with Cleveland.

    • Chris Bement

      I agree it’s time got Terrible Ted to go! So sick of his not signing any top free agents. It’s not your money Ted spend some. Packers are 2-3 players away from winning the Super Bowl. Instead you trade back in the draft every year. What good is that? Half of the players get cut & end of camp anyway. If not then,then they will next year after do do they same crap in next year’s draft. So why not sign a few top free agents, trade up in the draft for a couple sure starters,then you could draft4-6 players who will make the team. Your draft & develop crap takes 2-4 years,and then you either won’t pay them,or flat out cut them. So instead of filling the roster with a bunch of slow bodies, draft the best pass rusher in the draft. Our D.B.’s are fine, you know what would make them pro bowlers? A PASS RUSH!!! You should have taken T.J. Watt, just like you should’ve taken J.J. Watt. Sick of your albino ugly mug, resign & give Elliot Wolf a turn. I bet he’s got balls like his Dad did! Time to go Ted. Bye bye

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