The Packers started out the new year with a bang. After parting ways with defensive coordinator Dom Capers, the Packers decided to transition general manager Ted Thompson elsewhere in the organization.
While this comes as a shock to everyone in the sports world, many fans continued to clamor for this move. Many believed Thompson was not fit to run the Packers as a general manager. Some attribute their disdain for Thompson to not hitting on enough draft picks, while others point to a lack of dipping into free agency.
While most fans will celebrate here, many will forget what Thompson did for the organization. Hired in 2005, one of Thompson’s first decisions was to draft Aaron Rodgers. The Packers already had Brett Favre, but that move secured the future of the franchise.
Not only did Thompson bring in a future all-world quarterback, he also put the pieces together for the 2010 championship run. Thompson brought in Charles Woodson in free agency when no one else wanted him. He also drafted Clay Matthews and Jordy Nelson, two integral parts to the 2010 group.
Thompson continued to draft talent after the Super Bowl title. He drafted Randall Cobb in 2011, followed by a stellar 2012 campaign. That 2012 draft yielded Mike Daniels, Casey Hayward, and Nick Perry. David Bakhtiari and Micah Hyde were excellent 2013 selections. He also drafted a young stud in Davante Adams back in 2014. Let’s also not forget that he brought in Julius Peppers in 2014 to help the pass rush. The results speak for themselves.
However, many fans and media point to the misses. For example, Thompson has a history of missing in the first round. Datone Jones and Derek Sherrod are two of those first round misses. Plus, while Charles Woodson and Julius Peppers were huge hits in free agency, there were flops. Thompson let Jared Cook go to sign Martellus Bennett. Bennett didn’t play up to his contract, with many drops during the year. He ended up being released in midseason.
Another issue of late is letting talented players walk. Casey Hayward is one of which to take note. Hayward is a star at corner, and someone the Packers could benefit having at this point. Last offseason, the Packers let T.J. Lang, J.C. Tretter, and Micah Hyde walk. All this evidence helps many say that Thompson hasn’t given the Packers a good enough roster to work with.
The Packers are starting the interview process with candidates in the organization. Eliot Wolf, Brian Gutekunst, and Russ Ball are all contenders for the position.
This may be the best option going forward. For one, Ted Thompson’s strength has always been scouting. Moving him to an advising role allows him to lend his ear on scouting and certainly keeps him involved in the draft process. Also, hiring a general manager that is more active in free agency will benefit too. Bringing in talent from all places available will get the Packers back to contending for Lombardi Trophies.
All Packer land can do now is wait.
Jake Schyvinck covers the Packers for Full Press Coverage. Follow him on Twitter here.