Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports photograph 5/22/2012

Will Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson utilize free agency?

Mandatory Credit- Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Does Ted Thompson revisit 2006 and strike in free agency?

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Once upon a time, Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson dipped into the waters of free agency and emerged with big fish in the form of Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett. What’s that you say? No way Thompson did that? Well, yes, he did.

People do not tend to remember the 2006 season, especially given it followed a terrible 4-12 2005, but it is a reminder that Ted Thompson knows that sometimes you just have to make a move.

Teddy went out of his comfort zone and got 2 players that have had a huge impact on the Packers. Woodson was a mainstay with potential Hall of Fame credentials who had 38 interceptions for 9 touchdowns in seven years with the Packers. While Pickett may not be remembered as fondly for his impact, he very rarely missed a game in eight years and has been very stout against the run.

So why would anyone surmise that Thompson may reach out of his comfort zone again?

Well, the defense is horrendous and missing playmakers. Now I know you will say, “David, it’s been terrible and he hasn’t tried anything.”

While I agree, Thompson had to at least stick to his guns and try and see if his guys would pan out. Unfortunately, M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian never turned into the second coming of Nick Collins, whom the Packers have never been able to replace (and perhaps more than coincidentally the defense has never been as good). He has tried, it is just not working, and I think he knows it.

Jairus Byrd
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports photograph

There are actually players available at safety at the moment who have the talent that would have an immediate impact. Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward are two who immediately come to mind. After playing for the Bills and Browns, do you not think either would love a shot at a title?

All Ted has to do is open his checkbook and say, “Aaron Rodgers is on my team,” and they will most likely sprint to the dotted line. There is not a good defensive tackle fit, though I would love to see the Packers steal Henry Melton from the Chicago Bears, but I just do not see that happening.

In my opinion, I think BJ Raji ends up returning.

Do I think Thompson just unloads in free agency?


no. But I can see him, like in 2006, realizing his defense needs impact players and understands that they are not going to come through the draft in 2014.

What do you think or hope Thompson will do this year?

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Tags: Charles Woodson Green Bay Packers Ryan Pickett Ted Thompson

  • PackFan86

    James Jones is a goner go after Kenny Britt.
    JerMichael Finley is a goner go after Fred Davis.
    Let BJ Raji walk, resign Pickett & Jolly then draft Louis Nix.
    Just with that money saved we can sign Jarius Byrd, if we don’t sign him we should give Micah Hyde a shot.

    • JaKa

      Don’t think J Jones is taking a ride. After seeing him come to understand the system now, he’s on the brink of stardom, just about ready to pop out of the cocoon. He still needs to get work on his hands, which can be the whole squad for that meeting. His kind of speed when the afterburners get kicked in is very uncommon and worth patience in the wait for blossoming. And his attributes now are larger than his drops & fumbles. TT is loyal to the people he studies and brings in to a fault almost.

  • Kenneth Kumerle

    Keep Starks , Quarless , Raji, Jones, Kuhn, Flynn, Smith plus sign a SS, DL and WR!

  • jas ule

    Raji had like 16 total tackles this year. Why resign him when he will want to much. Is Jerad Allen washed up? He might be the guy to get some consistent press

    • Vvait Fang

      Didn’t you see Allen peter out in the last game? He may not be finished, but he’s definitely not worth the salary he’s going to want. As for Raji – since his role has been to chew up blockers a lot more (as per the installed scheme), it’s hard for me to tell, but it sure seems he’s doing that quite well. Another stellar OLB is what will take away the pressure, and let the entire front shine even more.

      I really like the attempt this past year of rotating some of the monster men up front, keeping them fresh and not burning them out. It almost worked for Johnny Jolly, and with Daniels coming into his own this year, They could have a really awesome 6 or 7 monsters up front. That, with some improvement in the LB crew, and we have the makings of a powerful defense. Oh yeah, we still need a safety.

      • billy

        you sure are in the minority that thinks Raji is doing quiet well…i think he COULD do quiet well and probably will if he gets back to his natural position and in a better scheme that fits his abilities…that aint Capers scheme…

  • MNPackAttack

    Stealing Henry Melton from the Bears and/or Jared Allen from the Vikings would be very sweet. I definitely hope Ted Thompson takes a look at free agency this off season to plug some of the holes, especially at safety, the d-line & OLB.

  • Seegs

    I hope that Thompson, McCarthy and Rodgers read Bob McGinn’s article today and get their heads out of the draft and devop sand

    • Vvait Fang

      Wow Seegs, you must be the world’s smartest man. Why don’t you just send in your resume to the Packers front office, I’m sure they’ll drool all over it and want to run and sign you to manage the team instead of the “conservative, arrogant problem management” guys there presently.

      You did get one point right – this season was a wake up call. But the call was for 3 things:

      1. Improve the synergy between the backup QB (hope its Flynn, although I doubt it) and the “ones”.
      2. Find a solution to the injury bug – Pack seems to have suffered more than most any other team with this.
      3. Fix the problems on defense – safety, tackling and another stellar OLB.

      • Seegs

        I’m not the problem here…disagreementis cool buts on’t make it personal by patronising me!! It’s just my opinion don’t like it’s not my problem…I happen to agree with Bob McGinn who basically had the guts and foresight to state it publicly.

        • fatalflaw

          I end just about every Packers discussion with my son by saying ‘Ted and Mike probably know a lot more about football than us’. But that shouldn’t keep us from voicing our opinions. What fun would the comments section be if we always just write’Trust in Ted’??

          • billy

            exactly, seems a person cant say anything critical or voice any opinion other than “homer” type rah rah stuff …if you do your called stupid and a “troll”….a good read is Bob McGinn at the Milw Jour…nice article stating some important things…and its critical so im sure he will catch hell…why even have a “forum” with an exchange of ideas if every idea not in line with the green and gold homers is called stupid and trolling??? I dont get it….

          • Peter Maiz

            So let them get pi*sed. When you love something like your team and you see serious irregularities as in defense, one is apt to be critical, it’s a natural human reaction. How would have Lombardi have reacted to this defense, anyway, is my question. Greatness comes from not being complacent.

        • Peter Maiz

          I read the column and it’s right on. Why do we have to be the only “great” team to have such glaring bad stats at defense? Statistics are based on mathematics and mathematics are the only pure science. If the fan base want to keep the team at a stand still, then we are apt to see 2013 all over again.

    • Peter Maiz

      You can’t expect McCarthy, Capers and Thompson to actually admit their errors with the money they’re making? Change is slower when you’re running a team by committee, perhaps. But the new coaching staffs at Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago (one year old at Chicago) are going to be there to make a difference. The Pack organization will either sink or swim vs. these new contenders.

  • Vvait Fang

    Its comical to see all these bloggers convinced that they know how to manage a team better than the people paid millions to do so. If you’re so brilliant, why didn’t the front office hire you?? Nobody ever claimed that “draft and develop” will have 100% success. But its sure has done a lot better over the past decade for the Pack than most other teams. And since salary cap is a show-stopper, its the smart way to go. I too would love to see some of these superstars come to GB, but its rather obvious that most won’t. TT grabs a free agent when its got strong cost/benefit results, such as Pickett and Woodson. If such an opportunity comes along this year, he might do it again. But he sure as hell isn’t going to do it because a bunch of us fans seem to be locked into it, during the 35.5 minutes we invest in thinking Packers each day. He’s thinking Packers 24/7, and both his success rate over time and salary reflect it.

    There’s some good quality Dline, Tight Ends and other important gaps we could fill in the draft this year. I’m looking forward to how they work things out with the free agents and who they draft. This could be a very telling year.

    • Seegs

      Draft and develop has netted exactly how many championships in the last decade? Seems to be working quite well for the Packers!!!

    • Peter Maiz

      Success rates are demonstrated by the stats and the results. A success rate at defense the last 3 years. Men lie, women lie, statistics don’t lie.

    • billy

      we arent convinced we know how to manage a team better than TT, we can give an opinion though…if that bothers you dont read the forums….they are FORUMS and COMMENTS sections meant for the passing of differant ideas and thoughts of the fans….stick with “Ask Vic” if you dont like to see other peoples ideas….he wouldnt say anything critical because he’s paid by the Packers so you will do fine with his sarcatic pompous answers….

  • Zack

    Frankly, the Packers have to look at the defense again this year. I don’t think we have any problems on the offensive side of the ball that outweigh the problems on the defense. As long as we have Rodgers at QB than everything will continue to flow on offense. Two first round OT will be returning from injury along with the OTs that played last year who were very solid starts. I think that they let James Jones walk, re-sign Starks (if he is cheap enough) and possibly Kuhn.

    On defense, there should be a transformation. Raji walks (doesn’t like 3-4 scheme, doesn’t like to eat up blocks) with Neal and Wilson. Jolly and Pickett return to keep veteran leadership on the D-line and eat up blocks. Packers got to go after a safety in free agency. Byrd, Ward, Whitner, even Pollard. Considering the amount that the Packers have reportedly offered to Raji which is well over $8 million a year, they can afford to get Byrd or Ward. If not, than they might as well move Hyde to safety. Next, they need more linebackers. They could grab one from free agency (Dansby, Butler) or draft one. They should go after Mosley in the first round, even if that means, GASP, moving up and losing other picks. Sam Shields is as good as gone because of his price tag, so the CB position will be a heavy need, especially if Hyde moves to safety. The Packers have been blessed to have Aaron Rodgers after having Brett Favre, now lets not have repeat itself and leave Rodgers with one ring when he retires. Draft and developing is good, but it isn’t going to get the team to the Super Bowl PERIOD. This is my opinion, deal with it!

    • Peter Maiz

      If we continue to be 28, 26, etc. at defense, there will never be a super bowl. Can’t stop the run? no super bowl. Maybe it’s a Capers thing but Thompson will need to go to FA.

  • Peter Maiz

    It’s hard to say what Ted Thompson will do but it’s obvious he has got to dip into free agency. Let’s face it, nothing stays still and we don’t want the Pack to go the way of the dinosaurs. One more year without an impact defense and we will, again, not progress in the playoffs. Detroit will have a new coaching staff as the Browns, the Vikings and a host of other teams. These new guys are not just going to twiddle their thumbs come two or three years. Are we going to see the Pack not consistently winning its division come two or three years? What a waste it would be for A-Rod’s career if the Packer organization doesn’t adapt to changes other more dominant teams are making, ie., the Patriots, San Fran, Phily, Seattle and others.

  • Vvait Fang

    Hey folks.. can someone tell me – what happens if a team goes over the cap? Do they get fined? Pay a luxury tax? Are the contracts voided? What goes on?

  • Jaceson

    The more I think about it the more I start to think that Thompson may be more of a problem than Capers. From what I’ve read I think Capers schemes are quite complicated. They worked great with Collins and when Woodson was in his prime. They were assignment sure and the results were there. Now we draft guys with the hope of them not only developing but grasping Capers concepts on defense. How often watching the secondary get burned did we hear the announcers use the phrase “they were expecting safety help but they were out of position”? To many times for my taste. Another problem I see is drafting guys out of position and expecting them to adapt. Perry and Datone Jones for instance were ends in college. Once again maybe it’s asking to much to not only change positions but grasp a very complex defense. This year I think Thompson will draft ends to play end and OLB to play Olb.. This will keep the guys at a position they are comfortable with and allow them to absorb more of the defense ins and outs.. And again this is just my opinion. Please don’t say that I think I know more than Thompson or McCarthy..

    • billy

      or call you out as a “troll”…i’m starting to really dislike the forums….cant say anything negative or differant than the “company line”….haha

      • Jaceson

        billy, absolutely! I had this happen last week. It’s hard not to get defensive and respond in kind.

  • Dave Davidson

    Jared Allen is a free agent, and the viqueens don’t seem to want him anymore. Why not go after him Pack? Mathews and Allen working together would be unstoppable.

    • billy

      i’ve said this too….he would give a couple more years of his non-stop motor….always liked this guy..even if he’s a ‘queen..

  • JaKa

    You should know TT’s system by now: Free agents only for quick solutions to no backup worthy of the position(s) after an injury to the starter. Like they say, ” That’s the way the dude rides”.