Mike McCarthy & Ted Thompson: How long will they lead the Green Bay Packers?

Mike McCarthy Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Mike McCarthy
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Ted Thompson Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Ted Thompson
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

On Thursday night, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy – the duo who have led the Green Bay Packers to three straight NFC North Division titles and one Super Bowl over the past five years, will sit down Thursday night for their ninth draft together.

That’s a relationship longer than any other NFL head coach and GM tandem – a fact that begs the question: How much longer will these two be together and how much longer will they be employed by the Green Bay Packers?

If it’s up to team President Mark Murphy – it will be as long as possible.

Today, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Bob McGinn posted an interesting piece attempting to answer that very question.

I suggest you read his piece in its entirety here.

We all know that when Thompson was hired back in the mid-2000s, one of his first acts was to fire coach Mike Sherman and to hire McCarthy. It’s been seen as a pretty good move.

But according to McGinn, the Packers have opened negotiations with McCarthy – with no word yet on the status of Thompson.

McCarthy’s contract expires at the end of the 2015 season, while Thompson’s comes to a close at the end of 2016.

Speculation is that if McCarthy’s contract is extended, Thompson won’t be far behind.

However, the real question is whether Thompson will be up for another contract. He’s been in the business for years and as a man without a family – other than his football family – one might wonder if Thompson will ever walk away completely from the game.

McGinn does speculate on that issue, but also steps back and talks about possible replacements for Thompson – great football men with strong ties to Green Bay.

He mentions John Schneider, 42, who grew up in De Pere and has probably the strongest ties to the City of Green Bay and the organization.

Of course, it’s been Schneider’s work that helped the Seattle Seahawks win a Super Bowl. Prying him from the Seahawks might be difficult, but not impossible.

McGinn also mentions John Dorsey, 53, another administrator with longtime ties to the Packers. He is now in full control with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Others mentioned as possible replacements for Thompson are Trent Baalke, 50, the GM with the San Francisco 49ers and another transplanted Wisconsinite; and Russ Ball, the Packers administrator who replaced Andrew Brandt in February 2008 as a vice president and contract negotiator.

All of these men have significantly strong ties with the Packers franchise and all would be excellent choices.

But we all know things change quickly in the NFL. Consider the quick departure this offseason of two Packers coaches – Kevin Greene and Joel Hilgenberg. Sometimes it’s just time to make a move.

Whether Thompson gets to that point in the coming year or two remains to be seen. Whether the Packers decide to extend his contract is also up in the air. Should the Packers extend McCarthy’s contract, one might think that Thompson would be next in line.

McCarthy has publicly said he is at the halftime of his career, so it means he plans to be around as a coach for at least another decade, which would correspond nicely with the career of his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.

Thompson’s situation may be a bit different.

Only time will tell, but it’s an issue that will surely be at the forefront of all Packers fans as we head into another season.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy Ted Thompson

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