Green Bay Packers: Ted Thompson’s free agency hits and misses

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Dec 8, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back

Steven Jackson

(39) is tackled by Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (79) and cornerback

Tramon Williams

(38) in the 4th quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Hit: Ryan Pickett

Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers nose tackle Ryan Pickett (79) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering their worst of 14 seasons in 2005, Ted Thompson felt the Green Bay Packers needed some serious reinforcements.

One of those was defensive tackle Ryan Pickett.

After spending five years with the St. Louis Rams, Pickett signed a four-year, $14 million deal with the Packers.

Pickett registered 319 combined tackles and 3.5 sacks in his eight years with the Packers.

He was far from a sack machine, but he was a part of the Packers’ number-one ranked rush defense in 2009.

Pickett’s biggest play in a green and gold uniform was in fact one of the biggest plays in recent memory for the Packers.

It came in Super Bowl XLV.

With the first play of the fourth quarter, the Packers held a 21- 17 lead, but the Steelers had the ball on the Green Bay 33 yard line and were building some momentum.

Clay Matthews predicted the upcoming play and gave Pickett instructions:

“Spill it Pickett … spill it … spill it!”

Matthews was right, and they combined to cause the fumble of running back Rashard Mendenhall. Of course, the Packers went on to beat the Steelers and won their fourth Lombardi Trophy.

Next: It didn't all go to plan in 2006 ...