Ted Thompson is entering his 22nd season overall with the Packers and first as senior advisor to football operations after being named to the position on Jan. 8, 2018. Prior to his current role, he served as the Packers’ executive vice president, general manager and director of football operations for 13 seasons (2005-17).
Ted Thompson is entering his 23rd season overall with the Packers and second as senior advisor to football operations after being named to the position on Jan. 8, 2018. He served as the team’s executive vice president, general manager and director of football operations for the previous 13 seasons (2005-17).
Thompson’s tenure as GM was highlighted by a victory in Super Bowl XLV and six NFC North titles, including a team-record four consecutive division crowns from 2011-14. He also helped the Packers make four appearances in the NFC Championship Game, the most in the NFC over that span. On May 4, 2019, Thompson became the 162nd inductee into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
A look at the Packers’ roster from Super Bowl XLV indicates a team truly built by Thompson. Nineteen of 22 starters and 49 of 53 players on the roster were acquired by him via the draft, free agency, trades or the waiver wire during his time in Green Bay.
Green Bay made nine playoff appearances in Thompson’s 13 seasons as GM, tied for the most in the NFC over that span, including a streak of eight in a row (2009-16) that set a franchise record and ranks tied for No. 4 in league history behind one team with 10 (New England, 2009-18) and two teams with nine (Dallas, 1975-83; Indianapolis, 2002-10).
During Thompson’s tenure, Green Bay registered eight seasons with 10-plus victories and an NFC-best regular-season record of 125-82-1 (.603). Of the five best single-season win totals in team history, two came under his leadership (franchise-record 15 in 2011, 13 in 2007).
Combining the drafts he ran in Seattle and Green Bay, 32 of Thompson’s selections have earned Pro Bowl, All-Pro or All-Rookie honors, and from 2005-17, he drafted 18 players who went on to be named to at least one Pro Bowl, tied for the most in the NFL over that span.
The Packers’ success under Thompson was due, in part, to the immediate contribution of his draft picks and undrafted free agents. Overall, Green Bay ranked No. 3 in games played by rookies (1,560) from 2005-17. Also, 32 rookie free agents made the opening-day roster under Thompson, with 25 undrafted rookies making the Week 1 roster from 2010-17, the third most in the NFL over that eight-year span.
Thompson followed in the footsteps of his mentor, Ron Wolf, in becoming Green Bay’s GM. Following the 2007 season, one that saw the Packers finish 13-3 and advance to the NFC Championship Game, he joined Wolf in becoming the only people in the history of the organization to be recognized as the best in their field in a vote of their peers as the NFL Executive of the Year by Sporting News. He further cemented his reputation in the NFL by winning the award for a second time in 2011.
Thompson’s career as a football executive came full circle Jan. 14, 2005. That day, former Green Bay Packers CEO Bob Harlan gave him full authority over all aspects of football operations for the storied franchise. In Green Bay annals, Thompson was only the fourth general manager to serve exclusively from the front office, joining Verne Lewellen (1954-58), Vince Lombardi (1968) and Wolf (1992-2000).
In becoming the ninth general manager in club history, Thompson rejoined the team with which he received his start under Wolf in 1992. After working for the legendary general manager through the 1999 season, Thompson spent five years as VP of football operations for the Seattle Seahawks. Overseeing Seattle’s draft board from 2000 to 2004, Thompson provided the Seahawks a solid foundation which they used to make three straight playoff appearances (2003-05) and an appearance in Super Bowl XL.
Almost immediately upon taking over in Green Bay, Thompson made a crucial choice for the long-term benefit of the club. In the 2005 NFL Draft, QB Aaron Rodgers had been projected as high as the No. 1 overall pick, but he wasn’t taken there and ended up sliding all the way down to the Packers at No. 24. One year later, Thompson handed Rodgers to an accomplished quarterback mentor in Head Coach Mike McCarthy to mold him into the team’s signal caller of the future and eventual two-time league MVP.
The 66-year-old Thompson not only proved to be a master talent evaluator, but he developed one of the NFL’s most respected and successful player-personnel trees during his tenure that includes current Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, Cleveland Browns GM John Dorsey, Browns assistant GM Eliot Wolf, Browns vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith, Miami Dolphins senior personnel executive Reggie McKenzie and Seattle Seahawks executive vice president/general manager John Schneider.
During his first tenure in Green Bay (1992-99), Thompson was instrumental in providing talent that produced an 83-45 record (.648), six straight playoff berths, two Super Bowl appearances and the 1996 world championship.
A versatile linebacker during his 10-year NFL playing career with the Oilers (1975-84), Thompson also was one of the most durable players in team annals, missing just one of 147 contests due to injury. He originally was signed by Bum Phillips as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Methodist University, where Thompson was a three-year starter (1972-74) at linebacker and a team captain (1974).
Born Jan. 17, 1953, in Atlanta, Texas, Thompson was an all-region player at the city’s high school, lining up at running back, linebacker and placekicker.