Ted Thompson, Green Bay Packers GM who picked Aaron Rodgers in NFL draft, won Super Bowl XLV, dies at 68

Inexperienced BAY, Wis. — Previous Packers basic supervisor Ted Thompson — who drafted Aaron Rodgers, traded absent Brett Favre and designed the workforce that won Super Bowl XLV — died Wednesday, in accordance to the workforce. He was sixty eight.

Thompson died at his residence in Texas, the workforce reported in a launch.

“This is a extremely competitive organization and all people wants to gain terribly but his ethics have been at the best of the charts,” current Packers basic supervisor Brian Gutekunst informed reporters Thursday. “He considered in the regulations and he was as competitive as all of us have been, but his honor and his ethics, that usually was a little something that, on the personnel, there was no compromise there.

“He was almost certainly far more cozy out there in the subject scouting at an all-star match or at a faculty contact, and understood the importance of that. That is just variety of how he carried himself. … He wasn’t a single that experienced a extremely big circle that he allow folks into and, in excess of time, I was blessed adequate to be a single of those guys. When he came across to a large amount of some others as pretty stoic, he was a pretty funny man. He experienced a dry feeling of humor and was truly entertaining to be around. I know in our draft space, specially, the stories are limitless. He’s just a single of those guys that selfishly, I desire he was even now around simply because what we are executing suitable now with this football workforce, I feel he’d truly enjoy.”

Rodgers also expressed his condolences.

“I am truly thankful for Ted. The truth that I was his initially draft choose will usually url us jointly,” Rodgers reported. “I usually appreciated his continual hand and the conversations that we would have. He usually manufactured points pretty crystal clear about what he envisioned from the workforce and what he envisioned from me.

“… He would usually start out the period and tackle the workforce for a handful of minutes and he would usually end with, ‘Godspeed.’ As he passes on, I want to thank him for what he meant to myself, the workforce and the business, and desire him Godspeed.”

Along with 10 seasons as a participant in the NFL with the Houston Oilers (1975 to 1984), Thompson served as Packers basic supervisor from 2005 to 2017. The Packers moved him into a advisor part for the 2018 period in aspect simply because of his declining well being.

In Could 2019, right after he was inducted into the Packers’ hall of fame, Thompson introduced that he was suffering from an autonomic disorder, a ailment that brings about weak point and cognitive issues. Packers president Mark Murphy did not cite Thompson’s well being as a purpose for the selection to clear away him as basic supervisor right away right after the 2017 period.

Thompson reported at the time of his announcement that his medical practitioners did not imagine his ailment “match the profile of a person suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”

“Our condolences go out to his loved ones,” Packers mentor Matt LaFleur reported Thursday. “Undoubtedly he is a man that’s held in the highest regard in this making and I feel just around the league. He’s experienced a huge effect, not only on folks in this making and definitely [Gutekunst] and a large amount of our personnel folks, but folks in other departments as well. His effect is even now felt to this day when you search at our roster, but I feel he is experienced a huge effect amongst many folks across the league when you search at the other GMs that have uncovered under him.

“So unquestionably we are sitting listed here with weighty hearts nowadays. I’ve only experienced a handful of prospects to fulfill him in excess of the past few of many years, but I just know how vital he was to many folks in this making.”

Ted Thompson, who has died at the age of sixty eight, was the Packers basic supervisor who oversaw the franchise’s change from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Brian Spurlock/United states of america Now Sports

Thompson’s initially draft choose as Packers basic supervisor was Rodgers, who fell to Inexperienced Bay at No. 24 in general.

In advance of the 2020 draft, Gutekunst, who served as a scout under Thompson, called that selection courageous given that the Packers experienced Favre even now enjoying at a higher degree.

“To have the courage at that time to do that, and what that a single selection did for the business for how many many years later on, that trapped with me,” Gutekunst reported. “It could have been genuine easy to do a little something diverse. He considered that was the suitable point to do, and he did it. That is usually trapped with me.”

Months later on, Gutekunst would decide on quarterback Jordan Really like in the initially spherical.

Thompson oversaw the transition from Rodgers to Favre, investing Favre to the New York Jets in August 2008. While Thompson drew the ire of some followers for a draft-and-develop system — mainly disregarding big-revenue free of charge brokers — he and mentor Mike McCarthy, whom Thompson employed in 2006, set jointly a workforce that achieved 4 NFC title online games (2007, 2010, 2014, 2016) and manufactured eight straight playoff appearances (2009 to 2016).

“Definitely, he was eager to make hard conclusions,” Murphy reported. “He understood that was aspect of his task. I usually recall each time a participant would have a undesirable play or a little something would go mistaken, all people wants to scream and yell. Ted, he’d usually have this calmness to him. He’d say, ‘Listen, you gotta be affected person. He’s a very good participant.’ … He was eager to give gamers time, and boy it sure paid out off in excess of the many years. A large amount of it was just his personality. He was usually on the lookout for the very good in folks. Yeah, I feel we all just uncovered so significantly currently being around him, just the way he dealt with himself, specially the humility.”

Murphy reported the Packers will include Thompson’s name on the Lambeau Field façade next period.

“You will listen to from a large amount of folks who will convey to you great points about Ted Thompson and what he meant to them and each and every word will be real,” reported McCarthy, who at this time is the head mentor of the Dallas Cowboys. “But when I feel about Ted, who he was as a male, will usually carry far more weight than what he did skillfully. There has never ever been a finer human currently being to stroll the enjoying fields or have a existence in the scouting rooms.

“Ted gave me an option of a life time. As a younger initially-time head mentor, who considered he experienced all the answers, I could not have been matched with a far more best leader. He taught me tolerance. I will permanently recall all of the times he would merely smile at me and say, ‘slow down younger male.’ He usually secured and bolstered the importance of the tradition and history of the Inexperienced Bay Packers. It wasn’t adequate just to gain — it was equally vital to gain the suitable way. He exuded those characteristics in everything he approached in football and in existence.”

A person of Thompson’s initially assignments as a Packers scout in 1992 was to search at film on Favre and give an evaluation to then-GM Ron Wolf, who was contemplating investing for the quarterback.

“[Wolf] left me in a dim space, and I viewe
d some of it, and he arrives back again in and he goes, ‘Well, what do you feel?'” Thompson informed ESPN in 2016. “And I reported, “What do you feel?’ And he goes, ‘I like him. I feel I am heading to trade a No. one for him.’ I reported, ‘I feel you ought to do that.’

“He failed to will need any help, but I’ve reported this prior to: Brett, that minimal time he got to play in Atlanta, it wasn’t all pretty. But it was pretty when he got to the Inexperienced Bay Packers.”

Thompson worked for the Packers as a scout right until 1999, when he joined Mike Holmgren with the Seattle Seahawks. In 2005, then-Packers president Bob Harlan lured him back again to Inexperienced Bay by earning him a basic supervisor for the initially time.

“I viewed him arrive in and be a part of us when he was extremely green, doing the job for Ron Wolf, who’s a demanding manager, and he was so very good that Ron promoted him two times,” Harlan reported at Thompson’s induction into the Packers’ hall of fame. “The initially male that Mike Holmgren needed to acquire to Seattle with him was Ted Thompson. Ted went to Seattle, designed a Super Bowl workforce, and I just considered when it was time for us to get anyone, he was the a single I needed.”

The comfortable-spoken Thompson typically shied absent from the highlight but occasionally allow his wry feeling of humor shine through. He was self-deprecating about his enjoying job, which consisted mainly of unique groups, and was broadly revered by his gamers.

“He’s not a male of many words and phrases, but he usually has a beneficial frame of mind,” previous Packers guard T.J. Lang informed ESPN in 2017. “He’s usually got a smile on his experience. You can surely convey to that any time the man at the best, the leader of your workforce, feels that way about your workforce, it surely rubs off on the guys.”

Amongst the Thompson draft picks even now on the roster are Rodgers, kicker Mason Crosby, offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, centre Corey Linsley, wide receiver Davante Adams, functioning back again Aaron Jones and defensive tackle Kenny Clark.