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Contented Ted Needs to Get Out of His Comfort Zone

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Contented Ted Needs to Get Out of His Comfort Zone

There is no doubt that Ted Thompson, the general manager of the Green Bay Packers, runs a successful operation.  Since the start of the decade in 2010 the Packers have the second best regular season record in the NFL at 74-34-1 (.681 winning percentage 8 playoff appearances, one Super Bowl), second only to the New England Patriots at 83-26 (.761 winning percentage, 9 playoff appearance, one Super Bowl).   

To Packers’ fans everywhere:  if regular season wins are your definition of success then congratulations, you have made it.  However if your definition of success is winning in the post season and racking up championships then you may have fallen short.  Not bad, but not championships either.

We have been told that winning championships is hard.  It is been suggested that were it not for injuries the Packers would have had another long successful run.  We convince ourselves we are only a few players – just one more draft - away.  ‘Wait ‘til next year’ is most often the battle cry.  All of that is true to some extent and perhaps even comforting to many.

But they are also excuses.  Excuses can become roadblocks for not winning championships if you happen to be an NFL general manager.  “Close” is comfortable but it shouldn’t be.  Lombardi would have had nothing to do with it, never satisfied as second best and neither should Thompson or Packers president Mark Murphy for that matter. 

When it comes to building a championship team comfortable Ted Thompson has become a contented man.   

Thompson loves the draft.  For the most part he and his staff are good at it.  They work hard, work smart and have good quality people in place to identify college kids who will be drafted or signed afterward as undrafted free agent and can help the Packers win.  But the draft is a crap-shoot at best.  The 2015 draft looks like it may be one of his best - top to bottom filed with solid starters, backups and perhaps even future stars.   On the flip side are the 2011 and 2012 drafts which turned out to be huge disappointments and where only three players now remain; Randall Cobb from 2011, Nick Perry and Mike Daniels from 2012.    

Ted himself spent the first day of the 2016 Free Agency by being on the road scouting at the University of Wisconsin’s pro day.  It is obvious that he wasn’t sitting by the phone awaiting players’ agents’ calls, scheduling the next free agent visit or schmoozing with the one or two ideal players who would plug one of their many holes such as inside linebacker, tight end, backup offensive lineman, defensive line or any of the other deficit positions.

Thompson eschews free agency for the draft.  And that is a shame because when he does dip his toe into the free agent pond he is generally successful (see Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers or Letroy Guion).  That is not to say Thompson should go hog wild in free agency – that would be foolhardy - but a judicious approach could be healthy.

Does Ted drive a comfortable car, a years old, high mileage vehicle, does he have only two pair of comfortable shoes, one favorite pair of khaki’s, one preferred suit and a regimented morning routine that varies little?  Or could his closet be full of new clothes and shoes and in his garage a red-hot, low mileage, gassed up and ready to go Ferrari?  And just like free agency – they go unused.

Ted Thompson’s staff includes a large and effective college scouting department along with a director of college personnel.  But he also has a Pro Personnel department headed by the highly-capable Eliot Wolf and now newly appointed Director of Pro Personnel Brian Gutekunst.  Wolf is the equivalent of the Ferrari in the garage.  High performance but when it comes to free agency never used.

The myth, perpetuated by Ted Thompson himself, is that the Packers are indeed active in FA.  That the Packers just like their own guys better – which is true.  But when it comes to plugging real holes such as TE and ILB, Packers fans must be satisfied with signing the likes of Nick Perry (1 year, $5M), James Starks (2 years, $6M) and a marginal talent in guard Lane Taylor ($1.75M per year).  Nice players but hardly difference-makers.

In the early days of free agency the best inside linebacker in a major area of need was Danny Trevathan formerly of the World Champion Denver Broncos.  Talented and young at only 25 years of age he was signed by the rival Chicago Bears at a cap hit of $24.5 for 4 years – an average of $6.125M annually. Trevathan is a true plug-and-play linebacker, an instant starter with a non-stop motor and the skills which would have immediately upgraded the Packers defense.  To make matters worse Trevathan publicly stated that he was hoping the Packers would call and intimated that Green Bay was his preferred landing spot.  Instead of a green and gold Trevathan, Packers fans will have to settle for watching him perform (and torment) the Packers offense for the Chicago Bears for the next several years.

Consider that Thompson chose Nick Perry at $5.0 M ($4.925 cap hit) and Lane Taylor’s $1.7M ($1.45M cap hit) over Trevathan at $6.125M.  Granted the contract comparison is not apples-to-apples but you get the drift.

At tight end, a weak position in this years’ draft, a couple of attractive players were available for the taking including Coby Fleener (Colts) and Ladarius Green (Chargers) both of whom are talented and under the age of 27.  Not All-Pros, but upgrades none-the-less.  Thompson may yet sign a free agent TE as he hosted FA Jared Cook formerly of the Rams for a look-see.  But again, Cook is not a complete TE and would hardly be considered to be a difference-maker.

There is reason to think that Thompson would have had interest in free agent TE Martellus Bennett had he been released by the Bears.  Why Bennett and not others?  Bennett, still talented and a play-maker, would have been a player who has had his contract terminated and would therefore not count against compensatory draft picks – a Ted Thompson staple.  But those compensatory picks are of little consequence anyway – projected to be a 5th rounder for Casey Hayward and a 7th for Scott Tolzein in next years’ draft - if that.  Peanuts.

But new Bears General Manager Ryan Pace is no dummy.  He knows Ted’s proclivities. There is no way he was going to allow another Julius Peppers type embarrassment by cutting Bennett only to see him surface in Green Bay.  So for the low, low bargain price of exchanging lower tier draft picks Bennett now joins the New England Patriots who again will feature two top-flight tight ends while the process denied the Packers any shot at Bennett.  In fairness there is no way Pace would have consummated that trade with the Packers anyway, but it shows that bold actions by the general manager (this time in NE) - be they trades or free agent signings - can have a meaningful impact on the makeup of your roster.

Another year, another comfortable but mostly un-inspiring free agent period for Ted Thompson and his Green Bay Packers.  Another year that the shelf-life of key players such as Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews are further diminished.   And very probably another winning year, but will they have done enough to raise a championship banner above Lambeau Field?

Content to “let the draft come to him” and wait while others narrow the decision-making process for him, there is still hope that holes will be plugged.   But if top flight players at needed positions don’t fall into Thompson’s lap on draft day, what do you think will happen?  If your guess is that they will make do with what they already have on hand, you have the winning ticket.

So goes the philosophy of hoping things will happen to fall your way as opposed to boldly making things happen the way you want them to.  Such is the comfortable life of a contented man.

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Horse's picture

Complete this sentence:
The other 7 teams that won a Super Bowl in the last 8 years sign a lot more FAs than Green Bay, so _____________________________________________________.

PackFan619's picture

has every single other team in the league, good or bad.

PackFan619's picture

I'll take bringing back our own guys over the unknowns of overpaying for free agents. We have a decent offensive line that we can hopefully keep intact in the future if we don't overpay now.

And I think it's easy to forget how often sure-fire free agent signings don't work out. If Danny Trevathan becomes the next great Bears middle linebacker, I'll eat my words, but he was coming from a stacked Bronco defense. I'm not convinced he's much better than average.

And the more swings you have at the plate, the better chance you have at getting the next Josh Sitton (a compensatory pick if I remember correctly), or even better, the next GOAT Jeff Janis.

Tundraboy's picture

I'd be happy to have a real starter at ILB, not a paper starting player.

Bearmeat's picture

I'm trying not to yell here.... pant...wheeze...nope...I have to....I give up:

SO MUCH THIS! THIS IS AN AWESOME ARTICLE THAT ELOQUENTLY STATES WHY I AND MANY OTHERS ARE SO FRUSTRATED WITH TT. HE IS SO CLOSE TO HAVING A TEAM THAT CAN WIN IT ALL WITH A FEW SOLID VETS WHO DON'T BREAK THE BANK AND YET HE REFUSES TO USE ALL THE TOOLS AVAILABLE TO HIM IN ORDER TO PUT THE TEAM OVER THE HUMP!!!

....gasp...sigh... Sorry for the rampage....

Bottom line: 2016 had better be a Final 4 appearance - or it's "thanks for 2010 TT. Don't let the door hit you on the way out." in my book.

EdsLaces's picture

What he said.

Samson's picture

This is exactly where we are at. ---- TT has been playing his fantasy football game with a professional team --- the Pack. --- 2016 is the breaking point. -- This year will decide not only TT's fate but many others. --------- It's sad to see the same Sherman/Farve scenario play out again. -- An elite QB (AR) with inept management (TT & MM).

The TKstinator's picture

What a load of crap. What makes any of us think that we want to win a SB more than TT does? Or that we know a better way of going about it? What a bunch of amateurish ignorance.

Since '61's picture

Jeff - good article. I'm not sure if TT is content or not but that is certainly the message that he is sending to his staff, his coaches, his players and us, the fans. The problem is that he should not be content. He is supposed to be committed to winning the SB and not just once but every season. Yes, he has built a good team, a very good team when they are healthy. But he works against himself and his team by not proactively going after the one or two players that would move his team from very good to great. I am not an advocate for overpaying free agents but some of the FA contracts signed by players like Travathan this season were not extravagant at all. I agree with the approach of resigning your own but it has reached the point of myopia when you consider that we could have addressed either or both of our TE and ILB needs this season without breaking the salary cap bank. I give TT credit for how he has built the Packers but in fairness I will also be critical and disappointed with him for not finishing the job. He owes that much to his coaches, his QB and players and to the fans. Thanks, Since '61

Horse's picture

Trevathan's cap hit for 2016 is $6,350,000. Which Packer(s) would you like to cut once you've figured out how much dead money that'll cost, or not extend early so you'll have to pay them more later?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Nick Perry and change.

Bearmeat's picture

THIS

RCPackerFan's picture

And what is his cap hit for 2017 and which players do you want to see leave next year?

Its not always about this year...

Bearmeat's picture

Sitton.
Starks.
Datone.
Kuhn (if he's even around)

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure with a little research I can come up with more.

Tundraboy's picture

With possible exceptions of Abby and Boyd, and then maybe, totally agree. Lots of mediocre, or maybe ifs.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Good grief. How would we fit Trevathan under the cap? Guess that means if Martellus Bennett had been cut, TT would not have pursued him either because Bennett would be tough to fit under the cap? We have $13 million in cap space this year. Trevathan and his $6.3 million cap hit fits under it nicely. You fail to mention that Trevathan only has a $3.3 million cap hit in 2017, just when we are trying to re-sign some offensive linemen. Why mention one cap # and not the next one? Trevathan has cap #s of $7.1 and $7.6 million in 2018 and 2019, but by that time the cap probably has risen by $25 million, maybe more.

Signing Trevathan also makes our current cap allocation more efficient. Having CM3 play ILB with his $13.75 million cap # (and a massive $15.2 million in 2017 if TT ignores ILB for another year) was necessary due to TT and his complete overvaluation of Brad Jones and Hawk. CM3 cap hit is more than Kuechly (on his new deal, mind) $6 million more than Wagner, $4 million per year more than Navarro Bowman, and almost $5 million more than Cushing. CM3 at ILB is not even close to being the same player as these folks. CM3 at ILB is like burning $6 to $8 million in cap space each year he is stuck there. Signing Trevathan leads to a competent ILB, hope that Ryan, Barrington or a rookie can handle the other ILB spot, moves CM3 back to OLB where his pay is more commensurate with his hoped for production. TT needs to find a good OLB to replace Peppers in this draft.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

He's 3.3 mil in 2017. Your right, outrageous! How would Thompson pay 5 million to another one of his backup busts with a cap hit like that.

RCPackerFan's picture

That's not bad. I didn't see what his breakdown was.

Since '61's picture

RC - next year we won't be paying Peppers so the cap hit from Travathan would not matter very much. Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

The increase in cap hit--especially from Bakhtiari, among others--will easily swallow what they recoup from Peppers and then some.

RCPackerFan's picture

Very true.

One thing I wonder is if the Packers would have been more in play for Travathan if they had known that Raji was going to retire.

But we do have to factor in that they will have 13 free agents next year.

Peppers
Sitton
Lang
Perry
Datone Jones (not sure about his 5th year option)
Bakhtiari
Hyde
Lacy
Tretter
Boyd
Palmer
Barrington.

dobber's picture

Last I heard the Packers have not said anything on Jones's option, but the beat writer from the Press-Gazette has indicated that he thinks the Packers will decline it.

RCPackerFan's picture

yeah, I haven't heard anything about it.
When is the deadline for it?

Samson's picture

RC ---------------------------------------------Actually it is about this year. -- You have a tendency to do the same as TT. -- Look at the future. The future is now. Season 2016 is all that counts.

Since '61's picture

Horse - I think that Jeremy, bearmeat and Cow covered who I would give up to cover Travathan. As I said in my original post we don't need to go crazy with FAs just one or two guys who can actually play and fill the holes at ILB and or TE. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Yes the message that it sends is everything. It has a trickle down effect. Couple that with his absolute silence after heartbreaking season ending disasters and you have what I believe we have, a lack of fire team wide. I mean if the boss is content what do you think the players feel and think. I am going to reserve judgment until this off-season plays out fully, but I fear we are left to hope for street FAs and draft home runs to take us over the top.

RobinsonDavis's picture

My thoughts exactly, 61! Thank you, Jeff as well. Nobody is complaining about Ted's ability to draft and the coaches to develop, but we have some serious holes and depth to address and limited time to take advantage. This with a history of ignoring the ILB position and less than stellar drafting history for defensive lineman while his coaches try to figure out how the offense is going to improve with opposing DBs jumping our receivers routes and praying that our OTs stay healthy. Ted WILL find capable starters in the draft, but he could have helped his team through FA.

pointerjeff's picture

Thanks Since '61 - I always enjoyed your well-reasoned thoughts.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I don't care about winning the off season. I care about logic, and leaving gaping holes in the roster while you have Rodgers is not logical when you could sign a reasonable free agent every once and a while to plug the gap.

Every Championship team has done this. The last time the Packers where NFL champions they had done it as well with Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett. So this isn't a case of Thompson continuing to do what made him successful. It's the case of him discontinuing doing what made him successful.

Horse's picture

Of course Peppers doesn't count since he was cut. Those guys are never as good as the REAL free agents, I guess.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Signing Julius Peppers is good. Sigining only Peppers in 6 offseasons is awful.

Tundraboy's picture

Couldn't agree more. GMs have to hate losing too

Lphill's picture

Why is Karlos Dansby not being brought in for a look? He has made his money he wants a championship and will accept less . Answer that Ted .

lou's picture

Soon to be 35 years old is a solid reason, remember Hardy Nickerson who they signed as a free agent from Tampa Bay at bit bucks? His one season as a starter in Green Bay made A.J. Hawk's last season with the Packers look like he was Luke Kechley. At that age the drop off is like it is off a cliff when they go.

lou's picture

A more recent example like Nickerson was Jeff Saturday, huge mistake based on age and number of snaps.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

"His one season as a starter in Green Bay made A.J. Hawk's last season with the Packers look like he was Luke Kechley."

Now that's funny. I needed a good laugh!

Samson's picture

Lou - Lou --Another predictor of the future. --- Somehow you know this. --- Please, enlighten us all with your great wisdom & knowledge. --- Quit cherry picking to make your point. You're embarrassing yourself. (Nickerson & Saturday are two insignificant examples)

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Dansby said he'd like to play for a contender, but he didn't say that he'd play for a third or half of his $6.5 million cap number. Nor did he say he would sign a short term contract. Maybe he will, but if not, I have no interest in having to pay a 38 yr. old player who lost it a few seasons earlier. He will be 35 in November. In 2014 Arizona prudently offered 2 yrs. and $10 million to play for a contender. He said no. The Browns, being the Browns, offered a 4 yr. $24 million contract with $14 million guaranteed. Now Cleveland is eating $3 million in dead money. I don't think Dansby can start for us. He might be just a 3rd down dime backer type. Can't see more than $2.5 million for that role, with < $500K dead money if there is a year two in the deal.

croatpackfan's picture

"There is no doubt that Ted Thompson, the general manager of the Green Bay Packers, runs a successful operation. Since the start of the decade in 2010 the Packers have the second best regular season record in the NFL at 74-34-1 (.681 winning percentage 8 playoff appearances, one Super Bowl), second only to the New England Patriots at 83-26 (.761 winning percentage, 9 playoff appearance, one Super Bowl)."

Can you explain me why you are advocating for change this successful formula. You obviously do not want good for Packers... I'm sure that is because you did not think enough about, not because you are not true fan...

Point Packer's picture

I just want more than one Super Bowl during the Aaron Rodgers era. Draft aside, looks like another 11-5 lose in the playoffs season is in order.

holmesmd's picture

We have 6 or 7 more seasons with #12 to win a SB or 2. Calm down. Our fan base is spoiled, negative, and rather impatient in my opinion. It will happen but being negative every offseason and predicting playoff losses 10 months from now accomplishes nothing. Does it really make anyone feel better?:/

Tundraboy's picture

Cow, Your best comment ever!

lou's picture

That says it all Cow, good vs great. When I read the posts that asked why an OK punter like Masthay should be kept and not challenged I had the same response as you. Why should OK be acceptable, a GM should realistically look at AN upgraded where ever it is appropriate and makes financial sense. We need the COACHJ form ESPN to holler - YOU PLAY THE GAME TO WIN. - YOU PLAY THE GAME TO WIN.

packeraaron's picture

Lol. Yes, those who understand what Thompson is doing don't want the team to be great.

You guys are adorable.

dobber's picture

Conversely, Drew Brees has been a pretty damn good NFL quarterback and the Saints have tried to do too much...that team has been falling apart for a couple years, now, and his window has effectively closed.

I recognize that there's a big difference between what's happened there and what's happening in GB, but who judges when the GM has done enough? If the answer is: when you win the next SB, then you may very well end up like the Saints rather than ending up with another SB win.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

There are differences. NO has been more up and down, has a good but not great W/L of 94-66 (59%) with only 5 playoff appearances in the 10 years Brees has been there QB. One similarity is that NO has fielded some terrible defenses (31st in yards in 2014 and 2015). Another similarity is that NO won the SB in 2009: apparently winning a SB means that your GM (Loomis) and coach (Payton) get a pass for a number of years.

croatpackfan's picture

Reynoldo - exactly! NO as heavy FA franchise are constantly up and down (more downs than ups!) with no more than 5 oportunity in 10 years to go all the way. Contrary, Packers had 8(9) opportunities in 10 years to go all the way ! Which franchise you will consider more great than other?
TT way is the bets way and that is not what claims me, or TT himslef. From Murphy, Executive Board, Mike McCarthy and lot of fans, we all see something great in the way TT leads this franchise...
You think you have the answer? All data you have are against heavy spending in FA. But no. Most of you are claiming that with FA signings Packers will be great with no data that shows you are correct.
I read few days ago one nice thought: "People who thinks that the negativew result will be changed if we continue to repeat procedures which produced that negative result are, basically, idiots!"
I do not call you idiots, but think about that what I just wrote...

dobber's picture

I think the issue is heavy spending vs. frugal spending vs. no spending on outside FA. The Saints have been more than a little reckless in their pursuit of outside FA and it's costing them. The Packers have been overly-conservative in their pursuit of outside FA.

People point to ARod and say that the Packers are ARod and a bunch of draft picks, but look at the Saints who have Drew Brees and guys they signed because they thought were going to put them over the top.

The TKstinator's picture

How could the NO defenses be bad with Jairus Byrd in the fold?

Point Packer's picture

"When Rodgers' career ends without another SB appearance (as a Packer), will you agree that Thompson didn't do enough?"

Exactly. There will be a long piece at some point in the future about how "if Thompson had made just one more move" or "if Rodgers had just had another weapon" or "If Mike McCarthy would have dumped that ass clown special teams coach that everyone and their brother knew should have been kicked to the curb one year earlier...."

Ok, the latter one is on MM.

Bottom line, #12 doesn't get another SB, the Thompson/Rodgers era will be defined by missed opportunities.

Spud Rapids's picture

I like how you act like this is a preconceived destiny

Spud Rapids's picture

I think the only thing that is preconceived is your poo poo attitude for anything the packers do

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Please stop this BS that if you disagree with TT you want the Packers to be bad.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Hi, Croat. I didn't intend to compare NO's FA activity with ours. I don't follow NO and know little about how they operate in FA or how well they drafted, etc. I did check and found that since NO won the SB, they've gone 7-9, 7-9, 11-5, 7-9, 13-3, and 11-5 with only 3 playoff appearances in those 6 post SB win seasons. I do know that Brees has a $30M cap hit with $20.8M dead money hit for 2016. That suggests a bad GM to me, but because he won a super bowl, Loomis appears to be getting a pass. The similarity is having an elite QB and only one SB victory.

TT is a good GM. Some of us have some quibbles at the margins. Yes, there are some who think he is terrible: I would submit that they are a tiny minority.

dobber's picture

...maybe not a tiny minority but, yes, a very vocal minority.

scullyitsme's picture

How about no more articles about Ted Thompson lack of free agent acquisitions. I feel like I've read about 1000 in the last 10 years. Every one sounded like this one

4EVER's picture

I'll be laughing till next Tuesday...thanks!

RobinsonDavis's picture

Unidentified Free-Agent Obstacle?

Since &#039;61's picture

Brilliant Mojo - made my day so far! Thanks, Since '61

Packmaniac's picture

Bravo, Scully. The article is well-written, but based on the subject matter I'm surprised I bothered to read it. For obvious reasons, I don't generally pay attention to free agency. When a buddy called me a couple years ago and said we'd signed Peppers, I thought he was yanking my chain. At the start of FA this year, I told the same buddy the only possible signing this year would be Jared Cook so give me a call if Ted signs him. My temporary insanity appears to be over. I now return to ignoring free agency because Ted gonna Ted.

Packmaniac's picture

Bravo, Scully. The article is well-written, but based on the subject matter I'm surprised I bothered to read it. For obvious reasons, I don't generally pay attention to free agency. When a buddy called me a couple years ago and said we'd signed Peppers, I thought he was yanking my chain. At the start of FA this year, I told the same buddy the only possible signing this year would be Jared Cook so give me a call if Ted signs him. My temporary insanity appears to be over. I now return to ignoring free agency because Ted gonna Ted.

ben's picture

If the Packers let Karlos Dansby get away.......... I don't know. I would hope you'd agree that Ted should and would be a complete laughing stock at that point. Year after year with the same glaring need at ILB. And now, 1 of the best 3-4 ILB in the game that probably can be had on a short-term deal, who probably wants to play with a contender, and can be had without breaking the bank. But Ted can't get over himself and pull the trigger?

It's gross.

The last 11 years or so have been so mismanaged, that after being a huge Packer fan for 38 years, I couldn't bare it anymore and became a Viking Fan 11 months ago. But even I can't believe ted can't get this deal done. I'm sorry, but I'll be on here for the foreseeable future, laughing at this organization if Ted does this "his way."

ben's picture

Looks like the best player to ever play the game at the most influential position in team sports may end his career with only 1 championship.

What would be unacceptable to greats such as Lebron James or Tom Brady, is totally fine here. Absolutely defended and encouraged.

When everything is said and done, Rodgers would have probably won more championships if he were drafted by the Oakland Raiders or the Washington Redskins.

To bad for Packer Fans there is finally another legit team in their division. The Minnesota Vikings are completely Legit and only getting better. If Walsh makes a chip-shot FG last year, the Viking probably go on to beat Carolina Panthers then the Denver Broncos. Turning my preseason bet of $150 to $6000. Barring injury, the Vikings probably win the NFC North and a World Championship in 2016. If the packers don't sign Dansby or get some NFL ready stud ILB in the draft, what are you rooting for. Why does Ted deserve such blind loyalty? what, you know him? U know of him? He's from Wisconsin? He's from texas.

My guess is that the Vikings make it 3 straight years with NFL's best draft class. (granted Ted may have had 1 of his best draft classes last year)

zeke's picture

"If Walsh makes a chip-shot FG last year..."

I love that story.

lou's picture

What could have been more appropriate based on their history. At least when the Bill's LOST 4 SUPER BOWLS, they were at least competitive. When you watch Romo in the Cowboy's biggest games at the games biggest moments "choke" again and again you have to think that maybe he will end his career as a Viking, now that would be a "story book ending".

zeke's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2TZQlVPvjk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vODGkekLt5w

If you need someone to call the play-by-play of shitting the bed, no one has more experience than Paul Allen.

skol.

lou's picture

Thanks Zeke, after the last couple of season endings it is nice to know that the phrase "It Could Always Be Worse" has real meaning.

buckyor's picture

What I want to know is how the Patriots made 9 playoff appearance in the six seasons beginning 2010. Hell, how did the Packers make 8? I'm still working on how both teams played 109 regular season games in that time frame.

AgrippaLII's picture

Thanks for the article Jeff. It's obviously intended to be some sort of therapy for those who need to vent (rant, rave, whine) about TT's approach to Free Agency. I read it thinking it might have some new insights on the subject...but it contained only the same old tired worn out arguments of the past. Guess I'm just too content with watching the Packers win.

ben's picture

win what? NFC North Runner-Up?

this isn't exactly why I'm not a packer fan any longer, but it does pretty much sum up why I want them to loose every single damn game

sometimes things have to get a lot worse, before things will get any better

Bearmeat's picture

DUDE GTHOH

Mojo's picture

The way I see it, Ted is going to have to sign at least a couple free agents.

I would expect, even optimistically, that only two or three of the upcoming draft choices will be significant contributors this year. And even though they might get snaps they'll still be greenhorns. The rest will be left to "develop" like in most years. Either ST or PS.

That leaves a lot of holes to fill. As of now, we've added nothing but instead lost a couple players since the last time they played. Say what you want, but Hayward and Raji played a lot of snaps last year. Neal is still a question mark. At least Jordy's coming back.

So I see Ted adding a couple of FA's In the near future. Whether they'll be any good is another question.

Tundraboy's picture

Looks like that is exactly where we're headed. Some draft picks, hopefully one of which will make a big impact and a maybe a few lesser FAs. Here's hoping for a miraculously healthy year team wide.

Packer_Pete's picture

"Danny Trevathan formerly of the World Champion Denver Broncos. Talented and young at only 25 years of age he was signed by the rival Chicago Bears at a cap hit of $24.5 for 4 years – an average of $6.125M annually. Trevathan is a true plug-and-play linebacker, an instant starter with a non-stop motor and the skills which would have immediately upgraded the Packers defense."
-- really? Seems like he is a superstar. That's not what I saw when watching the Denver Broncos play. Actually, he was their weak link in the middle of the D.
Let's look at his production for the Broncos, shall we?
In 4 years 50 games played 282 tackles combined, 3 sacks, 4 FF, 1 FR, 5 INTs. Hardly sounds like a game changer or immediate upgrade to me. Certainly not a great player.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Trevathan was a product of the system. He was surrounded by other very good players in a very well-coached defense. His production will go down in Chicago. I don't think the Packers necessarily needed Trevathan, but it would be nice to see them sign someone who's competent at ILB. The debacle at safety is too fresh in my mind, however, to believe Ted will do that.

MarkinMadison's picture

Which Packers ILB is better in coverage? Do the Packers even have two legit starters at ILB right now? CM3 playing so much ILB tells me the answer to that question is a big N.O. Is $6M/yr. now superstar money? Not really. Kuechly gets double that; Trevathan's K is 14th in the NFL for his position, and at the rate the cap is going up will look like chump change in three years. Plus, young player, still has room to get better.

BDUB's picture

Why doesn't anyone come out and say it" Ted is weird"

Tundraboy's picture

Yes he is. The last interview made me think he is a stoner.

MarkinMadison's picture

What kills, me, absolutely kills me, is if Trevathan's words are taken at face value, the Packers never even picked up the phone to find out what the number was. IF that is true, don't tell me TT did his due diligence, because he didn't.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

I don't know where the idea came from that Green Bay was Trevathan's preferred landing spot. He never said that. When asked if the Packers called, he said they didn't but wished that they had. More interest = more leverage. Would he rather play for the Packers than the Bears? Maybe, but he never said that.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

How the hell could he say that he would have preferred to play for GB after he signed with Chicago? That is an impossible standard. Go tell your boss that you really wanted a job with his competitor but got no offer, so you settled for him. Tell your wife you really wanted Lola, but settled for her. See how that works for ya.

RobinsonDavis's picture

Point is, if Trevathan was TRULY interested in being a Packer, his agent would have made sure it was understood. But, I am with those that think Ted should have signed a reliable starter quality LB vs. a couple of draft choices that have been taking-up roster spots while the rest of the Team watches AND draft another. Heck, they brought back a guy they previously cut to START. Is that not a red flag for poor management of this position? Remember, Jerrell Freeman was signed for roughly the same as Perry by the Bears....$4M per year/3 year deal with $6M guaranteed. This is not a rub on Perry, but I think questions remain on many of our LBs while you have PROVEN talent with both of these Free Agent LBs that went to a competitor, none the less, in the Division.

MarkinMadison's picture

I wasn't referring to "preferred landing spot," I was referring to "never called." How can you do your due diligence if you don't even pick up the phone and have a conversation? The only possible explanation is that the Packers broke down the tape and decided he wasn't good enough to bother. In which case I say, "Who's on the Packers roster who is better?"

sgunderson17's picture

People forget that Travethan was a 6th round draft choice. There's a reason he went with the Ricky Elmores of the world. It's more likely than not that he was a product of the stacked defense in Denver and we'll certainly find out. But let's stop making it seem like Luke Kuechley was available. mmmmmkay

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

So were Tom Brady, Marco Rivera, Mark Chmura, Matt Hasselback, Desmond Bishop, Starks, Korey Hall. There are reasons why players fall to the 6th, and in packer drafts the miss rate is high, but not all of the reasons for falling are lack of ability.

egbertsouse's picture

Good article. Needed to be said. TT has a decent system but it controls him, he does not control it. He is unable to break out of his template when circumstances warrant.

If you want 10-6 seasons and one and done playoff runs, Ted's the man. Me, I'd prefer a 4-12 season if it would get Ted to stir things up a bit and make some real changes. Take some risks, man! Maybe they work out and maybe they flop but like they say, "sometimes you have to be real bad to get real good."

dobber's picture

"If you want 10-6 seasons and one and done playoff runs, Ted's the man."

In the TT era, the Packers have made 8 trips to the playoffs. They have one-and-done 3 times ('09, '11, '13). Each year, at least 4 of the 12 (or 33%) playoff teams must lose their first game and usually more, depending on how the bye teams fare. In all, Packer performance in the playoffs lines up with the averages.

Am I satisfied with that? No. Some teams always advance, year after year. I'd like the Packers to be in the equation as long as possible each year. What I'm saying is that these numbers are not "Marty Schottenheimer" (9 of 13 one and done) alarming.

The TKstinator's picture

"Some teams always advance, year after year"
Care to explain that?

Tundraboy's picture

Know what you mean, but it just shows how frustrating it is to be so close, and not taking at least a few chances, but going 4 and 12 still wouldn't change anything. Going to have to live with TT and MM and hope that one of these years everything will go our way.

3rdigraphics's picture

I think Ted truly looks at the entire roster and how it's built from a value proposition - end of story.

Getting good, motivated players cheap has one and only one pipeline fill: the draft. It also insures that the player knows one way/one culture - the Ted/Packer way. I think Ted values this above all else.

He'll take his chances on making sure his own players stay motivated by rewarding them with a second contract, possibly a 3rd.

dobber's picture

"I think Ted truly looks at the entire roster and how it's built from a value proposition - end of story."

This is pretty much it, I think. Over the years, ILB and RB have devalued considerably as DBs, QBs and trench players have boosted in value.

The value at TE is variable depending on the makeup of your roster. A TE who never lines up tight is a WR. If you've got good WR to line up wide, your TE doesn't need to be a speed guy, and I think this is TTs approach at this point. He's got a stable of WR where he's paying out big bucks and guys they're waiting on to develop.

I would be happier at TE if RRodg was a better blocker...

Tundraboy's picture

That could very well be as a general rule. Let's hope though that they use that perception to surprise us with a FA pickup. But with that business approach it is then entirely up to luck meaning if everything lines up and we are also healthy in a given year we could win a SB, before Rodgers is done. . Wouldn't count on it or hold my breath waiting for it.

Since &#039;61's picture

The role of a GM is to wake up everyday and ask himself what can I do to make this team better today? If you think that TT has done that for this team then ask why do we still have needs at ILB and TE? If the draft is TTs only answer than I submit that he is not doing the best he can for this team. When you limit your options and opportunities for improving the team by not even speaking with available FAs then as a GM you are not seeking an answer to the question of what can I do to make this team better. I like TT he is a good GM but he is like a player who does not show up for every down. The end result is that his team does not improve and at some point the core group of players peak out and regress. Why? Because the message they receive is that we're fine where we are. When you reach that level of acceptance it's time for change. It's early, plenty can still happen but as of now we are going into 2016 with less than we had in 2015 and I have yet to see TT do anything to improve this team for 2016. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

"The role of a GM is to wake up everyday and ask himself what can I do to make this team better today? "

Perfectly stated Since 61,that is the litmus test of a leader and one that inspires people to make the extra effort. TT is not that from what I see. I'm beginning to think he will get us to a point and then it's just a matter of luck that everything aligns perfectly, a critical number of players have great years and team is generally healthy at key positions. And that no crazy thing happens on the field! Our biggest flaw seems to be we are built to win if everything goes as planned when we should be built to win when things do not always go our way. We need more depth and experience and that means adding some FA veterans. (See Charles Woodson)

marpag1's picture

Lots of crap in this article.

Hey, people can wish for free agents if they want to, and that's OK. I wouldn't mind a dip in the FA pool myself now and then. But a very large percentage of this article is crap.

"To Packers’ fans everywhere ... if your definition of success is winning in the post season and racking up championships then you may have fallen short. Not bad, but not championships either."

The argument that "Ted can't win championships" is crap. I think he already has one championship, right?? In the 11 years that TT has been GM, only TWO teams out of 32 have won two championships (Steelers and Giants). Seven teams, including the Packers, have won one. Heck, even those magnificent bastards in New England have only won one SB during that time. So... how bad does TT suck?

“When it comes to building a championship team comfortable Ted Thompson has become a contented man.“

Is that so? It’s obvious that you are using the word “contented” in a somewhat derogatory sense… as if Ted were somehow satisfied to suck a little bit. That’s crap. Do you know something about Thompson’s attitude toward this? Just because he doesn’t do things the way that you (or I) might want doesn’t mean he is “content.”

“But the draft is a crap-shoot at best.”

Thanks. You even included the word "crap" right in the quote. Sure, the draft is a crap shoot. And what would you call free agency?

“Ted himself spent the first day of the 2016 Free Agency by being on the road scouting at the University of Wisconsin’s pro day.”

It seems you want us to believe that this proves TT isn't interested in free agency. That's crap. Bill Belicheck (whom many seem to admire as the model) was also at a pro day (Alabama's). Y'all think Belichick is "contented?" (Story here: http://www.scout.com/nfl/packers/story/1650704-here-s-why-thompson-isn-t...

“It is obvious that he wasn’t sitting by the phone awaiting players’ agents’ calls.”

Again, you apparently want us to take this as proof that TT isn't doing his due diligence. That's crap. These days, they have these wonderful things called “cell phones” and “mobile devices” that work just like a landline phone, except that you can put them in your pocket and take them with you. So… um… seeing as it is so “obvious” to you, can you tell us how far TT was from his phone that day?

“Instead of a green and gold Trevathan, Packers fans will have to settle for watching him perform (and torment) the Packers offense for the Chicago Bears for the next several years.”

Sure, you can say this about anyone. But it sounds like an unsubstantiated prediction at best, and a wildly optimistic guess at worst. As for being an argument that people need to accept, it's crap. That's the thing about free agency. Every FA is a slam-dunk "difference maker" ... at least until the season starts.

“But those compensatory picks are of little consequence anyway – projected to be a 5th rounder for Casey Hayward and a 7th for Scott Tolzein in next years’ draft - if that. Peanuts.”

Again, crap. When you say "peanuts" do you mean peanuts like Josh Sitton, Mike Daniels, Davon House, Richard Rodgers, Josh Boyd, Jared Abbrederis and a bunch of others who came as comp picks? Especially next year when comp picks can be packaged in trade?

ray nichkee's picture

Let it out man, let it out. I'm with you for the most part. My guess is ted will try to sign a guy or two yet but not anything huge. The only signing i thought would have been nice was green but pitt snatched him up too quick.

Spud Rapids's picture

Has everyone forgot that the Packers will most likely get 2 4th round picks for letting Tramon and House walk last year and not signing free agents. Now that you can trade compensatory picks you have to look at the cost of signing a free agent through the lens of how it affects compensatory picks in addition to their cap hit. What is the value of a draft pick? I personally think TT is smart with his roster and doesn't have to answer to a rich owner who needs ticket sales with a free agent splash.

Notable 4th Rounders:
David Bahktiari
Josh Sitton
T.J. Lang
Mike Daniels

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