GM, Coaching Changes Mark a Step Forward in Green Bay

The season of change has arrived in Green Bay. On Monday, the Packers packed more offseason excitement into one day than they have in all the years since the infamous Brett Favre saga combined.

While reports regarding defensive coordinator Dom Capers had been circulating for some time, multiple outlets confirmed Monday morning that his time with the Packers had, in fact, come to an end. Somewhat lost in the shuffle of the move were two lower-profile changes, with defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and inside linebackers coach Scott McCurley also being relieved of their duties. Relative to most offseasons in Green Bay, that news alone would have moved the meter significantly.

Then came the bombshell.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report that longtime general manager Ted Thompson will not return to the position in 2018, and instead will transition into a new role with the organization.

The move is the first step in a significant front office reorganization for the Packers, who will conduct a search for a new general manager, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson first reported that VP of Football Administration Russ Ball, Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst and Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf will all see their duties re-defined.

During Thompson’s 13-year run as general manager, Green Bay made nine playoff appearances, won six NFC North titles, appeared in four NFC championship games and won Super Bowl XLV. He was also responsible for drafting Aaron Rodgers.

Until the Packers make an official announcement, there won’t be a clear answer on the exact nature of Thompson’s new role, though many expect it will focus heavily on scouting and draft responsibilities.

If that turns out the be the case, Green Bay may have turned a season of turmoil into a win-win situation. Thompson has long been hailed as a master talent evaluator, even if his critics say he’s lost a step there in recent years. By transitioning him into a focused scouting role, the Packers perhaps can maximize his greatest strength while letting the new general manager worry about roster and finance decisions.

The moves also may speak to the perceived need to get back to the Super Bowl while Aaron Rodgers is still under center. Green Bay has had the luxury of starting two Hall of Fame quarterbacks for the vast majority of the past quarter-century, and the 7-9 campaign they just completed provided a demoralizing look at what life is like when that luxury is taken away. Plus, even a healthy Rodgers has had a difficult time overcoming the defensive deficiencies that had become commonplace in recent years.

In any case, it is now abundantly clear those in charge in Green Bay saw a need to make changes—and quick. For an organization that rarely makes waves with their decision making, and often avoids doing so at all costs, the lost 2017 season struck a chord in the front office that signaled a need to deviate from the norm and move forward.

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Comments (134)

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jclombardi's picture

January 02, 2018 at 11:22 am

Long overdue! B. of D. did the right thing informing Murphy to transition TT out. Fans get t heir late Christmas wish granted in the new year. I hope all coaching and management candidates come from the outside. Its clean house time to prepare for next year run to Super Bowl! Go Pack!

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TheVOR's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Now, just please God, don't blow this GM thing by going with Ball or Gutekunst, we need to let the young Wolf howl! I want the bloodlines in there!!! They've done the right things so far, but something tells me they'll *-this up with Russ Ball. Eliott Wolf, PLEASE!!!!

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:36 pm

I agree. Wolf is the best candidate. Going outside the organization would be a mistake.

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Turophile's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I'd say he is the 3rd best internal candidate after Ball and Gutekunst, but my wag is the same as yours, just a guess.

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Turophile's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:24 pm

As a sidenote it became known that McCarthy had got a 1yr extension earlier this year, so he avoids the "won't come to GB to coach for a lame duck" scenario when it comes to coordinator and coach hires.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:13 pm

Not Ball - he's too conservative ala TT. And he has no experience scouting talent.

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rdent's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:19 pm

Ball, good salary cap/ contract guy, nothing more.

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Turophile's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:21 pm

You know so little about him.........try reading up a bit.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 01:40 am

The one year extension of MM is asinine. It doesn't make MM any more or less of a lame duck. It was just the good ole boys giving MM a golden parachute. Until GB hires a GM, no DC candidate is going to view the position as anything other than precarious. We aren't telling the new GM that he can't fire the HC, are we? If the new GM fires MM and hires a new HC, are we telling that new HC that he can't fire the DC hired by MM?

Now, if an internal candidate like Eliot Wolf is already anointed as the new GM and is on board with keeping MM (making the search and the Rooney rule a sham), then that is different. That might explain why Moss and Gutekunst are mentioned as candidates for jobs with other teams, but not Wolf. Even if that is the case, it makes one wonder whether MM was really Wolf's number one choice, or if he was just savvy and realized that it was the price of being anointed the new GM.

Either give MM a long term extension or don't bother.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 01:59 am

TGR, I agree with you. It is the question for new GM (internal or external) will he contuinue with Mike McCarthy or not...

I'm more in for status quo with person - I'm for keeping Mike McCarthy. But I think that new GM should have his requests on MIke McCarthy and give him at least a year to show he can adapt to new GM.

Total turnover would probably cost Packers another losing season...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 03:21 am

Perhaps you (and RC) are correct, and the right thing to do is to retain MM. While I sometimes see issues with the offense, as a stats guy I have to say that MM's offense scores points. I stand by my thought that there was no real purpose in giving MM an extension other than lining MM's pocket, but I can make a pretty good argument for letting him be the HC, particularly if MM is acceptable to the new GM. As noted, GB stuck TT with Sherman for a year, and that worked out. The HC, be it MM or someone new, should have a legitimate chance to put a winning team on the field in 2018, and thus prove himself. [The allusion I am making is that in 2005, TT gutted significant parts of the roster, largely ensuring that Sherman would have a losing record in his final season coaching as the HC.]

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 02, 2018 at 11:26 am

"GM, Coaching Changes Mark a Step Forward in Green Bay"

We hope!

We hope its a step forward!

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:03 pm

At this point, they've only created vacancies...which are questions. No answers.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:01 pm

And even after the moves are made, we won't know if they are good moves until after 2018 season.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:27 pm

You want good moves? You ought to see The TKstinator on the dance floor.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:28 am

Who on god's green earth could "dislike" this?!

Had me let loose a belly laugh, TK!

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:52 am

you got a video of that? let's judge for ourselves LOL

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 09:10 am

I'd rather not...

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zoellner25's picture

January 02, 2018 at 11:30 am

Finally even Mark Murphy recognized a need for change.

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rdent's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:23 pm

It was reported by Bob McGinn I beleive, that Murphy was urged by the BOD to have TT step aside, health issues and a growing inability to focus were factored in the decision.

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Mojo's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:33 pm

It was suggested by myself and a few others a while back (including an MD poster), that Ted might be suffering from the effects of playing a brutal contact sport for 10 years (ever hear of CTE anyone?) along with the normal decline that transpires with an aging brain.

The critique was done respectfully as just an observation and not a declaration of TT's worthiness as a person. A certain number of PC over-reactors got bent of shape about it saying it was insensitive and off-limits. Yet GB's own BOD urged the team president to take action because the GM appears to them to have physical and mental health issues.

As long as it's not mean-spirited, it actually can be helpful to state the obvious.

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OrganLeroy's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:28 pm

You're making a BIG assumption that McGuinns report about Teds health is not only accurate, but doesn't just mean Teds getting more tired due to his duties and age. I don't understand why anyone even needs to bring it up in pure speculation until there's a report that proves that assumption. Let's focus on the new GM and new coaches.

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Mojo's picture

January 02, 2018 at 07:04 pm

I mentioned his age possibly being a contributing factor Organ. And whether it was from playing football or some other malady really wasn't the point.

Quite a number of us have noticed what appears to be a significant decline in TT's health over the years. Doesn't make him or us bad people.

And quite frankly, I'll focus on whatever Packer related topic I want to. (And if McGinn says he has a source in the know on this topic, I believe him. Whether you like McGinn or not, he knows a lot of credible people.)

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holmesmd's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:21 pm

Thanks for remembering me & Happy New Year to you!! I’ve learned a long time ago that just because you may be “right”, doesn’t always come with acknowledgement. Most people would rather make fun of TT’s “mouth being agape” than to actually have the insight or concern to identify a likely issue. It’s all good but thanks for your comment nonetheless.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 03, 2018 at 05:24 am

I'm one of those people so what are you saying? I'm not going to apologize because I haven't taken the time to take Thompson's health into account. If Thompson's health was/is an issue then he should have stepped aside right away. I'm also not going to ASSUME he has health issues because his mouth has been hanging "agape" since he got here really.

I've been on the fire Ted Thompson bandwagon LONG before this season, I'd say as far back as 2012 or 13. I've always given him credit where credit was due and always thought he was one of the best at managing the salary cap. I guess that credit should go to Ball, but Thompson deserves an assist.

I've always had issues with Thompson for other reasons. I could never understand how Thompson would go into seasons basically naked at some positions. Just take a look at the Safety, ILB, RB, OLB, or TE positions over the last say 7 years. The Packers have ALWAYS been buck ass naked at one or more of those positions going into and throughout a season. He reluctance in Free Agency aggravated me to no end and I can only imagine the number of SB Titles he left for someone else to claim due to his inactive approach.

Happy New Years.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:08 am

You forgot that Bob McGinn is old, grumpy. His sources are barely credible...

Mike Murphy said by himself that was TT idea at the beginning of the last season. And I believe Mike Murphy has no interest to tells us untruthful stories...

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Houndog's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:14 pm

Who is Mike Murphy?

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Since'61's picture

January 02, 2018 at 11:32 am

Their decision for the new GM could impact this team for a long time. Let's hope it's a good one. Thanks, Since '61

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 02, 2018 at 11:38 am

Pre 2011 TT made a lot of good decision s that many would have never made. I will not forget it. But the last 5 seasons have not been nearly as good. I hope he gets to enjoy being a scout again and keeps finding late round gems.

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Severo Henry's picture

January 02, 2018 at 11:47 am

The grass is always greener on the other side..... We will see?!

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Houndog's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Gutekunst is reportedly being interviewed by the Houston Texans for their GM Position.
Highsmith is (reportedly) being courted by John Dorsey to be his Director of Player Personnel in Cleveland.
If Wolf is passed over for the GM position there is a real likelihood we could lose all three, which make up our entire personnel department (other than scouts). Couple that with what might be (because of no GM in place) a lame duck coach and finding a replacement for Capers at this time will not be an easy task.
Let's hope this gets sorted out quickly or we could face a complete rebuild of the organization from the ground up.

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Wouldn't this be the ultimate kick in the balls?

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Houndog's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Yes dobber, it would be the ultimate kick in the balls!
I guess that would leave Murphy and Russ Ball to address A-Rod's contract extension by themselves.
All the result of waiting a few too many years to dump TT, and then being noncommittal and unprepared when it happens.

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:14 pm

They seem to be trying to act quickly, but I can't help but wonder if Highsmith's trip to Cleveland is a result of feeling left out, or feeling that the reorganization at the top of the food chain is Murphy trying to have his cake and eat it, too (meaning, trying to keep everyone but not willing to give anyone what they really want).

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Houndog's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:23 pm

I wonder too!
Then theree's the mixed reports of
"Murphy told the Executive committee he was letting TT go", or was it
"The Executive Committee told Murphy to let TT go"?
On that one we'll probably never really know, but now it is what it is, and now it's time to either $hit, or get off the pot.

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Spock's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:45 pm

Houndog, per Mark Murphy's own press conference today:

» Thompson will remain the GM until a replacement hired, Murphy said. Murphy said Thompson won't be involved with interviews but will be consulted on in-house candidates.

» Murphy said there was no truth to a report that he was directed to make a change by the board of directors.

» Murphy said he had a conversation with Thompson a year ago and feels like he's "a scout at heart." They met again this week and Thompson said the same thing. "That moved us to make that decision," Murphy said. "It's a grind. This is a chance to still do what he loves and build championships. ... It was a decision that we made jointly looking at a number of different options. In my mind, I think it's going to be good for the organization and Ted."

» Murphy said Thompson's role as a "senior adviser" will be to support personnel staff, specifically the general manager. "I think someone with Ted's experience can be invaluable to our organization," he said.

I wouldn't trust anything coming from Bob McGinn on this!

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Brian's picture

January 02, 2018 at 08:43 pm

Agree on McGinn. He has turned into a bitter old man. I've heard him lately on sports radio and he is just flat out bitter and off the mark. His is pissed he couldn't get press credentials. Somebody crapped in his coffee cup.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:34 am

Sad, but I concur.

I understand McGinn's angst at the changes in the way the Packers deal with the press since TT took over- there's less access and press is, quite frankly, shunned for the most part- and McGinn was understandably disappointed when he left the Journal-Sentinel and lost all the access he had. It was pretty clear it caught him off guard that when he went solo the Packers treated him like someone who was no longer a member of the press.

He does seem to be bitter about it. I get it, but I have to admit, I take his criticisms or the organization today with a much larger dose of salt than I did in the past.

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Houndog's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:53 pm

Got it, Spock,
But if you look at the timeline(s) alongside every post you'll see that my post was written before Murphy's press conference AND BEFORE it was announced McCarthy was given an extension.
The Packers' organization has a bone to pick with McGinn and vice versa, and maybe rightfully so for both sides, I don't know. Turnabout and reciprocation are both fair play.
I'll stand by my statement, we'll probably never know the real truth.

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cuervo's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:51 pm

Highsmith is going to Cleveland because it's a promotion and probably more money. He's 4th on the depth chart here, he'd be the assistant GM #2 guy there. Who wouldn't go interview?

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OrganLeroy's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:30 pm

Highsmiths trip(and hire) in Cleveland is a result of being offered a better job! He was 1 of 4 in house candidates, why wait when a guy you used to work with is offering you a good job?

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stockholder's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:03 pm

Let them all leave. Wolf is your next GM. And TT will help, until their replacements are found. They have not announced TTs roll or title yet. MM is staying. But he needs people he can trust. Dump Hundley, His mentor and Moss. MMs not going to melt in your hand. His Ace is A-Rod. And he'll be hot to WIN.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:31 pm

Wolf’s dad was the bomb.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:36 am

Strange to me that Ron Wolf and TT have very similar track records, but so many poop on TT while putting Wolf on the ivory pedestal.

Never really did get that, especially when the battle cry is "it's all about wins and superbowls"

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 01:59 am

Wolf changed a two decade old culture of losing into a winning organization. He got Reggie White to come to GB, and then got FAs to sign with GB. It really was huge change in perception.

TT did a lot of good things, but he didn't do what Wolf did.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:18 am

Maybe you'll treat TT better if he did the same as Wolf did. Turned the culture of winning to culture of losing organization?

What is harder? To climb up to the top or to stay there for a long time? I think TT did wonderful job with keeping Packers as contender year after year after year...

If you want equivalent to Ron Wolf's move when he turned Packers to winning organization, I will offer you turning Packers organization from whining diva organization to really successful one. That is TT legacy!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 03:09 am

You're fighting this hard, Croat. You perceive a criticism where none was offered. You'd be right though if you think I did not sufficiently praise TT, because I think he was merely above average. TT simply did not have the opportunity that Wolf had. You can't change a long term losing culture into a winning culture if you inherit a winning culture and a HOF QB like TT did.

I am sure that there have been many truly great people who happened to live in tranquil times. I imagine that there have been geniuses who had the misfortune to be born serfs in Siberia without the opportunity to learn to read or write, and thus made less contribution to humankind than they might otherwise have done.

Actually, I think you insufficiently praised TT. I don't think he turned a whining Diva organization into a really successful one. Seems to me he pretty much put up with the whining diva, until he had to cut bait due to AR's situation. TT did make that hard decision, while also offering Favre $20M to go quietly into retirement. TT's legacy is finding a 2nd HOF QB, and maintaining the culture of success he inherited. One could argue that it is harder to maintain massive success than it is to achieve it for a time in the first place. I think Wolf both was the person who turned GB into a success, and maintained it for 11 years. When Wolf left, GB still was a very successful team with legitimate super bowl contender status, having a HOF QB and a stud RB, and lots of good players on the roster.

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marpag1's picture

January 03, 2018 at 04:41 am

There is some validity to your argument, TGR, but I don't think there is nearly as much validity as many people think there is.

Brett Favre and every single player acquired by Ron Wolf would have been gone about a decade ago, and the Packers would have very quickly returned to the same abyss that Wolf had pulled them out of. In fact, the Packers roster and cap situation wasn't even all that good when Thompson took the reins. I think it's a huge overstatement to suggest that Wolf left such 'momentum' in Green Bay that even a subpar or average GM could have continued the success. No, it would have come crashing down very quickly.

Green Bay has continued to succeed, not because Wolf left a winner, but because Ted Thompson did his job well. More specifically, Green Bay has continued to succeed because Ted Thompson made one of the greatest draft picks of all time. Wolf didn't help Thompson draft ARod, and without ARod Wolf's "winning culture" would truly have been a "fart in the wind."

How much did Wolf's legacy of a "winning culture" help the GM who immediately followed him, Mike Sherman? Not so much, I'd say. Heck, Sherman nearly burned it to the ground in less than 4 years.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 04:00 am

TT could not do what Wolf did, because it had already been done. Nothing can change that. However, I will interject that Ted Thompson was the Director of Pro Personnel for the Packers when Reggie White was acquired by the Packers. And, indeed, Thompson was part of the scouting process when it came to Brett Favre as well (although TT humorously recalls that he tilted his analysis of Favre the way Wolf wanted to hear it, lol)

But TT also did something Wolf never had to do; he had to stand firm against that legendary player that redefined the Packers and hold his ground for the good of the future of the franchise, no doubt knowing he would be despised for it. TT also had the foresight and fortitude to never speak a harsh word about Brett Favre because he understood how important it was for Brett to one day come back into the fold, again, for the good of the franchise.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:03 am

I buy those caveats, Oppy and Marpag. I did say that Wolf left Sherman in good shape, not that he left TT in good shape. I'd have to go back and look at the 2001 roster and cap situation, but I am too lazy at the moment. 4 years is a long time in the NFL. That is plenty of time for a GM like Sherman to wreck the boat. I accused Croat of not sufficiently praising TT, and perhaps I am guilty of that as well. I wonder if Woodson would have signed with GB if Wolf hadn't transformed the organization? Speculation, with no real answer. At least Wolf had the grace to admit two super bowl appearances and one win with Favre was a "fart in the wind." I don't ever expect to hear it from TT or MM.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:27 am

"At least Wolf had the grace to admit two super bowl appearances and one win with Favre was a "fart in the wind." I don't ever expect to hear it from TT or MM."

Or from many of our posters here. I LOVED that about Wolf. He admitted there should have been more. The thing about Wolf is he always seemed to swing for the fence. Thompson has ALWAYS played it safe and IMO it's bit him in the butt as a result.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:04 pm

He also hired Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman (twice!). He let Bryce Paup leave in free agency and watched him become the NFL Defensive POY the very next season. He drafted Terrell Buckley over Troy Vincent. And on and on. But he made enough "hits" to make up for these monumental misses. Same is true for Thompson.

Wolf got Favre and Reggie White.

Thompson got Rodgers and Woodson.

They have a very similar record.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:32 pm

John Schneider, anyone?

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HankScorpio's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:49 pm

None for me, thanks.

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Bure9620's picture

January 02, 2018 at 10:12 pm

I prefer having an offensive line

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marpag1's picture

January 03, 2018 at 04:06 am

LOL. I also prefer NOT making horrible swing-for-the-fences trades and monstrously bad mega-contracts, like Percy Harvin.

Schneider had quite a nice run in the draft a while back, and he caught lightning in a bottle with Russell WIlson. But he has definitely come back to earth. I think he's good, but pretty significantly overrated.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 03, 2018 at 05:41 am

You have to remember Pete Carroll has final say over all roster moves, especially before Schneider signed his 2nd contract in Seattle. Carroll has final say over FA, Trades, and Draft Choices.

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marpag1's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:48 am

I've heard that too, but I've also heard the other thing. Who knows what the reality is, but there is considerable debate about it.

From a Seattle Times Article in 2015: "Schneider is perceived as having final say over the 90-man roster the team brings to camp each year, with Carroll having final say over who is kept on the 53-man regular-season roster."

From an NFL.com article in 2013: "In essence, Schneider runs the show during the offseason and Carroll takes the torch when the pads go on. Carroll has final say over the 53-man roster, but Schneider runs the draft and free agency, and has taken the lead on building a roster that's unique, different and loaded with young talent."

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:34 am

Since they paid Russell Wilson, Seattle has had a tendency to run up tight against the cap. They were 31st in cap room this season according to overthecap.com and some reports indicated that it was difficult for them to maintain 53 active players on the roster because of it. Whether this is Schneider's fault, Carroll's fault, or a problem that develops when you've got too many hands in the cookie jar, I don't know. But I would cast a wary eye toward Schneider.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:12 am

Great point!

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Razer's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Got to wonder how bad things were getting in the organization to prompt these drastic and wholesale changes. MM insistence on playing Hundley down to the bitter end might have been a f_ck you to TT. Ted supplied the talent and Mike tried to make it work. When we all saw that Hundley didn't have NFL talent, you have to wonder why Callahan wasn't getting a sniff. Maybe MM held it out there for the rest to see the lack of horses in the stable.

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OrganLeroy's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:34 pm

What a ridiculous comment! MM was saddled with Hundley because Ted didn't supply him with any alternatives, or maybe Cobb should've been inserted at QB. Callahan is a Div. III UDFA, you can't seriously believe he would've been an improvement! People, get some reality in your lives!

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Razer's picture

January 02, 2018 at 05:10 pm

Hundley did little to distinguish himself, particularly through the last two games. Why not give Callahan a shot to shine? Maybe the bottomline is that both backup QBs are garbage and Mike didn't want teams to know that we have nothing going into next year. IMO, Callahan should have been given the 2nd half.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:03 am

Whether that was MM's motivation is in the end irrelevant: the result was the same. TT saddled MM with a sow's ear (or two of them), and that is who got to play. Either way MM doesn't look good, since it hurt the QB guru image he had garnered. It sure doesn't make TT look smart either.

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:36 am

I don't believe MM did very much to put Hundley in a position to be successful. I don't believe he schemed to Hundley's strengths, whether that was stubbornness, game flow, or just what they felt they needed him to do to win games we'll never know.

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nostradanus's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:10 pm

This has been in the works for awhile I'm sure.
The Packers have a plan but have to go through the process to hire a new GM (I.E. the "Rooney Rule").
I believe they already know who they are going to hire as GM.

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Houndog's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Yes, as of yesterday, January 1, 2018 the NFL extended the Rooney Rule to include executives (I.E. GMs, etc., etc.).
Another example of a day late and a dollar short.

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rdent's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:42 pm

One would have to assume the head brass in GB had a plan in place long before making all these moves. The GM position more than likely will be filled before the DC and assistant positions. What I am most curious about at this point is where do these changes leave MM? If Murphy picks someone from the list of in house candidates MM may get to coach out his last year of his contract, an outside GM hire may not go that route. The suspense is killing me.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:40 pm

If someone comes in and finally supplies MM with some talent through the draft and FA, he's fine. I still think he's one of the better coaches in the league. Glad to see Capers and TT move on, though.

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Houndog's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:44 pm

rdent,
I see "where does that leave MM" as one of the major problems.
Without a GM, and therefore without an answer on whether or not MM stays, it will certainly put the brakes on MM hiring a new coordinator.
No one worth his salt would take a position that might last one year (or maybe one week) when there's a number of openings out there.

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I'm Dunn's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:44 pm

MM extended through 2019

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Coldworld's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:47 pm

It seems MM was extended through 2019 during Season. TT’s new role already announced. This certainly looks like there was a plan in place that all front office parties would have been aware of. I am a little sceptical about the BOD and Murphy as instigators here. Sounds like spin to me. I wonder if the push is really the amount of interest in remaining senior personnel and fear it might remove the desired New leadership

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:17 pm

Depends on what they consider an interview. Highsmith satisfies the rule...

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Houndog's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:53 pm

Tom Silverstein reporting (about 10 minutes ago) that Murphy has given MM a contract extension.

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Houndog's picture

January 02, 2018 at 12:58 pm

They're now saying it was done 'during the season' and extends through 2019.

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rdent's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:28 pm

That's what I thought, the extension had to have been done earlier before all these recent moves. Either that or they plan on hiring from in house with an agreement to leave MM in place,at least for a short term win it or hit the road deal.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:14 pm

Murphy just said: "Absolutely no truth that the BOD urged or made any sort of ultimatum to move on. This was Ted telling me 2x over the course of the past year that he is just a scout at heart."

That is a relief.

Also interesting - "There are several strong internal candidates, but we will look across the NFL." And. "The search firm will help, but this will be my call."

And "I like Mike. We extended him through 2019 during the season. But the new GM will have the power to hire and fire the head coach after 2018."

So MM is back for 1 more year, but unless he performs, he's out. And that should guarantee a competitive DC search too!

Excellent. I really like what I'm hearing from Murphy.

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stockholder's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:28 pm

MM stays - Good deal. Wolf gets Hired. - Excellent choice. TT weighs in. - Ok - A new DC, - I'm so happy! We switch from the 3-4-4. - Champions Again!

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Razer's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:31 pm

Yeah, the presser indicates that it was a mutual decision for Ted to move aside. Glad to hear that.

Murphy is pretty entertaining - has a little car salesman to him. Funny to hear him talk about Ted not liking the reporters.

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Finwiz's picture

January 02, 2018 at 02:29 pm

So there is no chance this is just media spin, by guys that have predominantly one function, and that's dealing with the media?

I wouldn't bet this is 100% all there is to the process.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:48 pm

I really don't think Murphy (or Ted or McCarthy for that matter) would straight up lie to the media. Notice that Murphy did not directly answer the question about Ted's health?

When Murphy says "Absolutely no truth" to the BOD rumor, that sets me at ease.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:40 am

Yeah, one thing that I believe can be said about the Packers front office (and that many fans get dead wrong) is that Murphy & Thompson are dead. Straight. Shooters.

They may not answer your question, but they don't lie to you.

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Turophile's picture

January 04, 2018 at 01:56 am

Oppy, I agree 100%. I love that the Packers front office don't do the 'tell em what they want to hear' dance.

They tell you straight, if they are ok with giving an answer, or they don't answer a question, they are pretty honest people in that regard.

I'm sure that in the real world, and at their level, you have to do the 'skirt the truth' dance sometimes, but all to often that then becomes a habit. These guys seem about as straight as you can be in their jobs, and it's not the least of things i really like about how the Packers go about things.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:44 am

Well, Finwiz is familiar with believing media spin, since he 100% believes anything McGinn says.

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stockholder's picture

January 02, 2018 at 01:38 pm

Ted Thompson is transitioning from general manager and director of football operations to senior advisor to football operations, the team announced Tuesday.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 02, 2018 at 02:29 pm

I think it is the smart decision to look outside as well as inside. Perhaps they find someone outside that would be better then who they have. Its definitely doing their due diligence.

I think having McCarthy back for 2018 was the right decision. Having some stability would be a good thing going through the changes. McCarthy is and has been a good coach.
Having him for 1 year at the very least forces him to prove that he is the guy to stay past that.

The part I like is that Thompson will remain in the scouting role for the team. That's what he is best at and that's what he should be doing. I think getting another GM in there that will be more willing to make different moves would be the smart thing to do.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:14 pm

It may be due diligence to look outside but it is playing with short-term fire. If you pick from the pool of names from the Wolf/TT tree, there will be familiarity with MM and the offseason process. With the best pick in years and a few comp picks, it is important they nail this draft. I guess it hinges on your confidence in the structure or if you think a structural overhaul is in order. Having a guy that doesn't mesh with MM could blow up in 2018.

I think with both the GM and DC change, the Packers knew for a long time it would be happening. They missed a big opportunity by not doing it in-season. They could have announced TT's shift in December and had the GM position settled by now. At DC, the could have named an interim DC from the current staff to get a peek at what might be different.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:16 am

I think RC, that this is the middle ground fallacy. GB saddled TT with Mike Sherman as coach for TT's first year. I think the house opinion on Sherman was that he was a good coach but a terrible GM. Despite that, TT fired Sherman as soon as he could. If GB hires a GM from outside of the organization, MM is just as big of a potential lame duck as Sherman was. MM's only hope is big success on the field in 2018. If MM hires a DC, and that new GM doesn't have the power to remove either the HC or the DC, that sounds absolutely ridiculous to me. Yes, we get continuity at the price of tons of uncertainty, and probably scaring off DC candidates, unless Mark Murphy and the BOD give guarantees to that DC. I don't want the BOD meddling in football matters other than hiring and firing the GM.

Unless GB has already selected an internal candidate for GM that is a MM supporter.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:56 pm

"Despite that, TT fired Sherman as soon as he could."

This is not true.

TT attempted to work with Sherman. It was only after Sherman made it clear he would not work with TT that he was let go. I wish I could remember the source on this, but I know I had read a write up on it. It might have been straight from Harlan.

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gmeyers1's picture

January 02, 2018 at 02:33 pm

Last year at around draft time I got the impression Thompson was thinking of stepping down. He just looked and acted like he was ready. Maybe the exec committee felt some of those vibes too.

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Bignutz's picture

January 02, 2018 at 02:49 pm

Very exciting times in Green Bay! Long overdue.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 02, 2018 at 02:50 pm

Alonzo Highsmith is set to join the Browns. Dorsey is already assembling a strong staff in Cleveland.

Browns maybe turning it around in the near future. Good for them!

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cuervo's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:09 pm

Can't blame the guy...he'll be the #2 guy in Cleveland, which if they do anything will set him up for a GM role somewhere else. Good for Highsmith, he's certainly put the time and grind in to get where he his.

My attempt at predicting the future, MM and at least one of the top 3 front office people (Ball, Wolf, Gutenkust) will be gone after 2018.

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Brian's picture

January 02, 2018 at 08:55 pm

Ditto, makes you think he already knows who the front runner for the GM job is and doesn't want to report to or operate under him.

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:06 pm

Or he just wants a clearer path to being a GM.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:51 pm

Yeah. And I've heard that Gutekunst is the clubhouse favorite in Houston. Just rumors at this point though.

But if true, that would leave Wolf, Ball and however many external candidates....

Does the Rooney Rule apply to GMs? (I hope not - I want the best guy in there regardless of skin color asap)....

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OrganLeroy's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:38 pm

Rooney rule now applies to GM's.

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4thand1's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:41 pm

We should all thank Anthony Barr instead of sending him hate mail. That hit sent shock waves through the whole Packer organization. If AR didn't get hurt, we probably win the NFCN again, just barely. Then maybe we win a home playoff game and all is well again in Title Town. There way only works by riding Aaron Rodgers, and saving/making money for the organization. They need to take a long hard look at their scouts too. Maybe some heads should roll in the scouting dept, or maybe TT just didn't listen to them? MM just got extended, now would be a bad time to look for a new coach, lot of coaching jobs to fill around the league.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:59 pm

Regardless of what good could come of that hit, I'm not thanking a dude who wears purple and stupid horns on his head, nor his crappy franchise and even worse fanbase for anything.

Worst team in all of sports.

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OrganLeroy's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:40 pm

There's nothing wrong with the scouting department, all this speculation about stuff like that just shoes a level of ignorance. The scouts, scout, and compile lists of players, Ted makes the final decisions!!!

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Brian's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:00 pm

With input from the coaches.

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OrganLeroy's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:41 pm

There's nothing wrong with the scouting department, all this speculation about stuff like that just shows a level of ignorance. The scouts, scout, and compile lists of players, Ted makes the final decisions!!!

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4thand1's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:05 pm

I guess you didn't get the part , maybe TT didn't listen to them? I loathe the queens too bear, but without that play, a lot of things may not have changed. I think they still would have gotten rid of Dom though.

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Chuck Farley's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:29 pm

Really. Doesn't it seem odd we seem to love guys from that power house UCLA? Of all the college's, UCLA is our go to college. Maybe the one recruit we have lives out there and mails his picks to Ted. Hundley was a superd find for Ted. Trevor Davis, wow what a game changer. Franklin, didn't he last one pre season?

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zeke's picture

January 02, 2018 at 07:22 pm

Trevor Davis went to Cal. Perhaps you were thinking of Kenny Clark, who actually did go to UCLA.

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:11 pm

You're going to pile on a kid who had a 100-yard game and then a career-ending injury?

Seems to me that I read a piece not too long ago about how Bill Belichick has a love affair with kids from Rutgers...

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:59 am

Jonathan "The Mayor" Franklin has more class than Chuck will ever have.

Mora ran a program with similarities to how an NFL organization is run. Theoretically, that allows for a quicker transition to the pros. Unfortunately it didn't work out with Datone. However, it certainly seems to be working with Kenny Clark.

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gary g's picture

January 02, 2018 at 08:33 pm

I think your 100% on the money. Thanks Mr. Barr

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:23 pm

you’re

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:27 am

"The scouts, scout, and compile lists of players" and TT decides. Hell, I can do that. I suspect that scouts do a lot of winnowing, particularly for the later rounds and UDFAs. And they make recommendations as well. You can't possibly know whether there is a problem with the scouting staff.

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mrj007's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:06 pm

Just listened to the Mark Murphy presser. Mixed thoughts. His attempt at jocularity was noticably uncomfortable. He alluded that TT feels the media is synonymous to a root canal. He said he ignores all comments from fans. Not exactly a recommended approach to win over his audience. Put me off. If he is controlling ALL the decisions, do the fans get to trade back in their stock and earn $ like in a normal stock ownership situation? He also contradicted himself - said the GM would make decision on coach - but then said McCarty had a year extension. At least TT is out - so actions speak louder than words as far as Mark Murphy is concerned. And speaking of words, I also listened to most of McCarthy's post game pressers this season as well. Pretty tired of hearing "we will fix it" week after week, yet, the team clearly, definitely, obviously, and frankly did NOT fix anything. But thank GOD the team had a great month of practice! Pad level was likely pretty good too!

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:23 pm

I don't want my GM listening to fans. What do fans know about assembling a roster or managing a cap? The GM needs to run the team and do it with focus and a plan, not with rabbit ears.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 03:26 am

Oh, no, no, dobber. You have to understand that every f_*king fan knows much more than any GM, HC or coordinators...

It is only that GMs are lucky to get job, while fans are not that lucky...

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:40 am

That would explain why I never win PowerBall, either... ;)

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Chuck Farley's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:19 pm

From what I read it was Ball who gave the farm way to Adams. Many football analyst said Adams based on his play, was raef with other receivers getting 6 mil people year, nowhere near the 14 mil he will get.
If this I the new plan ball does contract and money and teddy does the draft and recruiting. Packs fans my want to think or rooting for someone else. These two will ruin what was storied franchise. A gm who knows nothing about football and is a bean counter is disaster at the least.

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2018 at 08:59 pm

Whether you think he's overpaid at $14M per or not, there's no way a starting WR in the league who has scored 20-something TDs in the last two seasons makes only $6M/yr on his second contract.

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stockholder's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:28 pm

He was over -paid! This contract is going to hurt in 2 years. Don't ever expect 20 something TDs again. This was a contract year and Adams is a player favorite. Just like Jerod Bush was. The packers are taking a CHANCE. The game in detroit was a blow out. Do you really believe Adams could have changed that game? No one is worth a $100,000 a catch. And people just shook their heads at the deal, who weren't packer fans.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:47 am

Uh, watch what happens to WR salaries over the next 2 years.

And, yes... Adams is the real deal.

Listen to NFL athletes talk about Devante Adams.. He's got most of their attention.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:39 am

Well of course Adams was overpaid. That's what happens when a player reaches FA, particularly if they are the best player at their respective position. SF has $115M in cap space for example, and they need an NFL ready WR for Garopollo to toss the ball to. No idea what SF or a team like SF would have been willing to pay Adams, but it undoubtedly was more than what we think Adams is really worth.

I figure Adams is worth $11.5M AAV. Add in 10% for cap increases brings it to $12.65M. Add in 15% increase for being the best FA at his position and one reaches $14.54M AAV. It is one way to look at it, anyway.

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:49 am

The Packers were also in the position they're always going to be in when they want to sign a player before he hits the market, especially a player with some cache: they need to buy out his ability to be bid on. The player (or at least the player's agent) knows that his ability to make the most cash likely comes from being able to solicit offers and play them against each other...and then pick the package they like best.

Ultimately, the question is: how did the Packers structure the deal and how much money is guaranteed? In this case, the cap hit is structured to really hit in 2020 and 2021 where he counts $16.6M against the cap. He counts $10.6M in 2018 and 2019. The early value seems commensurate with a starting WR who has a nose for scoring TDs. After a couple years (in his age 28-29 seasons) when the cap hit shoots up, he should still be at his athletic peak, but the team cap should be somewhere at or around $200M. My guess is that if he continues to progress, that will be a decent number for him. The issue is whether or not he can stay healthy. The out after the 2019 season leaves the Packers with a $7.2M cap hit if they take it.

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GoldenRetriever's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:33 pm

Mark Murphy’s comments made me cringe a few times. He’s certainly not a natural at comedy. The low point for me was when, after going to great lengths to praise Ted Thompson and make it clear that the decision for TT to step down had been a mutual one, Murphy quoted the adage: “(It’s best to) fire fast and hire slowly.” Using the word “fire” belied much of what he had said earlier in the press conference.

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Rossonero's picture

January 03, 2018 at 05:04 am

One problem with Mike McCarthy possibly being a lame duck coach: if he could get fired next year, what defensive coordinator is gonna want to come to Green Bay, only to get fired a year later?

When head coaches get canned, so too do the assistants.

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Since'61's picture

January 02, 2018 at 10:11 pm

Not if the new DC has the chance to become MMs replacement. Always a possibility. Thanks, Since '61

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:48 am

Astute.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:41 am

Oppy, do you mean Rossonero or Since '61? I think both are.

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Rossonero's picture

January 03, 2018 at 05:07 am

Since 61: Depends on who they hire.

If they hire a defensive guru like Vic Fangio, I doubt they'd want him as a head coach. He has no head coaching experience, and has bounced between being a LB coach, D coordinator and even briefly went to Stanford for a short stint.

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:51 am

My guess is that there will be an assistant on MMs staff next year who has previous HC experience. There have been reports that he likes having that kind of sounding board in his group.

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Rossonero's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:54 am

I hope so. Because right now, there really isn't anyone capable on staff of taking the reigns as a head coach.

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Oppy's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:58 pm

There isn't anyone on staff that has head coaching experience might be more accurate. From the outside looking in, we'd never know if any of the assistants or coordinators are capable.

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Rossonero's picture

January 04, 2018 at 08:09 am

Fair enough.

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Bure9620's picture

January 03, 2018 at 05:57 am

I know many are talking about the concurrent 1 year extensions, TT being extended by Murphy and then TT extending MM shortly thereafter so their contracts end congruently.

To me is one of 2 possible scenarios.
1) Thompson knew he was going to be asked to step down and these actions were already in the works. Knowing full well the new regime will likely want to bring in their own staff, TT extended McCarthy a year to give a him a bonus in case he was fired. Murphy had no issue with this as the Packers are swimming in money and also thought this could give the current coaching staff better morale and potential assistant coaching candidates would not be scared off.
Or
2) Murphy thought giving the new GM the option to hang with McCarthy could be a good thing in year one. If the wheels fall off or the lofty expectations are not met, a playoff loss for example, the new regime can easily fire MM saying he was never their guy. OR if they win the SB, the new GM is praised for "staying the course" and not "rocking the boat" and seeing what he already had in MM. It would be a win win from a PR perspective for the new GM.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:47 am

Scenario 1 is horrifying to me. I suspect that Trgovac's and McCurley's morale isn't at an all-time high, and the rest of the staff is on tender hooks. Happy to hear that it was a Christmas present for MM. I'll remember it when GB issues its next stock sale. Not at all clear whether extending MM has had the desired effect on DC and other coaching candidates. Kinda doubt it, myself.

Scenario 2 doesn't seem that cogent to me. MM had a year on his contract, the 2018 season. No need to give MM 2019 at whatever the price was. The new GM could "hang" with MM for a year, and then decide. MM still wouldn't have been the new GM's guy if he falls on his face, and the new GM would still have been praised for not firing MM with one year left on his contract if MM has a very successful season. Perhaps MM would have been offended sufficiently to threaten to resign if not extended. That might be more true, since the house opinion seems to be that if fired, someone would hire MM quickly and for big money. Well, due to my bias, MM resigning would have been just fine with me. Resigning means we probably don't owe him $5 million dollars to screw up timeouts and engage in other head-scratching behaviors. Maybe MM didn't get $5M for 2019, maybe he got a lot less; does that still count as an extension with the intent of not making MM a lame duck if he got $1M?

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Rossonero's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Trgovac and McCurly were fired.

Interesting fact: Thompson was pressured to give Mike Sherman a 2-year extension during his first year (2006) as GM just so Sherman wouldn't be a lame duck. Murphy has done that for McCarthy. Thompson fired Sherman after the '06 season with two years left on his deal.

History may repeat itself...

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4thand10's picture

January 03, 2018 at 01:51 pm

Aside from wondering if a new GM would be better or that a new DC will be any better, many of us can't deny that a change was needed. For years on this site, myself and other fans were calling for Dom to be removed. Ted stepping down is an added bonus. I do believe they need to go outside of the organization for a different view and to ensure the culture changes a bit.

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