"It's a process." Ted Thompson Speaks up for the First time Since August

It's currently the same old song and dance in Green Bay.

Much like this time of the year - every year - the Packers have one focus, and that's retaining their own players. It's protocol under general manager Ted Thompson, whose draft and develop philosophy has sparked wide-spread questioning amongst various outlets due to the recent failures on the defensive side of the ball. The Packers finished their 2016 season ranked 31st in pass defense with two battered second-year cornerbacks and another several who were undrafted. 

Don't assume the glaring needs in the secondary is going to deter Thompson from the importance of keeping important pieces to the puzzle around.

"It's a process," Thompson reiterated with what seems to be dubbed as his motto. "That's our intention, and that's our intention every year, and I stand on this podium I think every year and say the same thing.

"Our best intentions would be to sign as many of our own players as we can and keep it together."

The Packers have 13 players expected to hit the market, and while not all of them will be returning, several of them are gathering an influx of attention from the market. The interest of other teams seem to peak each time another big-name player is retained by his own team; Melvin Ingram with the Chargers, for example, who just signed a $14.5 million dollar contract via his franchise tag to keep him in Los Angeles through 2017. 

That helps the case of Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry, whose market value is estimated around $8.5 million, however, CBS Sports reported on Wednesday that Perry is expected to draw in an annual salary of $10 million with interested teams that include the 49ers, Browns and Colts. As an alternative, there's reason to believe Perry would take a small drop-off in his estimated $8.5 million to remain in Green Bay.

"The Packers want to keep him, and the Colts would be foolish not to heavily explore signing him, while any number of bad, rebuilding defenses covet him, like the 49ers and Browns. Even some clubs that traditionally don’t spent big on outside players have to consider him, like the Steelers for instance, who could be losing their own top linebacker, Lawrence Timmons, to free agency... When it’s all said and done a little over a week from now, Perry will be quickly swept off the market and he’ll at least approach the $10M per-season plateau."

Head coach Mike McCarthy stressed the importance of retaining the vital components to his roster, including Perry, during his Wednesday interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday.

"Nick's a hell of a football player," McCarthy said with confidence. "We got to see him not only go through the season fighting through another major injury with the hand, but it was really his first time that he's had a full offseason.

"Those first couple of years, it was frustrating just watching him go through the injuries. But, hopefully, he's someone who we can get his contract worked out."

Perry missed 16 games from 2012, his rookie season, through 2014.

As of Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline to franchise tag players, the Packers didn't happen to be one of the seven teams to utilize the tag. This isn't much of an oddity, though. 

They've only used the tag in Green Bay six times since its creation 25 years ago, and the most recent was defensive tackle Ryan Pickett in back-to-back years, both 2009 and 2010. Pickett and defensive tackle Corey Williams and 2008 are the only two players to have ever received the tag during Thompson's tenure as general manager. Even despite the common commodity for teams to franchise tag star players and keep them around for another year if a long-term deal isn't reached, the Packers would still be distributing a hefty chunk of change to administer the tag.

The seven teams who did use the tag in 2017 — Steelers, Redskins, Rams, Cardinals, Giants, Panthers and Chargers — spent an average tender of $15.67 million dollars.

Even with the needs looming brightly on the Packers' roster, Thompson didn't offer much speculation on where the Packers will target at 29th overall, whether it be the best player available like the Packers have done in recent years or focusing on the vital needs.

"Strength of draft, strength of positions changes from year-to-year," he said. "It changes, I've noticed, even within the same class from at least month-to-month, sometimes week-to-week or day-to-day. 

"One day, you'll read a report where the running back class is very strong and the next day, it's not very strong. We don't pay attention to what the media believes is a strong draft or a weak draft."

The Packers aren't ruling out that a deal or two may be done before the league-wide start of free agency on March ninth. 

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (31)

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Nick Perry's picture

March 02, 2017 at 06:01 am

I understand Thompson likes to sign his own and in many cases he should. But with this years crop of Packers Free Agents few are worth keeping. With the exception of Cook, Hyde and maybe Lang, Perry, and Tretter, what are they losing?

We already know what those players bring to the Offense or Defense and in several cases the answer is "Not Much".

Cook is an obvious yes just because of the difference in the offense with and without him last year. With Cook on the field the Packers were something like 11-4 including the playoffs. The difference in Rodgers stats were significant too.
I think you almost HAVE to bring Hyde back don't you? I understand he's not "Great" at any one thing, but he's good at many things. Hyde is a Football Player, the Packers need all of those they can keep.
Lang's a warrior and one of the best Guards in the NFL. Thompson was lucky Taylor played as well as he did when he cut Sitton loose, trying it in back to back seasons seems awfully risky to me.
Perry scares the hell out of me. He had an excellent season last year but that's one out of 5 seasons. He also has a huge problem staying healthy. Christ could you imagine if the Packers pay Perry $10 million plus a year and continue to match him up with Matthews? $25 million for 2 OLB who CAN'T stay healthy. Not to mention we saw how that worked out last season.

I've pointed to the 2017 season for the last 2 or 3 years as being the season the Packers will have to start a mini rebuild. Just think if Thompson would have done one or two things more in 2015 or 2016, it just might have brought us another SB. Now we have $43 million in cap space to bring back who??? Spend wisely Ted Thompson, the "In Ted We Trust" chats are barely audible anymore.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 02, 2017 at 07:58 am

Are you going to change your handle if they can't resign him?

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Nick Perry's picture

March 02, 2017 at 11:50 am

Maybe I'll switch to Nicholas Perry but this is my real name so no. : )

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 02, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Hey can I borrow some money? :P

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Tundraboy's picture

March 03, 2017 at 09:10 am

Really. And all this time I thought you were just his biggest supporter.

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croatpackfan's picture

March 02, 2017 at 08:28 am

"... Thompson was lucky Taylor played as well as he did when he cut Sitton loose ..."
Well, I think Lane Taylor would agree with you. It is just luck TT has. It has nothing to do with Lane Taylor talent, hard work, preparation and doing his job correctly. It is just pure luck. TT luck, of course.
Well, I have my opinion on that. I say TT and MM saw that in Lane Taylor prior decision to let Josh go. We still do not know what exactly happened, so we do not know why they decided to cut Josh Sitton. For me, it was not luck, it was business decision, we all thought will come back to hit TT in his head. When that did not happened, what could we do - easy solution. We can always say that it pure luck. Nothing to do with someones knowledge, work, ethic etc.
"Luck is the residue of the design."
" "In Ted We Trust" " is not my sentence. My sentence is that I believe Ted Thompson is one of the best GMs today in NFL. And I respect his opinion. As every human he made and make mistakes, but I see him more positive for the Packers than most of you on this page...

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stockholder's picture

March 02, 2017 at 11:23 am

Cutting Sitton was not a business decision. When A all-pro guard goes and signs a 3 year contract with another club, it's political and personal. Sitton said something and it's been hushed up. The Packers record for the first 1/2 of the year says it all. Taylor was not ready. It was luck! Just as lucky as Tretter playing so well for one game at LT. I will say TT has become a good GM. But his draft and judgement on players is hurting the team's chances for the super-bowl. He knew it and tried to kick it in the butt at the combine. We're here to win. GM's don't make those comments unless their getting flack. And it's well deserved Flack.

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croatpackfan's picture

March 03, 2017 at 03:14 am

If you have personality on the team that make turmoil in your team, it is the best business decision to remove that personality from the team. More if that person questions his leaders (in this situation coaches!) and disturbs the process. Removing that kind of disturbance is utmost importance ASAP. Not on personal or political reasons - because of business.
If Josh Sitton thought that he would lead team better or that he knows Mike McCarthy job better than Mike McCarthy himself, than he should retire as player and start his coaching career of very succesful NFL HC. If somebody will be willing to give him that job.
I will tell you only one thing - I was in the position of Josh Sitton once. I was displeased with how my superior was doing his job and I saw many flaws in his leadership which cost team, preventing all of us in success. Today I'm the leader of the team which others (and myself) consider as successful one...
That is business, not personal!

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stockholder's picture

March 03, 2017 at 11:08 am

That's an assumption. No one knew why Sitton was released, and why he was not traded first. Business? No this was TT dumping a guards contract ,for more moves, and being cheap. TT lucked out. Plain and simple. The thing that has frustrated so many fans; is his failure to put this team back in the super-bowl. No GM will agree with TT. The wrong way is release your best guard. I understand people don't always agree with their super. To beat that you think of the money. Even become a union representative. Sitton was not going to throw money, Family, and friends down the drain for being displeased. You ask for a trade first. This is TT saying Kiss off. I am the man, and no one is going to replace me. I the most valuable person in the Packers organization!

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 02, 2017 at 08:43 am

" Perry scares the hell out of me. "

Regretfully, to many people believe that's what he does to offenses and are afraid any chance of defensive championship play by the Packers comes or goes with him....10 million....hell even 8.5 million...just shoot us now.

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gary's picture

March 02, 2017 at 06:10 am

During a recent interview TT was asked if he felt an urgency to be more aggressive in free agency. H gave the same bullshit answer as always. We try to win the SB every year. He speaks like he belongs in a nursery home. I guess leaving 9 million dollars of cap money unspent is doing all he can to win. I don't get it. Its amazing the Pat's make trades, sign free agents, and actually win the super bowl a lot are always under the cap. Only here in Green Bay is the cap space always an excuse not to sign impact players. AR needs to finish what he started by saying the Pack needs to be all in ,we all know what he meant except TT.

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Nick Perry's picture

March 02, 2017 at 06:33 am

Looks like you're correct... There's a piece on ESPN where Thompson says he didn't take that as a plea for help at all ( Couldn't copy & paste it, site wouldn't let me). BUT, it's not like Thompson will EVER let anyone know what he's thinking either.

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cuervo's picture

March 02, 2017 at 08:09 am

The reason the Pat's always have cap money is because the don't pay big money to anyone...including Brady (compared to other QB's). They get rid of talented players BEFORE they have to pay them, and get something in return...IE: Jamie Collins. Simply put, they run the best personnel department in the NFL.....by far. Ted could learn a few things from them.

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dobber's picture

March 02, 2017 at 09:26 am

Why do any of us continue to put any stock in what TT or MM says in any presser? For the amount they talk (which really isn't very much), they actually SAY less than just about anyone out there. This doesn't bother me...don't air your laundry in the media. Take care of it behind closed doors. Win football games.

The personnel situation is not static: it's constantly evolving with every franchise tag administered, every player cut or signed, and every 40-time at the combine or a pro day. The market for players is constantly changing. We don't know who has been offered what, yet, and more and more, marginal players (or players who are asking for more than their perceived values to their respective teams) are testing the market. I have a shopping list I'd like to see addressed, but I'm also not an expert in player personnel, the salary cap, or the development of players already on the roster. The proof in how the roster is managed won't be known 'til some time next fall...at the soonest.

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vj_ostrowski's picture

March 04, 2017 at 05:53 am

Every year TT gets ripped for giving non-answers. I guess I missed all the NFL GMs that tell the media exactly what they're going to do in the offseason.

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Since'61's picture

March 02, 2017 at 06:57 am

Our approach should be to keep the offense intact which means signing Cook, Lang, Tretter and Goode. On the defensive side we need to keep Hyde with his experience and versatility. We should be prepared to be outbid on Perry, which means spending some money on a pass rusher. We also need to spend $$ on an experienced CB. Will TT spend some money to stabilize the defense. Time will tell, but with the likelihood of being outbid on at least some of our own FAs he may not have a choice. Thanks, Since '61

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fthisJack's picture

March 02, 2017 at 07:13 am

TT definitely needs to sign a solid FA CB and OLB. that would free him up to select the BPA at 29 no matter what position. even a fast WR( the small guy from Washington would be Cobbs eventual replacement who can stretch the field.) or a good TE to pair with Cook( preferably one that can BLOCK and add to the run game.)

CB and OLB is deep in the draft so they can target those on day 2 and 3. or at 29 if that is BPA.

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Ryan Graham's picture

March 02, 2017 at 07:14 am

This truly is a make or break year for Ted Thompson. This year will solidify his legacy as a GM. I'm curious to see how he responds to that...because literally no one knows. If you think you know you are merely guessing.

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Censored's picture

March 02, 2017 at 08:48 am

Cook and maybe Hyde are the only ones we need to keep, that's only if you can get Cook for around 3.5m. Lang is great but his time in GB is done, paying a 30+ G around 8.5-10m is way to much. Tretter is going to get paid handsomely to be a center elsewhere. Someone will over pay for Perry, i just hope it's not us. 1/5 is to risky. If we could trade Clay for picks, then i would be ok with overpaying for Perry.

TT needs to get his head out of his ass and stop wasting AR, sign a CB damn it.

(Fire Dom Capers please)

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sonomaca's picture

March 02, 2017 at 10:36 am

Is $10 million a lot for a player who might get 15 sacks? No, it's not. A healthy Perry will reduce pressure on the corner group. He helps to solve multiple problems on D.

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akeemthedream's picture

March 02, 2017 at 04:52 pm

"15 sacks"

You mean over the entire length of the contract, right?

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dobber's picture

March 02, 2017 at 11:09 am

Player to watch: Jared Odrick who was cut by Jax about a week ago. Solid DE, prototypical 5-tech, brings 5 sacks per year from the DL. Could be a solid pick up for the Packers to bolster DL and provide more pass rush from the "base" DL...

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Nick Perry's picture

March 02, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Jabaal Sheard is another who could possibly help and might not break the bank. He wasn't a cut but still might be an option. Alex Okafor is another who might be a decent addition. I'd like Odrick as a 5 tech for the Packers too.

Just seems like a lot of other options than paying Perry $10 (Gulp) per season. It's also been documented here... What happens to Perry's play if Matthews is injured?

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Nick Perry's picture

March 02, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Jabaal Sheard is another who could possibly help and might not break the bank. He wasn't a cut but still might be an option. Alex Okafor is another who might be a decent addition. I'd like Odrick as a 5 tech for the Packers too.

Just seems like a lot of other options than paying Perry $10 (Gulp) per season. It's also been documented here... What happens to Perry's play if Matthews is injured?

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Lphill's picture

March 02, 2017 at 12:43 pm

It seems TT is aggressive in free agency signing Packer free agents, but not so when it comes to free agents from elsewhere , let's just get our hopes up and then be disappointed as usual . As far as Perry is concerned I don't know what he is worth but I think we can survive without him, I want Cook Lacy and Hyde back-for sure. I want to see a healthy Lacy and Monty in the backfield.

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Tundraboy's picture

March 02, 2017 at 01:53 pm

If ever there was a time, when it's all just talking head "coach , no err, make that" GM" speak. I sure as hell hope that it is now. Have to go the extra mile and use every resource and unused cap space to rebuild this D, pronto. Quickest way to the SB.

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Tundraboy's picture

March 02, 2017 at 02:00 pm

*

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Nick Perry's picture

March 03, 2017 at 10:38 am

Yes Please!!

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dobber's picture

March 02, 2017 at 02:04 pm

It's snowing here, too.

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Tundraboy's picture

March 02, 2017 at 04:59 pm

Lol

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