Former Packers GM Ted Thompson passes away at 68

Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has passed away.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein reported the news Thursday morning.

After playing nine seasons with the Houston Oilers, Thompson first joined the Packers in 1992 as scout under GM Ron Wolf. He was part of a front office that rebuilt the franchise into Super Bowl XXXI champions. Thompson would stay with Green Bay until 2000 when he joined former Packers coach Mike Holmgren in Seattle, becoming the Seahawks VP of football operations. Out there Thompson helped build a team that eventually went to Super Bowl XL in 2005.

That’s the same year that Thompson returned to Green Bay, this time as GM. After going 4-12 in the first year of his tenure, the Packers would go to the playoffs every year but three during the rest of his time on the job that ran until he stepped away for health reasons following the 2017 season.

In his 13 years as GM, Thompson oversaw one of the most successful organizations in the NFL. His first draft pick in 2005 turned out to be a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. In 2006, he paired him with coach Mike McCarthy, who would go on to win the second-most games of any coach in Packers history. Thompson’s subsequent draft picks, and key free agent signings like cornerback Charles Woodson, helped build Green Bay’s fourth Super Bowl champion team in 2010. Overall, the Packers went to four NFC title games during his time and were 43 games above .500.

Thompson’s impact is still being felt on this year’s 13-3 team that will play Tampa Bay on Sunday with the winner going to Super Bowl LV. All four of Green Bay’s first-team All-Pro players, Rodgers, wide receiver Davante Adams, left tackle David Bakhtiari and center Corey Linsley, were draft picks made by Thompson. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kenny Clark was also a Thompson pick, as was starting cornerback Kevin King and defensive end Dean Lowry.

Current GM Brian Gutekunst worked under Wolf, who hired him as a scout in 1999, and then was continually promoted by Thompson.

After stepping down from his role as GM, Thompson served as the Senior Advisor to Football Operations for the Packers the last three seasons, meaning coach Matt LaFleur had a couple interactions with him since taking over in 2019.

“He’s a guy that is held in the highest regard in this building and I think just around the league. He’s had a tremendous impact not only on people in this building, obviously, (Gutekunst) and a lot of our personnel people, but people in other departments as well,” LaFleur said Thursday. “Certainly we’re sitting here with heavy hearts today.”