Ted Thompson named Packers senior advisor to football operations, search underway for new GM

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 03: General manager Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers watches practice at summer training camp on August 3, 2009 at the Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers made it official on Tuesday, January 2nd — Green Bay Packers Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson will transition to a role as senior advisor to football operations.

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy issued a statement posted on Packers.com:

“I want to thank Ted for his tireless efforts as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers for these past 13 seasons. Under his guidance, the Packers enjoyed a remarkable run of success, one that included our 13th world championship, four NFC Championship appearances and eight consecutive postseason berths. The organization, our fans and our community were fortunate to have had one of the NFL’s all-time great general managers leading our football operations. On a personal note, Ted’s work ethic, humility and loyalty are nearly unparalleled, and it has been one of the great honors of my life to work beside him. Fortunately, Ted will remain involved in our personnel department as we work to win another championship. We will begin an immediate search for the next general manager of the Green Bay Packers.”

Packers Pres., CEO Mark Murphy

Thompson also issued a statement. It reads as follows:

“It’s been a great honor to serve as the Green Bay Packers’ general manager for the past 13 years. This is a special place and we’ve had some success along the way, but it’s the relationships that I value most. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with many dedicated people throughout the organization and I can’t thank Mark Murphy, Mike McCarthy, the football-operations staff and our scouts enough for their friendship and support. Additionally, I want to thank every player that has stepped on the field for us. This is the players’ game and I appreciate all the sacrifices they have made for the Packers. I look forward to supporting this team in my new role as we strive to win another championship.”

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 31: Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers runs for yardage against Jamal Agnew #39 of the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at Ford Field on December 31, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan

Green Bay lost its season finale 35-11 on Sunday to the Detroit Lions. The Packers slipped below .500 this season after quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with a collarbone injury.

The offense struggled with backup Brett Hundley, and a defense stocked with high draft picks failed to improve again.

“This is a special place and we’ve had some success along the way, but it’s the relationships that I value most,” Thompson said in a statement. “This is the players’ game and I appreciate all the sacrifices they have made for the Packers. I look forward to supporting this team in my new role as we strive to win another championship.”

Several players spoke about the transition as they cleaned out their lockers on Tuesday.

Kicker Mason Crosby, one of the longest-tenured players, said he “hoped the new guy likes what he sees.”

Veteran safety Morgan Burnett said he respected Thompson and what he did to build the team and wished him the best.

Ted Thompson

Thompson took over on Jan. 14, 2005, and selected Rodgers in the first round of the draft that year. He hired Mike McCarthy as head coach the following year.

GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 20: Guard Lane Taylor #65 of the Green Bay Packers on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Seahawks 27-17. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“It’s tough to see him step down. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him, taking a shot on me coming out as a free agent meant a little more,” said guard Lane Taylor, a fifth-year player who rose from undrafted free agent to starter.

But standards are high in a city nicknamed “Titletown.” The Packers are the only publicly-owned team in the NFL and play in the league’s smallest market, about a two-hour drive north from Milwaukee.

Thompson has long been a target for some restless fans eager for the club to take a more aggressive approach in free agency.

A defense plagued by injuries at cornerback had some moments trying to adjust to the loss of Rodgers on the other side of the ball. But production slacked off toward the end of the season. Green Bay lacked a consistent pass rush and didn’t force a turnover over the season’s final three weeks.

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 31: Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers runs for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Ford Field on December 31, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Green Bay, which was also 22nd in defense in 2016, used its top draft pick in each of the last six seasons on defensive players. The Packers were 15th in defense in both 2014 and 2015.