Packers General Manager Ted Thompson has a reputation for being a thrifty shopper in free agency, but he spent $18 million in first-year bonuses and salary in 2006 to sign defensive tackle Ryan Pickett and Charles Woodson (pictured). Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette
Ted Thompson is in a different position heading into free agency than his previous three offseasons as the Green Bay Packers' general manager, but that probably won't change his handling of the NFL's annual signing period that begins at 11 p.m. today.
Thompson no longer has the roster of the rebuilding club of the three previous offseasons, but has a team that played in the NFC championship game and might be the right couple of players away from getting over the hump and becoming Super Bowl champion.
But even with a much better roster and armed with about $18 million in salary-cap space, history ...