PHOENIX – Ted Thompson isn’t talking Adrian Peterson. Won’t go there. The Green Bay Packers' notoriously tight-lipped general manager almost certainly would rather talk about anything else.
“Let’s all together answer that question,” Thompson said behind a sheepish grin Monday at the NFL owners meetings when asked about Peterson. “We don’t talk about players that are not on our team. We never have, we never will. It doesn’t serve a purpose, I don’t think.”
Good luck reading through Thompson’s poker face to determine whether the Packers have any interest in adding the former Minnesota Vikings running back. Peterson is a free agent for the first time in his career, there for the signing.
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But it would be a break from Thompson’s tendencies to sign a pricey free agent at a position where youth is valued above all else.
What the Packers GM was willing to admit after losing starter Eddie Lacy to Seattle in free agency was the Packers' running back depth chart needs to be filled out. Thompson signed undrafted first-year player Don Jackson and Christine Michael, a waiver claim from Seattle late last season. They join converted receiver Ty Montgomery to give the Packers three tailbacks on their depth chart.
A lead running back is not among that trio. Montgomery led the Packers in rushing last season with 457 yards on just 77 carries. A player who can carry the football 20 times per game – and just as importantly hold up in pass protection – still needs to be added to the roster.
“We need some more guys,” Thompson said. “We’re a little short in a couple of areas. So from a personnel standpoint, we’ve got to get some more bodies, but we like the guys that we have. It’s just that we’d like to get some more.”
Thompson said the Packers still “got a little time here to get some more” running backs. Maybe they could utilize their $24 million in cap space and sign another free agent. Thompson didn’t rule it out.
More likely, the Packers GM will turn to his old, reliable source of player acquisition, targeting the position in next month’s NFL draft.
“We’re always looking at stuff,” Thompson said. “I don’t think anybody ever believes me, but we look at players every day. … We’re always looking to upgrade our personnel, and that happens during draft preparation and during free agency.”