GREEN BAY - Ted Thompson’s tenure ended on less-than-ideal terms, but the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame wasted no time signaling what their long-time general manager meant to the franchise.
Thompson will be inducted into the team's hall of fame in 2019, the organization announced Tuesday. Thompson served 13 years as general manager before being fired from his post in January. He’s now a senior advisor to his replacement, Brian Gutekunst.
“I think it’s one of those things that’s too big to think about, really, for one person," Thompson said in a release. "You just don’t think in those large of terms. I had trouble believing it was true. You think about all the great players that have come through here and done great things, and you’re not one of those people. These are great idols, and I’m just a scout. But anyway, I was very fired up about it though. I mean it surprised me, but I was very, very excited."
No matter what criticisms he received from fans in his later years as GM, there’s no disputing Thompson aligned the Packers as a Super Bowl contender for more than a decade. With his first draft pick, Thompson drafted quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005. He later oversaw the changing of the guard from quarterback Brett Favre to Rodgers before the 2008 season, a polarizing time for the franchise that ultimately proved to be the correct decision.
A flurry of successful drafts in his early years ultimately culminated in the Packers winning Super Bowl XLV. It was the fourth Lombardi Trophy won by the franchise. The Packers advanced to the NFC Championship game three other times in Thompson’s tenure, though they lost all three.
Thompson’s critics point to his waning success in the draft during his later years as GM, and his decision to not use free agency as a way to augment his roster. The Packers went five years without signing an unrestricted free agent before Thompson relented in 2016. It didn’t help that from 2013 to 2015, only three of the 28 draft picks remain on the Packers roster.
But under Thompson, the Packers reached the NFL playoffs a franchise-record eight straight years. Their streak was only snapped last year when Rodgers missed nine games because of a broken collarbone.
Before being hired as the Packers general manager in 2005, Thompson was a longtime executive under fellow hall-of-fame GM Ron Wolf. He was initially hired as assistant director of pro personnel in 1992 before becoming director of pro personnel from 1993-97. He also worked as director of player personnel.
The 2019 induction ceremony will be moved up to May 4 from late July to better accommodate football and summer schedules, hall officials said.