“Man of great character”: Former Packers GM Ted Thompson dead at 68

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 11:13 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson died Wednesday at the age of 68. According to a statement from the team, Thompson passed away at his home in Texas.

“Ted was a man of great character and integrity who cared deeply for his family and friends,” said current Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, who succeeded Thompson in 2018. “He was honest and hard-working. He valued his scouts and always did what he felt was right for the Packers organization.

“I learned a great deal from Ted and will always be appreciative for the opportunity he gave me. He was a football man and a scout’s scout, but more importantly, he was a very special person who will be greatly missed.”

Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy remembered, “During very stressful times, either at the Super Bowl or during the draft, he just had a calmness to him, and it was just a quiet confidence. He was certainly a humble man, but so smart, and we owe a debt of gratitude to him.”

During his Thursday media briefing, Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur talked about Thompson’s legacy and impact on the current team making a run for a Super Bowl.

“Just want to say our condolences go out to his family,” LaFleur began. “He’s a guy that’s held in the highest regard in this building and I think just around the league.”

“His impact is still felt to this day when you look at our roster. I think he’s had a tremendous impact amongst many people across the league when you look at all the other GMs that have learned under him,” LaFleur said.

Thompson’s first draft pick, Aaron Rodgers, released a statement saying how thankful he is for Ted.

“The fact that I was his first draft pick will always link us together. I always appreciated his steady hand and the conversations that we would have. He always made things pretty clear about what he expected from the team and what he expected from me,” Rodgers writes.

The team plans to install his name on Lambeau’s facade before next season. CLICK HERE to read about the Packers’ plans for remembering Thompson.

A veteran personnel man, Thompson spent all but five of his 26 years in NFL front offices with the Packers. He was named general manager in 2005.

His first draft pick was a pretty good one: future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In fact, Action 2 Sports reporter Dave Schroeder says all four Packers first team All-Pro players were drafted by Thompson: Rodgers, Davante Adams, David Bakhtiari, and Corey Linsley.

Under his leadership, the Packers made nine playoff appearances and won Super Bowl XLV. During his tenure, the team compiled a record of 125-82-1.

The team transitioned Thompson out of the general manager position in 2017 after the Packers finished the season 7-9.

He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 2019.

Players have been reminiscing on how Ted Thompson gave them their first big break, or in some cases, a second chance at a career. Fans and players are using the hashtag #WinItForTed to inspire the Packers on their quest for another Super Bowl title this season.

“He was a giant here in this building, so there’s a lot of sad faces,” GM Gutekunst said, “but at the same time I think things we will carry on with us is substantial, so huge loss but really a time to celebrate a great man.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers reporter Tom Silverstein was first to report the news Thursday.

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