Updated: Jan 22, 2021
Ted Thompson, the architect of the Super Bowl XLV Champions responsible for drafting Aaron Rodgers and hiring head coach Mike McCarthy, died Wednesday night after a lengthy illness. For much of his general manager tenure from 2005 through 2017, Thompson was not the most popular man in Packers Nation. His drafting of Aaron Rodgers in 2005 raised eyebrows, and the decision to trade Brett Favre three years later caused an insurrection of fans inside the Lambeau Field Atrium. The Aaron Rodgers deal has worked out pretty good the past 13 seasons. Thompson was criticized annually for staying quiet on the free agent front, opting to build the team with late-round draft choices, where he excelled.
But Thompson still took plenty of heat on sports radio talk shows and social media. In 2013 Thompson was torched in a hour-long Twitter rant by one fan. That user was amongst the many that eulogized Thompson today. The Packers remained competitive throughout the 2010s, the team went 15-1 in 2011 and made three additional appearances in the NFC Championship Game. Most do not know about Thompson's NFL playing career. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1975, Thompson carved out a 10-year career with the Houston Oilers as a backup linebacker and special teams standout. To this day Thompson's 146 games played ranks 13th in Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise history.
Thompson first arrived in Green Bay as a scout in 1992. In 1999 he followed Mike Holmgren to the Seattle Seahawks, where he became Vice President of Football Operations. In 2018 Thompson transitioned into an advisory role with the team, in 2019 he announced that he was suffering from an autonomic disorder.
The Packers organization has already announced that Thompson's name will be added to the Lambeau Field facade during the 2021 season.