The Green Bay Packers don’t need an overhaul, but they do need a jolt. They’ve flourished under general manager Ted Thompson’s guidance the last 13 years, and his steady-as-it-goes managerial style has imbued the franchise with a sense of stability and competence that has been to its advantage in the volatile NFL. But in the last seven years, the Packers have failed to escape a kind of no-man’s land: They’ve been among the handful of best clubs in the league but there always has been a team or two better. The window for Aaron Rodgers, while not yet small, is closing with each passing year. And Thompson, who turns 65 in January in a high-burnout business, is about to enter the final, lame-duck season of his contract in 2018. So the time is right for change at the top of the Packers’ football operations. It would shake up the football side of the franchise from any complacency that subconsciously has crept in. It also would send a not-so-subtle message of urgency throughout the building, including the locker room. And with several qualified candidates in house, it could be done without overhauling an operation that retains the solid bedrock built by Ron Wolf and maintained by Thompson. Just because the Packers haven’t won a Super Bowl since the 2010 season doesn’t mean the franchise hasn’t done plenty of things right. The question is, if Thompson isn't ready to walk away on his own accord after the season, will Mark Murphy, the Packers’ president and CEO, make the big move and replace a man he likes and respects? It’s surely not easy to push out a GM who has won as much as Thompson – besides the Super Bowl, his teams have been to three other NFC Championship games, including two in the previous three years. In Thompson’s 13 seasons, the Packers have the fourth-best winning percentage in the NFL (.606). Explain it away as you will, but those are facts. We’ll never know what this year’s Packers might have accomplished had Rodgers not sustained a broken collarbone in Week 6. Maybe this would have been their breakthrough year, their first Super Bowl since ’10. They sure looked like bona fide contenders after a come-from-behind win at Dallas put them at 4-1. Rodgers’ injury the next week blew that up.
Timing right for Packers to part ways with Ted Thompson
USA Today | Dec 31