We’re pretty excited here at Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com today. Not only is the excitement of free agency in full swing, but we also managed to secure an exclusive interview with Packers GM Ted Thompson. In a shocking turn of events, he completely opened up about his free agency strategies, as well as revealed a truth we’ve never heard before.
We hope you enjoy reading it . . .
AllGreenBayPackers.com: Good afternoon. The start of free agency kicked off this week with teams scrambling to make deals and update their rosters. How busy have the Green Bay offices been these past few days?
Ted Thompson: You know, our philosophy with free agency has always been a “wait and see” approach. There’s no point in making crazy 24-hour or 48-hour offers, because then you just end up overpaying for guys. In fact, most of our front office staff is given time off this week, so it’s just me and a couple other guys in there right now.
ALLGBP: Wow. How do you manage everything so short-handed?
Thompson: Oh, it’s pretty easy, really. I take these days to sleep in and recuperate from our recent scouting travels. We don’t even open the offices until noon. My usual routine when I get there is to have some lunch, read the funny papers, and check Twitter for any updates on free agency. Pro Football Focus also has this really neat utility that tracks all the free agents – we love using it here.
ALLGBP: Umm, ok . . . So I’m guessing you’ve seen the news about Steven Jackson being signed by the Atlanta Falcons?
Thompson: He did? Well, I guess I must have missed that one.
ALLGBP: Weren’t the Packers interested in Jackson?
Thompson: We’re interested in keeping every free agent. Oh wait . . . I meant we’re interested in keeping all of our own players. But yes, I think we did put something out there about Steven Jackson. His agent Eugene Parker is such a close contact of ours, we wanted to do him a favor and drive up the price on Jackson. Plus, I hate the Packers and their fans. I love getting their hopes up on finally getting a running game, then crushing it to bits.
ALLGBP: Wait, what? You hate the Green Bay Packers? Since when?
Thompson: Since that whole Brett Favre debacle. You should have seen some of the hate mail I got. Do you think I enjoyed having to deal with that prima donna and his retirement waffling? It was a mess. Ever since that year, I’ve vowed to give the fans something to complain about if they couldn’t appreciate the bind I was in. So far, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. It’s great fun watching fans get so pissed off about our lack of free agent signings.
ALLGBP: So I guess that explains letting Greg Jennings go to the Vikings?
ALLGBP: How do you explain the Super Bowl championship, then? Fans seemed to come around to you after that.
Thompson: Yes, that was something else, wasn’t it? Totally unexpected. I mean, who would have guessed they could back into the playoffs and win six straight road games? In hindsight, I should have just stuck with Brett Favre and let Aaron Rodgers go. At least then he might have ended their run with an interception. Heck, I even tried to deplete the roster that year when it looked like things were going too well. Do you know how much I had to pay Dr. McKenzie to give players a bad bill of health? I thought for sure losing all those guys to injured reserve would do the trick. Boy was I wrong.
ALLGBP: So all this time, you’ve just been putting on a façade for the Packers organization?
Thompson: Was it really much of a façade? Surely the fans must have figured out part of it. Matching Jarrett Bush’s free agency offer, keeping Shawn Slocum and James Campen around, signing A.J. Hawk to a new contract, giving Mason Crosby more than he was worth and then sticking with him. Not to mention coming up with this ridiculous “draft and develop” philosophy that some of you have bought hook line and sinker. It’s been a riot here in the front offices reading the fan comments on the internet, as well as the amateur bloggers and their “expert” opinions . . . no offense.
ALLGBP: None taken. This has been some shocking news, really. Have other Packers administrators been in on this?
Thompson: Of course. This is a group effort, after all. My biggest supporter has been Mark Murphy. His plans to increase ticket prices and sell those ridiculous pieces of paper for $250 each was pure genius. Yes, some fans are happy to throw their money away, but he has helped to slowly stir up the small majority who get cranky about sports teams making money. Soon we should have a fan base split that rivals what we had after the Favre trade.
Well, my apologies, but I have to cut this short. It’s my nap time. We’ve got to work on A.J. Hawk’s new contract this afternoon. It’s why we cleared the cap space by letting Woodson go, after all.
ALLGBP: Sure thing. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, and good luck with the upcoming draft!
Thompson: My pleasure. Oh, and one bit of inside information . . . we’re looking to move up in the first round to take a big injury risk. (I hear Jarvis Jones has spinal stenosis.) It’s a move that’s sure to keep the fans riled up!
ALLGBP: And there you have it! Looks like some of you have been right all along. Ted Thompson really does hate the Green Bay Packers.——————Follow @ChadToporski