The following is a transcript of a hidden camera conversation from Packers GM Ted Thompson’s office on the opening day of NFL free agency.
(Knock on the door. The Packers front office team enters Thompson’s office. Thompson is watching “True Detective” on his office television)
Thompson: Why did nobody tell me about this “True Detective” show before? This is amazing. I didn’t know Woody from Cheers was such a good actor. And how about Matthew McConaughey?! The guy can actually act when he keeps his shirt on. Yellow King?! I want to change our nickname from the Packers to the Yellow Kings!
Scout: Um, sir….we didn’t tell you about the show because you only allow us to watch film of college players nobody else has ever heard of. And free agency is now officially open.
Thompson: Shhhh! This episode is more intense than the last few minutes of Super Bowl XLV.
Scout: But sir, we’ve already lost Lamarr Houston and Arthur Jones. They’re off the market.
Thompson: Really? They signed like 7 seconds after free agency officially opened? That’s some quick negotiating. Because no NFL team would ever cheat and use the three-day window to talk to agents to actually work out a contract, right?
Thompson: How much did they go for?
Scout: Houston for $35 million to the Bears and Jones $30 million to the Colts.
Thompson: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! That’s hilarious. No, seriously. How much did they sign for?
Scout: Sir, I was being serious.
Thompson: Dammit, you do this every year. You tell me who signed right after free agency opens and you make up some wild and silly number. Just tell me the real number.
Scout: But sir, that is the real number. I wasn’t kidding. Every year we have this same conversation 5 minutes after free agency opens.
Thompson: How about that other guy people want us to sign…what’s his name. Something to do with birds…
Scout: Jarius Byrd, sir. He signed with New Orleans for $54 million.
Thompson: I see. I can’t wait to see the headlines after the Super Bowl: “Jarius Byrd leads Saints to Super Bowl win.” Or maybe “Lamarr Houston makes people forget about the ’86 Bears.”
Scout: Sir, don’t you think we maybe should’ve gotten in on some of these signings? People are getting mad on Twitter.
Thompson: I haven’t been on my super secret Twitter account for a few days.
Scout: Couldn’t handle all the profanity directed your way about free agency?
Thompson: Nah. Didn’t want to see any “True Detective” spoilers. Do you really think Rust is the Yellow King?
Scout: Sir, right now a lot of people think you’re Matthew McConaughey in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” not Matthew McConaughey in “True Detective.” Silly and annoying instead of brilliant and fascinating.
Thompson: Will they feel the same way after we win another division title this season?
Scout: If we flop in the playoffs again, yes.
Thompson: People need to keep their pants on. Free agency lasts longer than one day.
Scout: But people are getting restless.
Thompson: Good. That means that they care. They’re passionate. They’re fans. So what if they’re a little misguided? We’re not setting foreign policy or passing human rights legislation. Playing armchair GM and getting riled up about your favorite team is part of what makes our game fun for people.
Scout: So, what did you think of the Alexandra Daddario nude scene in “True Detective?”
Thompson: I watched it like 19 times! Wait…I mean…what are you talking about? I must’ve been watching film on that fullback from Middle Tennessee St. that I want to draft on a different television when this nude scene you speak of occurred…
(Editor’s Note: this post was written before the night before the Julius Peppers news broke.)
Packers news, notes and links
- B.J. Raji is back on a 1-year, $4 million deal. If you’re mad that Raji’s back, stop it. One-year deals are harmless. Find somewhere else to direct your anger.
- Losing center Evan Dietrich-Smith isn’t a bad area to direct whatever rage you feel about Raji. Dietrich-Smith isn’t an all-pro, but he’s a good player. And he signed a reasonable contract. Perhaps Dietrich-Smith decided he just wanted to play elsewhere, but 4 years, $14 million was a perfectly reasonable offer for Dietrich-Smith. Does Thompson turn the center job over to J.C. Tretter or find a veteran in free agency?
- The Packers also re-signed DL/OLB Mike Neal and TE Andrew Quarless this week. I seem to be in the minority, but Neal doesn’t do much for me. It’s a 2 year, $8 million deal, so I have no problem bringing him back on those team-friendly terms, but I don’t think he’s the answer, or a major part of the answer, to fixing the Packers pass rush. Yes, Neal played well toward the end of last season and he was also learning a new position. But he still popped up regularly on the injury report (even though he played through those various injuries) and wasn’t consistent enough, in my opinion. Quarless, another low-risk deal, merits another look at tight end.
- The Pro Football Draft preview publication presented by CheeseheadTV is on sale now. I highly recommend picking up a copy and having it by your side while you watch the NFL draft in May.
- The Green Bay Press Gazette asks: “Why isn’t Ted Thompson more like Ron Wolf?” Well, if you only look at results, the two GMs are very similar. From ALLGBP.com’s Kris Burke: Ted Thompson vs Ron Wolf after nine years: Ron Wolf: 92-52 record. … Ted Thompson: 86-57-1. … Both have one ring. … Ron Wolf: 9-5 in playoffs. … Ted Thompson: 6-5 in playoffs. … Ron Wolf: Three division titles. … Ted Thompson: Four division titles. … Ron Wolf had one non-losing season, Thompson had three (though 2005 was not necessarily his fault).
- I feel like I’ve been very defensive about Thompson on this site recently. It gets old hearing the constant clamoring every year whenever (insert name of free agent) signs elsewhere. But Thompson isn’t above criticism. If he doesn’t in bring a few guys from the outside to bolster the defense, I’ll take my shots at Thompson and they will be deserved.
- Here’s another kinda criticism of Thompson: I’m getting sick of hearing from Packers beat reporters that the “Packers had genuine interest in (insert name of free agent who just signed elsewhere).” It feels like the Packers are just feeding info about possible free agents to the beat guys to make it seem like they genuinely tried to sign (insert name of free agent who just signed elsewhere) when, in reality, they didn’t try all that hard. If you are genuinely interested in a free agent, and you think he can help the team, then get his butt into Green Bay and sign him. Enough with the “Ah shucks, we just missed him” nonsense.
- Late addition,,, Yes, the Packers signed someone…
Non-Packers links and other nonsense
- I feel bad for Mike Florio. What a sad, pathetic little man.
- I’m looking forward to Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight website launch this week.
- Ron Washington paid a fine from MLB with 20,000 pennies.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .