Ted Thompson, the man who drafted Aaron Rodgers, hired Mike McCarthy and built a Super Bowl champion, will no longer be in charge of the Green Bay Packers‘ personnel department, a source told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
The news was first reported by the NFL Network.
Thompson is expected to remain with the Packers in an advisory role, but the team will conduct a search for a new general manager.
The Packers have four strong internal candidates in Russ Ball, Brian Gutekunst, Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot Wolf, but the search also is expected to include outside candidates. That could include former Packers scouts Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider. McKenzie and Schneider, however, are general managers with the Raiders and Seahawks, respectively, and the Packers likely would have to make a trade if they wanted one of those candidates.
After Schneider, a native of nearby De Pere, Wisconsin, signed an extension last year with the Seahawks that runs through 2021, he told reporters that his new deal with Seattle does not include an out clause that would allow him to leave for the Packers’ front office (he didn’t confirm nor deny a report that his previous contract with Seattle included such a clause).
Another former Packers personnel executive, John Dorsey, is off the board after he was hired as the Browns general manager last month.
Packers president Mark Murphy is expected to address the GM situation on Tuesday.
Thompson, 64, has been in charge of the Packers’ football operation since 2005. His first-ever draft pick was Rodgers. Thompson then fired Mike Sherman as head coach after the 2005 season and hired McCarthy. Together, they won Super Bowl XLV, the Packers’ first title since Super Bowl XXXI.
A former linebacker for the Houston Oilers, Thompson broke into scouting with the Packers under Hall of Fame GM Ron Wolf in 1992. He stayed with the Packers until 2000, when he left to join former Packers coach Mike Holmgren with the Seahawks. He served as Seattle’s vice president of football operations until 2005, when former Packers president Bob Harlan hired him as the Packers general manager.
Thompson curtailed his scouting schedule in recent years following hip replacement surgery and delegated more authority to his deputies. Ball, the Packers chief contract negotiator, took on many of Thompson’s administrative duties. Ball is viewed as one of the leading candidates despite having a background in finance and not player evaluation. If Ball gets the job, the Packers could pair one of their top scouts – Gutekunst, Wolf or Highsmith – with Ball. However, the Packers could lose any or all of those scouts if they’re bypassed for the GM job.
This will be the first football hire for Murphy, who became president in 2008. Because the publicly owned Packers don’t have a traditional owner, Murphy is head of the seven-member executive committee. Murphy informed the committee on Monday that the team would conduct a search for a new GM.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report.