It’s one thing when Packers fans gripe about general manager Ted Thompson’s habit of eschewing the free-agent market in favor of drafting and developing players (more on those fans, by the way, in a moment).
It’s another when a well-respected and plugged in Packers writer — the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn qualifies on all counts — digs in and writes essentially the same thing quite forcefully. Here are a few of the feisty snippets from the piece:
The Green Bay Packers under general manager Ted Thompson would rather sit on their hands than procure players … at least veteran players. Now they’ll be sitting home once again as another more aggressive franchise, this time the upstart Atlanta Falcons, represents the NFC in the Super Bowl.
This hints at the theme of wasting years of Aaron Rodgers’ prime. And there’s more once McGinn really gets his throat cleared.
Thompson’s aversion to signing players that have been with other teams is holding hostage McCarthy and his coaches, Rodgers and his teammates and members of his own personnel department. None of them like it but they can’t do one thing about it. … Thompson is a good general manager with a long list of admirable qualities. If he were a great general manager, the Packers would have been in the Super Bowl more than once in his 12-year tenure, especially considering his quarterbacks have been Favre and Rodgers.
McGinn goes into great detail on the Packers’ defensive deficiencies — particularly a lack of proven talent at cornerback, which was costly in the NFC title game loss. He concludes:
It wouldn’t have taken much to put the Packers over the top this season. It won’t take much for them to get over the top next season. So the ball rests squarely in Thompson’s court. For Packers fans, it must be depressing to know it’s likely little or nothing will change in the way he puts the team together.
It’s hard to argue with that. Vikings GM Rick Spielman does not have the track record of success that Thompson has (and the QB positon has a lot to do with that), but it’s a fair argument to say Spielman has at least been willing to come off the draft-and-develop mantra to sign key players like Linval Joseph, Captain Munnerlyn, Terence Newman and Alex Boone — as well as trade for Sam Bradford — in the past few seasons to fill holes.
Aaron Rodgers is an all-time great QB. With more talent around him, he would have more than one ring. Packers fans, by the way, tend to agree. In a rather amusing Twitter thread, Jason Wilde asked his Packers fan radio listeners to send him fictional text messages to Thompson. You can read them here, but the message was almost universal: sign some more players before it’s too late.