GREEN BAY, Wis. — Who are you and what have you done with Ted Thompson?
That might be the line of questioning if the Green Bay Packers general manager were still holding the weekly media conferences that he did in training camp. But Thompson, like he does every year, goes radio silent after the preseason, so all that’s left to do is speculate on why he seemingly has made such a significant shift in philosophy when it comes to adding players to his roster.
What once was almost strictly a draft-and-develop philosophy — it wasn’t that long ago when 51 of the Packers’ 53 players were homegrown talent — has taken a dramatic turn. Thompson used free agency copiously both in the offseason and even after most teams had their rosters set. From tight end Martellus Bennett on March 10 to defensive tackle Quinton Dial on Sept. 5, Thompson signed seven veterans who played last season for other teams. Last year’s opening-day 53-man roster contained just one: tight end Jared Cook.
“It’s the realization that they needed to get better,” a longtime NFL executive familiar with Thompson said when asked about his philosophical shift.
When asked whether Thompson believed the Packers were close and needed a final few pieces or if they were far away and needed a big change, the source said it was the former.
It also begged the question of whether Thompson has loosened his grip on the decision-making. At age 64, he has admitted to cutting back his…
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