In 2005, the Green Bay Packers made the bold move of selection Aaron Rodgers with the No. 24 overall pick, signaling that he would eventually take over for Brett Favre. The selection was the first made by general manager Ted Thompson in his 13 year stint atop the team's front office.
Rodgers took over for Favre in 2008. Three years later, the team captured the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1996-97 season. Thompson stepped down as general manager after 2017, but his fingerprints are still all over the roster and front office.
Last night, Thompson died. He was 68 years old. The news has sent shockwaves through the Packers community. Rodgers is especially grateful for Thompson taking a chance on him after he tumbled down draft boards all those years ago, and for building one of the more consistent winners in the NFL.
He tweeted a thank you to Thompson this afternoon, after the Packers confirmed the news. He has now issued a longer statement about the long time Packers GM and key front office man.
"I'm really thankful for Ted," Aaron Rodgers wrote. "The fact that I was his first draft pick will always link us together. I always appreciated his steady hand and the conversations that we would have. He always made things pretty clear about what he expected from the team and what he expected from me. He always preached to put the team first, to not be a distraction, to be a good teammate, to be a good professional, and I always appreciated those comments. "He would always start the season and address the team for a few minutes and he would always finish with, 'Godspeed.' As he passes on, I want to thank him for what he meant to myself, the team, and the organization, and wish him Godspeed." There's no doubt that Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will be playing for Ted Thompson this weekend, with a berth in the Super Bowl on the line against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. [
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 21, 2021
">Green Bay Packers]