Category Archives: Trades



Ron Wolf vs Ted Thompson: By the Numbers

Ted Thompson and Ron Wolf

Ted Thompson and Ron Wolf

With the conclusion of the 2013 season, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson hit a milestone of sorts with a team: he just completed his ninth season at the helm of the Packers’ football operations.

Know who else made it that long as GM in Green Bay? Thompson’s predecessor and mentor Ron Wolf.  Both men have won a Super Bowl but yet Wolf is held in legendary status with Packers fans and Thompson, to date, is not.

With the passionate debate about Thompson and his activity (or lack thereof) in free agency that consumed much of the offseason thus far until Thompson signed Julius Peppers,  ow figures a good time to compare Thompson and his mentor and how their times as Packers general manager compare and contrast.

As the saying goes, “the numbers never lie.”

Regular season record:

 Wolf: 92-52

Thompson: 86-57-1

 Wolf took over a team that was in ruins with only three winning seasons in the past 24 years.  The cupboard for talent was pretty barren and it wasn’t until Wolf traded for Brett Favre in 1992 and signed Reggie White in 1993 that marquee talent would stay in Green Bay.  Wolf also didn’t have a losing season and had only one non-winnjng (8-8) season in 1999.

Thompson meanwhile inherited a team that had an aging but still gifted Favre at quarterback and talent on offense but disastrous drafts by Mike Sherman left the defense in disarray and a team that was getting older by the day.  Thompson had to cleanse the roster and the 4-12 record in his first season as GM showed that.  Thompson had been only one other losing season in 2008 (6-10) and an 8-8 season in 2006 with rookie coach Mike McCarthy leading a young roster.

This might come as a shock to some of Thompson’s detractors but he’s pretty close to Wolf here and not many fans would have fired Wolf.

 Postseason record:

 Wolf: 9-5 (1-1 in Super Bowl) 6 playoff appearances

 Thompson: 6-5 (1-0 in Super Bowl) 6 playoff appearances



Where Are They Now: Following Former Packers

With the 2013 season now a quarter of the way over, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at all the Packers who played for the 2012 team who are now playing somewhere else.  Have the Packers really missed them?  Have they made a contribution to their new teams?  (note: snaps are only counting offense and defense, not special teams)

Alex Green (New York Jets)

  • 2012 season: 343 snaps, 135 attempts for 464 Yds, 3.4ypc, 0 TDs, 1 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 40 snaps, 28 rushing attempts for 60 Yds, 2.1ypc, 0 TDs, 0 Fum
  • Alex Green never really was able to overcome the ACL injury he suffered as a rookie and became one of the few high draft picks to be quickly dumped by the Ted Thompson regime.  Green quickly found a new home with the New York Jets, one of the teams that curiously have been linked to the Packers (numerous trades of picks, Caleb Schlauderaff and of course Brett Favre).  As of yet, Green hasn’t been able to make much of an impact even with an apparent opening at the running back position with the Jets; Chris Ivory has been hobbled with injuries, Mike Goodson just returned from suspension and KR/RB Joe McKnight was sent packing.  At the moment, Green is projected as the 3rd running back and is on pace for about 60 yards rushing with a 2.1 average.   For the Packers James Starks has played pretty well and Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin have both showed promise.  the Packers are fine at running back without Green.

Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings)

  • 2012 season: 416 snaps, 36 Rec for 366 Yds, 10.2 YPC, 4 TDs, 0 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 664 snaps, 56 Rec, 1,008 Yds, 18.0 ypc, 8 TD, 0 Fum


Why No Trades For Ted Thompson?

Remember this guy?

DJ Williams, Brandon Bostick, James Starks, Alex Green.  All these names were brought up by the media and fans as possible trade bait that the Packers could dangle for future draft picks.  Ultimately, none of that came to fruition as Bostick and Starks made the team while DJ Williams and Alex Green were cut and subsequently found homes in Jacksonville and New York.  Some of you might be thinking, if the DJ Williams found a home in Jacksonville so quickly, why didn’t Thompson get a draft pick out of them?  It does seem like every year fans and media alike gush about the depth that the Packers’ offseason roster contains and start day dreaming about how great a draft Ted Thompson could have if he had more draft picks.  Overall Ted Thompson rarely trades players at all (save for the whole Brett Favre thing and the “tag and trade” of Corey Williams, and truth be told the odds are against Thompson in making trades right before the 53 man roster cut.


  1. The Packers are a stable organization: The Packers don’t have much turnover in their coaching staff or front office; sure coaches have left to for other teams and famously now 3 Ted Thompson disciples are GMs of their own teams, but the gradual loss of talent that the Packers have experienced is nothing like the building clearing clean sweep that some owners start after a couple dismal seasons.  The offshoot of this is that the players on the Packers roster were picked and paid by the current GM.  Everyone of the players on the team now are Thompson’s “guys” and he has a incentive to go protect them as much as he can.  This isn’t a situation where the previous regime drafted a dominant 3-4 outside linebacker but the new coaching staff plays a 4-3 defense.  From a transaction perspective, there aren’t attractive trading candidates that don’t fit the Packers scheme or philosophy.  One famous example of this was when Denver hired Josh McDaniels was hired and proceeded to tear apart the team that Mike Shanahan had assembled including Jay Culter and Brandon Marshall, two players that typically would never see the trading block.


Packers LB Desmond Bishop: DPOY or Playing for a Different Team?

Desmond Bishop

Will Packers LB recover from his injury and be on the team come September?

This story from Tyler Dunne in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop is extremely well written. After reading it, you can’t help but like the guy even more than you probably already do.

In the story, Bishop says one of his goals is to win defensive player of the year in 2013.

Unfortunately, as entertaining as the story is, it doesn’t really address the main question I have about Bishop as the Packers open OTAs: What are the odds that he’s actually on the team once the season starts?

Reports surfaced during the NFL draft that the Packers were trying to trade Bishop. Several moves the Packers made in the offseason — bringing back A.J. Hawk, re-signing Brad Jones for $4 million, adding another inside linebacker in the draft — made it appear that the Packers might not be too confident in Bishop’s chances of returning from the torn hamstring he suffered last preseason.

“Trade or release Bishop?” you’re probably asking. “But I thought he was supposed to boost the Packers physicality and automatically improve the inside linebacker corp?”

In a perfect world, that’s exactly what would happen. But how perfect is the Packers’ world when it comes to injuries lately? Not very. J.C. Tretter, one of Green Bay’s fourth-round draft picks, just snapped his ankle in a fumble-recovery drill. Two of the past three seasons have seen the team ravaged by injuries. The scuttle around the Packers is that Ted Thompson won’t hesitate to jettison players who are hampered by injuries.

I suppose the release of D.J. Smith last month is a good sign for Bishop staying in Green Bay. Then again, Smith was also coming off a season-ending injury. Perhaps the Packers also won’t hesitate to cut ties with Bishop like they did with Smith if doubts about Bishop’s health linger further into the summer.

Look, it’s still May. This Bishop story has several chapters that have yet to be written. If you want to read another positive piece on Bishop’s outlook, check this out from Jason Hirschhorn at Acme Packing Company.

Dunne and Hirschhorn’s rosy outlook on Bishop could very well prove to be true. I hope it does. A healthy Bishop playing like he did in 2011 would do wonders for the defense.



They Coulda Been Packers, They Coulda Been Somebody

On the Waterfornt - Marlon Brando

On the Waterfornt – Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront:” You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.

One thing about getting so heavily involved in research for the NFL draft is that you get emotionally attached to certain players. You call them “my guys” or “my sleepers” or “my late round steals.” As the draft unfolds, these players are always on your radar. As the Packers pick approaches,’ you’re eagerly hoping and praying they will still be available so the Packers can take “your guy” and justify your belief in how “perfect” he is for the Packers.

The reality of the situation is, these two separate worlds (NFL GM reality & Draftnik Fantasy) only occasionally intersect to deliver what you want. This year’s draft was worse than usual for this draftnik. The previous two years, the Packers drafted several of “my guys.” Derek Sherrod, Randall Cobb, Lawrence Guy, Nick Perry, Casey Hayward, BJ Coleman. In all, it was a pretty good haul. This year I got Datone Jones and Johnathan Franklin (but not where I expected him) and then no other player remotely on my radar.

But it’s not my loss, it’s theirs. They could have been Packers. They coulda had class. They coulda been contenders. They coulda been somebody, instead of bums, which is what they are, let’s face it.

If you’re not a Packer, you’re nobody…

So here’s my list of guys that could have been Packers, members of the greatest franchise in all of sports.

WR Stedman Bailey – Oh Stedman, it was sooooooo close. Ted Thompson traded back figuring it was a safe bet that the Falcons wouldn’t draft a wide receiver right in front of them. Well, he never counted on the Rams trading into that spot to pry Bailey from Ted Thompson’s grasp. Ted rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes. He crapped out and we all lost our shirts…



Tracking the Trades in the Green Bay Packers 2013 NFL Draft

Packers GM Ted Thompson made a total of four trades during the 2013 NFL Draft.

Packers GM Ted Thompson made a total of four trades during the 2013 NFL Draft.

With the 2013 NFL Draft now in the books, let’s take a look at what “Trader” Ted Thompson did with his eight original picks to turn them into eleven total selections. He made a total of four trades, three of which being “down” and the final one being a trade “up.” Overall, he gained eight picks for the price of five, netting three.

Below I’ve detailed each of the trades, as well as updated what the draft board looked like at that moment. Picks in bold are the ones that were added during the trade, while the struck-through selections were already made by that point.

Original Draft Picks:

  1. Round 1, 26 (26)
  2. Round 2, 25  (55)
  3. Round 3, 26 (88)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 26 (159)
  6. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  7. Round 6, 25 (193)
  8. Round 7, 26 (232)

Trade #1 (DOWN):

Gave the San Francisco 49ers No. 55 (Rd. 2) for Nos. 61 (Rd. 2) and 173 (Rd. 6).

  1. Round 1, 26 (26): Datone Jones, DE
  2. Round 2, 29  (61)
  3. Round 3, 26 (88)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 26 (159)
  6. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  7. Round 6, 5 (173)
  8. Round 6, 25 (193)
  9. Round 7, 26 (232)

Trade #2 (DOWN):

Gave the San Francisco 49ers No. 88 (Rd. 3) for Nos. 93 (Rd. 3) and 216 (Rd. 7).

  1. Round 1, 26 (26): Datone Jones, DE
  2. Round 2, 29  (61): Eddie Lacy, RB
  3. Round 3, 31 (93)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 26 (159)
  6. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  7. Round 6, 5 (173)
  8. Round 6, 25 (193)
  9. Round 7, 10 (216)
  10. Round 7, 26 (232)

Trade #3 (DOWN):

Gave the Miami Dolphins No. 93 (Rd. 3) for Nos. 109 (Rd. 4), 146 (Rd. 5), and 224 (Rd. 7).

  1. Round 1, 26 (26): Datone Jones, DE
  2. Round 2, 29  (61): Eddie Lacy, RB
  3. Round 4, 12 (109)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 13 (146)
  6. Round 5, 26 (159)
  7. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  8. Round 6, 5 (173)
  9. Round 6, 25 (193)
  10. Round 7, 10 (216)


Packers Contracts, the Salary Cap, and More – Part 1: An Introduction to the Basics

packers_piggy_bankOne of the hardest things for the average fan to comprehend is how NFL contracts work and how they apply to a team’s salary cap. There are many complicated elements, rules, and exceptions that can be hard to sort out. In this series, my goal is to help you better understand how this whole system works, plus what it means to the Green Bay Packers’ current salary cap and contract concerns.

Before I begin, I’m going to offer you a short list of resources that I used in my own personal education of this topic. These have really helped me piece everything together, and I highly suggest checking them out. It takes some time to digest, but it will be worth it in the end:

So where do we begin?

The idea of a Salary Cap is essentially a two-fold mechanism: (1) even the playing field of NFL teams to create parity (competition) within the league, and (2) prevent the escalation of player salaries in the era of free agency. In 2013, each team has a salary cap of $123 million, which was determined using a complicated calculation based on the “All Revenue” stream for the league. The salary “floor” for 2013 is 89% of the cap, meaning each team must at least use up roughly $109.5 million of the allotted $123 million.

That part is fairly simple to understand. The hard part is figuring out what applies towards any given year’s salary cap.

Broadly speaking, the salary of each player on the regular season roster (and the top 51 salaries of the offseason roster) counts against the cap. According to, “salary” refers to “all compensation paid to a player, including money, property, investments, loans or anything else of value,” with the exception of benefits (e.g., health insurance). One interesting thing to note is that, unless a player has a “split” contract, his salary will still count against the cap even if placed on injured reserve.