Everyone gather around and let me tell you a story:
In 2007 the story goes that Green Bay Packer franchise quarterback Brett Favre approached General Manager Ted Thompson about the possibility of signing wide receiver Randy Moss. Thompson took to the phones but unfortunately New England offered the best deal and Moss became a Patriot.
In 2011 the story goes that Green Bay Packer franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers approached General Manager Ted Thompson about the possibility of signing wide receiver James Jones. Thompson took to the phones and fortunately Green Bay offered the best deal and Jones remains a Packer.
Same story, different ending.
So what gives? Jason Wilde and Bill Johnson from Green and Gold Today on ESPN Milwaukee recently brought up this question, and after admitting they couldn’t figure out an explanation, they concluded that maybe it was because Aaron Rodgers is Thompson’s “guy”, maybe it was the familiarity with the offense, Randy Moss’ history as a locker room killer, the difference in talent between Moss and Jones, etc. All valid points to some extent, but it doesn’t answer what the difference was between Brett Favre asking for Randy Moss and Aaron Rodgers asking for James Jones.
The real story is that there was no difference.
Ted Thompson probably pays less attention to free agency than any other GM in the league. And when he does sign a free agent, it’s always on his terms.