We all wondered what the title senior advisor to football operations meant. We knew it meant Ted Thompson was no longer the Green Bay Packers’ general manager. We also knew, although no one would say it, it was a demotion.
Well, now we know what it means. It means Ted Thompson is just a scout.
While Packers’ general manager Brian Gutekunst — and his entire personnel department — were in Alabama for the Senior Bowl this past week, Thompson was nowhere to be found.
We now know where he was. He’s been watching tape and took a scouting trip to Dallas. Everyone says this is what Thompson is best at — scouting players and identifying talent. He obviously wasn’t very good at some of the aspects that come with being a general manager, so perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.
“He’s one of the best evaluators that has ever done this,” Gutekunst said. “So he’s going to be part of our meetings, he’s going to be part of our evaluation, he’ll be a pretty big deal. Hopefully it will free him up to watch more tape. He is exceptional at that part of it.”
Gutekenst will obviously rely on Thompson during the draft.
“I think he’ll have a big role,” Gutekunst said. “With his experience and doing this for as long as he’s done it at a high level, I’m going to lean on him tremendously.”
If Thompson is heavily involved in the draft, it makes plenty of sense and not just because this is Gutekunst’s first draft in charge. The Packers also lost senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith and directory of football operations Eliot Wolf to the Cleveland Browns.
That’s a lot of personnel evaluation experience out the door.
Gutekunst has decided not to make hires to replace those losses until after the draft. Instead, he is relying on director of pro personnel John Wojciechowski and director of college scouting Jon-Eric Sullivan. Gutekunst and Sullivan were inseparable in Alabama.
Ultimately, you should be excited for a fresh perspective and a fresh approach this offseason. We sure as hell are.