GREEN BAY, WI - JULY 28: General Manager Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers watches as his team works out during summer training camp on July 28, 2008 at the Hutson Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson doesn’t spend much in free agency, choosing to find his talent through cheaper channels such as the NFL Draft.
As teams battle each other to out bid for the ‘flavor of the month’ Thompson sits back and retains his own key players. It’s clear when you look at a team’s books if they are just giving money away without worrying about the effects down the road.
If a team is carrying a boatload of ‘dead money’ they are most likely not evaluating players and their value correctly. Thompson is a masterful judge at when to pay a player, and when to let them walk.
Great GM’s know how to make the hard decision. Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson comes to mind as an examples of how Thompson will make the hard call and let a veteran go a year early than a year too late.
According to Tom Silverstein of JSOnline.com, the Packers are among the best in the business at putting their dollar to best use. Silverstein writes:
‘As of Tuesday morning, the Green Bay Packers ranked sixth in the NFL with $17.799 million in salary cap space and among the lowest in the amount of dead money on their ledgers.
It is both a testament to general manager Ted Thompson's success building his football team and his distaste for free agency, where it seems most of the big, salary cap-gutting mistakes occur.
Thompson doesn't like other teams' talent and spends most of his salary cap money re-signing his own players.’
"I think winning a world championship is a very difficult thing to do," Thompson once said in describing his philosophy. "They've been attained through different mechanisms. I think the way we do it, which is to try to do solid personnel work and grow within the organization and try to make people better as they move forward in their life, is a good recipe."