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What to make of Thompson's non-answer?

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
I'm scheduled to arrive in greater Brown County, Wis., by Wednesday evening. I'll let you know if I see Michael Vick along the way, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Yes, I found it a little surprising that Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson turned down repeated opportunities Tuesday to rule out interest in Vick during a news conference at Lambeau Field. Multiple NFL teams have done just that to avoid further public discussion about Vick and his well-chronicled baggage.

First, here is the relevant exchange courtesy of the Packers' Web site:

Is there any way you entertain signing Michael Vick?

Ted Thompson: What is the answer that we give to questions like this? We're always looking to improve our team. We look at all options at all times. I wouldn't care to speculate in terms of the odds or the percentages or anything like that.

So you've looked at it?

TT: We look at everything. Or not everything. We don't look at stuff from across the ocean or something.

Have you had any discussions about whether it's worth pursuing him?

TT: We've had discussions about a large number of things, and we're always talking personnel, different scenarios and things like that.

It's an unusual situation, though.

TT: But the routine that we go through is the same. It doesn't mean any more that we are likely to do it or less likely. It's a routine that we go through. It's automatic.

Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette wonders if those answers are simply Thompson sticking to his policy of keeping his personnel discussions private. My limited experience with Thompson is that he doesn't like to get pinned to a yes or no answer in fluid situations.

It's a big leap to go from "we look at all options at all times" to concluding the Packers are interested. But as Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out, Thompson's non-answer effectively puts the Packers in a small group of NFL teams who have not publicly ruled out the possibility of signing Vick. As always, we'll keep you updated.