Ted Thompson: 'Nuts to walk away'

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Without saying exactly how much longer he plans to stay on, Packers general manager Ted Thompson could say without wavering that his desire to continue has not waned.

That was moments after Thompson signed what the team termed "a multiyear contract extension" to remain in charge of the football operations on Wednesday. Thompson's most recent contract, which he signed following the team's Super Bowl XLV victory, would have expired following the 2016 NFL draft.

"The more you think about it, the more you think how nuts are you that you'd walk away from something like this," Thompson said. "It's important to me. It's not my family, but I've got a lot of really good friends here and co-workers that I enjoy coming to work with every day."

Just this spring, there were questions about whether Thompson would even finish out his current contract. At his annual pre-draft news conference in May, Thompson appeared worn out. That followed his absence from the NFL annual meetings in March because of an unspecified health issue that prevented him from traveling.

But shortly after the draft, Thompson, 61, denied that he had plans to quit anytime soon.

"I was asked that question a lot -- how long I was going to go? -- but I've felt good," Thompson said. "You always self-evaluate as you go along in life. How much longer do you want to do this? I have family back home in Texas, and I've not done a good job of this but I'm going to make a more concerted effort to go back home and see them from time to time. It won't be months at a time, but I want to go back and be more connected to my family."

Under Thompson, the Packers have a regular-season record of 86-57-1 plus a 6-5 mark in the postseason.

"I'm pleased that we were able to enter into this contract extension with Ted," Packers president Mark Murphy said in a statement announcing the extension. "His outstanding work has been the key factor in the success that we've enjoyed in recent years. I have tremendous respect for Ted, and am confident that we will continue to contend for championships under his leadership."

Thompson is entering his 10th season as the Packers' general manager, and every player on the Packers' roster was acquired under his watch. Even back in Super Bowl XLV, 49 of the 53 players on the roster were Thompson acquisitions. He also hired coach Mike McCarthy, who he said was next in line for a contract extension.

Thompson's first draft pick, quarterback Aaron Rodgers at No. 24 overall in 2005, was perhaps the key to his sustained success. It also led to one of the most tumultuous times in the organization's history three years later, when Thompson rebuffed Brett Favre's desire to come out of retirement and return to the team and instead traded the legendary quarterback to the New York Jets.

During Thompson's tenure, three of his former scouts have become general managers: John Schneider (Seattle), Reggie McKenzie (Oakland) and John Dorsey (Kansas City). All have been mentioned as possible successors to Thompson, a conversation that now can be put off for a while longer.

"I think I'll just let it play itself out," Thompson said. "Most people in life have these artificial dates in mind, 'I'm gonna retire when I'm X years' or a certain age. I think everybody is different. It seems to me that a lot of people can be very productive later on in life. We'll see. I enjoy what I do and I've got really good people that I work with, and I think because of that I feel pretty energized to keep going."