Here’s How to Build a Roster in Today’s NFL, Ted

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Laughing at Ted Thompson

Laughing at Ted Thompson

Former Ted Thompson protégé John Schneider became the Seattle Seahawks general manager in 2010. In four years, he turned over the roster and came out with a Super Bowl champion.

The Green Bay Packers have gone the other direction. The year Schneider became Seattle’s GM, the Packers won the Super Bowl. In 2011, they finished 15-1, but were blown out in their first playoff game, as the New York Giants exposed their extremely flawed defense.

In 2012, it was more of the same. The Packers faded to 11-5 and their defense was again exposed by the San Francisco 49ers and they lost their first playoff game. And, well, you know what happened this past season — 8-7-1, defense exposed all season long and lost their first playoff game to the 49ers.

So what’s the point here? The Green Bay Packers’ 2013 roster had only one player who had ever played for another team — fullback John Kuhn.

Not including guys on injured reserve or who were suspended, Seattle’s had 31. Thirty of those guys were acquired by Schneider, either as a free agent signing or through a trade.

The breakdown of Schneider’s additions is 22 free agents and eight trades.

Some of the free agent signings were big-time contributors, like defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Both were signed last offseason, when Schneider knew his team was a few players away from winning it all. In fact, he took a chance on Bennett when other teams were concerned about his shoulder and gave him a one-year deal.

Bennett responded with 8.5 sacks.

When is the last time Ted signed a guy like that? Go back to 2006, when got a bargain-basement deal on Charles Woodson because everyone else thought he was washed up.

Schneider also added guys like fullback Michael Robinson and receiver Sidney Rice through free agency.

Trades? How about Marshawn Lynch, the foundation of Seattle’s offense, in 2010? Ironically, the Packers were in the bidding for Lynch. Seattle gave up fourth and sixth-round picks, but Ted deemed anything more too high of a price.

Schneider also pulled the trigger on the Percy Harvin deal. He did nothing for the team during the season because he was injured, but you saw what he can do when he’s healthy in the Super Bowl.

Ted only trades on draft day. Here, I’ll give you a fourth for three sevenths and a sixth!

Gotta stockpile those draft picks! One day they might, they just might turn into a semi-serviceable NFL starter.

The one thing Schneider, who supposedly learned his craft from Ted Thompson, has in common with his mentor is that they’ve both struck out on some high draft picks.

You can afford to do that when you acquire the right guys from other teams.

But hey, who’s ready for some more draft and develop?!?! I mean, Aaron Rodgers will be in his prime forever, right?

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

18 Comments on "Here’s How to Build a Roster in Today’s NFL, Ted"

  1. Lewis

    What an easy thing to write. “Hey we need to be like the team that won the super bowl!!!!” 3 years ago everyone should have been like the Packers. 2 years ago everyone should have been like the Giants. Last year……blah blahblah. Also, does anybody REALLY think the Packers would have only won 8 games if Rodgers didnt miss half the season. 11/12 wins would have happened easily. Apparently 3 years ago isn’t “Todays NFL”?

    • TyKo Steamboat

      Amen….Packers will win a lot of games in the next 5 seasons.

      We will win one Superbowl in the next 5 seasons too.

      We were a Top-5 NFL team this last season

    • Chad Lundberg

      My God… an NFL fan that knows to not overreact… what planet are you from???

      Packers have been decimated by injuries for years now. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t be saying stuff like this post says right now.

      Also, Seattle if effing talented, but they’re also paying their players for less than the league minimum for God’s sake!!! Who in their right mind thinks that will last for 5 years???

      I’ll tell you who! Fans who overreact and idiots like Judy Battista.

  2. Savage57

    I guess in today’s NFL, the only way you can have a kick-ass defense and a great QB is if only one of those are sucking your payroll dry.

    I get that this team would be totally fucked without AR. But it also means that in the last leg of the NFL season, they will be totally fucked with him as long as Ted keeps swinging and missing in the draft and then he goes yard-saleing to make up the rest of the roster.

    Looking at the Packers cap for the next couple of years, there’s not a lot of wiggle room to sign an impact player on D, unless you’re ready to say goodbye to some key players at other positions and roll the dice that the ring meat that’s brought in to replace those that depart won’t leave you as exposed as the very hole you sought to fill with the big money, sure thing UFA you signed.

    Let’s say the Packers sign Jarius Byrd. To do that you might have to let either Jordy or Cobb walk in 2015. Anyone willing to sign up for that?

    I don’t have enough hubris to think I know the answer, but what’s been accepted as gospel, the holy “draft and develop” and nothing else model, sure hasn’t been getting the job done.

    • Abe Frohman

      It works when you don’t miss on your draft choices. TT hasn’t exactly been on fire of late in what is supposed to be his forte. I think we’re seeing the loss of Dorsey and Schneider rearing their heads.

      • Gort

        I think that Abe has it right. Recent draft choices haven’t been exactly stellar. Maybe there was a Dorsey or Schneider whispering in TT’s ear with good advice on draft day

  3. …until three or four years from now and a Seahawks blogger is writing the same article about John Schneider after they don’t win multiple Super Bowls.

    I think the criticisms of Thompson are overblown. There is no one “right” approach to this. The fact is, it is very, very, hard to win a Super Bowl. Things have to go right for a team no matter if you build through the draft or free agency/trades. Every approach has it’s merits and it’s drawbacks.

    Thompson has put a legitimate contender on the field for years now and I believe they have every bit of a chance to win a Super Bowl in the next few years as the Seahawks or any other NFL team.

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  5. Shawn iltarion

    John Schneider has done nothing different than TT did his first couple years as GM, when HE had the money to spend.

    If Schneider continues to draft good players, then soon all of his cap money will be spent internally as well.

    Chris Clemons blew out his knee in the playoffs last season, which prompted the signing of Bennett and Avril. Kind of a no brainer there.

    Basically, the only thing different I see between Schneider and Thompson is that Schneider works in tandem with Pete Carroll- remember, Carroll actually hired HIM- and Schneider blew big money on Percy Harvin where I see no comparable mistake by TT.

  6. Shawn iltarion

    Oh, and again, the Packers didn’t lose to the Giants in the 2011 playoffs because of their defense. That game was 20-13 with 8 minutes left to go in the game, and 3 of those points for the Giants were given to them off a John Kuhn fumble.

  7. Comparing anyone to the Seahawks is stupid. They have a top 10 (EASY) QB and top 3 CB for pennies, so they can spend money that NO OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE HAS. They’re ridiculously stacked (SF isn’t in that far off of a situation), and no one can compete in the salary cap era. They have one more year of this, and its over.

  8. Richard

    Yep, kinda hard to do the comparison game when GB has already paid their QB and best defensive player at the time. They’re best chance is to grab as much cheap labor as they can find and hope they can put together a good enough cheap 4 man pass rush to get through a playoff run.

  9. the real russ letlow

    I’d be happy if we could build a training staff that could keep our players healthy and on the field. I would like to see how our current roster would play if they were healthy. we’ve had some damn good players on the sidelines watching the games in the last few years.

  10. chas

    The seahawks have been fortunate to miss the injury bug this year. I noticed only seven players on their IR. Only one of those players is what I believe to be an impact player. That being wr Sidney rice. Where would the packers have finished if say they just lost cobb for the entire year?

    I do not know how one can account for all these injuries. Bad Luck is the most likely answer. I do not see how a training staff can be blamed for a quarterback being slammed to the ground or a wide receiver being taken out by a low hit. Matthews thumb two times in similar situations being broke. The list just doesn’t stop. If anyone has the answers there is a lot of money to be made out there.

  11. john

    wait till the hawks have to put out a couple of huge contracts to like Wilson for instance. It aint in free agency most times and you can’t afford it most times either if you have h ebig contracts

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