GREEN BAY – Ted Thompson has never enjoyed releasing players, especially in training camp.
So it stands to reason the Packers general manager is a fan of the NFL’s elimination of the initial roster cutdown to 75. All teams now will have only one roster reduction, from 90 to 53, at the end of the preseason, without the preliminary cut that had been in place for years.
“I’ve been a proponent of changing that rule for some time,” Thompson said on Wednesday, his first time addressing the media in training camp. “I think it gives you more opportunity to see things, to weigh what you think you have against what other people might have.”
Thompson didn’t mention any specific regrets he had about releasing a player too soon at the cutdown to 75 in the past, but he’s clearly pleased he no longer has to worry about it.
“There’s a lot of mistakes that are made on that cutdown to 75,” he said. “We feel like it helps. It gives free agents especially, young guys, another chance to show what they’ve got, and it helps you get through that last (preseason) game without having to play maybe some people you don’t want to play.”
As for training camp so far, Thompson said it’s “exciting” to have so many young prospects at running back, and he’s eager for the upcoming “testing tool” of Family Night, when a lot of young players perform under bright lights for the first time.
The first player Thompson drafted back in 2005, QB Aaron Rodgers, has said he hopes to play into his 40s, and Thompson doesn’t appear to doubt he can pull it off.
“I think he’s a very mature and determined athlete, and a professional football player,” he said. “A lot of people play for money, but a lot are not professional football players.”
He also was asked about his future as GM, and he said he hasn’t decided, nor has he yet given much thought to, how much longer he wants to continue in his current role.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy has indicated he appreciates the successful run Thompson has enjoyed running the football team, and as long as he wants to continue as GM, he will. Thompson has been at his current post since 2005.
“I don’t constantly evaluate it, and I don’t know,” Thompson said regarding his future plans, adding that he’s never asked about it except by the media and that he's "good to go."
“We’ll see. Stay tuned.”