Why did TT tell Rodgers he was the guy “no matter what”


The D-List (Milwaukee’s ESPN radio program in the morning) were talking this morning re whether the team’s/Mark Murphy’s recent words indicated that the team was softening its stance or not. In talking about it, they discussed how difficult it would be to go back now, and then pointed out that Ted Thompson told Aaron Rodgers the day after Favre retired that Rodgers was the guy, and TT apparently added “no matter what”.

First of all, why would you ever say “no matter what” and be so definitive about something that isn’t a very definitive thing. I think TT set himself up for some of this misery by saying this so soon after Favre retired. Now, I know Rodgers at the time was not only the most sensible option, but the only option, so I don’t blame the team for looking in his direction. But what if a draft pick came in and lit up camp or a veteran became available somehow who fit the system perfectly? But I think TT telling Rodgers he was the guy “no matter what” served to paint the team into a corner – especially should Favre want to play again, which of course is exactly what happened. I think a lot of this comes down to TT being stubborn and not wanting to go back on his promise to Rodgers. And I think that is partly why Rodgers was so certain back in June (read Steve’s previous post) that he was still the guy despite Favre’s growing itch. He was promised the starting job. And this is just part of why I feel badly for Aaron Rodgers.

But the bigger issue I have with this is that it was Ted Thompson who told Rodgers this. Listen, I’m glad we have a GM who seems to have an understanding of talent etc and that he’s really into his job. And despite my recent criticism of him, there are still many reasons why I think he’s a good GM. But it’s none of his business to declare a player a starter “no matter what”. That is Mike McCarthy’s decision. If McCarthy would have declared this back in March, I would have thought it was premature, especially if he said “no matter what”, but I wouldn’t have written a post about it because that’s his call. I just am frustrated that it was TT who apparently made this call to Rodgers immediately after Favre’s retirement to make this premature promise.

The only excuse I could see for this would be if TT was just fuming at the time because he had just learned that it was the Vikings and Favre’s interest in playing for the Vikings that prompted Favre to want to unretire.


18 Responses to “Why did TT tell Rodgers he was the guy “no matter what””

  1. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    Where is this coming from? Thompson? Rodgers? Who else would have heard this conversation?

  2. awhayes Says:

    Good question DDD – the D-List guys were just talking about it and made specific mention of the “no matter what” comment. I don’t know where they got this from, but these guys are usually fairly reliable. And, it certainly makes sense when you think about how things have evolved.

  3. Ron La Canne Says:

    To answer the Why? That’s simple T.T. is an incompetent, ego-maniacal, loser in all issues related to presonnel management. His talents in other areas are strong and no one questions them.

    The Executive Committee needs to intervene in all Personell Management matters from this point on. We have just seen the Packer Organization become a laughing-stock in the rest of the country. Maybe creating a professional Personnel Management position reporting to the B.O.D. would be a solution.

  4. awhayes Says:

    Despite being critical of TT for much of this situation, I am not ready to jump ship. I do think he could have handled this whole situation better and find it curious that Mark Murphy, who had been mostly silent on this whole thing is now stepping forward as the voice of the team as TT recedes into the background. But so much of this was brought on too by Favre and what still seems to me to be a mysterious need for adoration.

  5. PackerBelle Says:

    I wonder how many of the mis-steps are the fault of the Packers and how many are the result of Roger Goodell’s interference. He’s been too eager to get this whole thing finished and I can see him pushing the Packers to do things they didn’t want to do. Especially given that he still hasn’t ruled on the tampering charge against the Vikings when they were going to try to have it done within a week. I can see wanting this done with even if it hurts the Packers.

  6. awhayes Says:

    Great point – Goodell also made a comment this weekend saying any team would be a better team with Favre on it. Interesting.

    I do wonder what happened to the whole tampering issue. That was supposed to be resolved a couple weeks ago now and we haven’t heard anything about it.

    Something happened along the way that we just don’t know about – things aren’t adding up completely. I can’t help but think it involves the Vikings and TT being pissed re contact between Favre and the Vikings.

  7. Ron La Canne Says:

    Don’t disagree totally with your analysis. However, if you combine the Grant negotiation (Grant held out for a week and got almost everything he wanted) and Favre (closing in on what he wants) show that Thompson’s favored negotiation stlye is intimidation followed by capitulation. We need better than that.

    Minnesota is just waiting for the Trade talks (another circus begins). The Packers would get a better draft pick by sending Rodgers to a team likely to finish lower than the Vikings. This would save a season long controversy.

  8. PackerBelle Says:

    He didn’t capitulate with Javon Walker or Corey Williams. He didn’t capitulate with Randy Moss, Mike Sherman, or Wahle and Rivera. And he really showed no signs of capitulating with Grant until Goodell got involved with the Favre situation and made everything worse. This is a unique situation and given that TT hasn’t capitulated on really anything else I don’t think you can classify his negotiation style as intimidation followed by capitulation because there really has been no capitulation beyond this situation.

  9. Ron La Canne Says:

    Love your optimism Belle. Keep it up. Javon Walker – no brainer, he was self-destructing. Cory Williams tbd! It could end up being one of his worst mistakes ever (including Fave). Harrel and Pickett are already questions. Wahle terrible mistake. Rivera break-even. Sherman 4 and 12 no big issue there. Plus, Sherman did not have a Hall of Fame reputation. I’ll bet no one outside of football junkies even knew who Sherman was. Grant because of Goodell? Really?

    Thompson is a good evaluator of football talent. No one questions that. I do question his management skills.

  10. RayMidge Says:

    All’s well that ends well. I don’t care too much to worry about the process and I don’t think it is too productive for any industry or venture to get bogged down about what happened in the past during a time of uncertainty in which negotiations or posturing, once a resolution has been reached. It’s easy to look back and say what people should’ve done or said, but I don’t think that helps moving forward. I especially don’t thinnk it makes any sense when the result is as good as this one is. Whatever took place it led to favre being back under center in green and gold, not playing for the vikes or bears or jets or bucs, and I am happy about that. My reading of the words and actions of MM, MM and TT througout the saga is perhaps too generous, but I felt all along they tried to avoid definitive statements and to deal in the present tense whenever possible and to leave enough room to crawl back off the branch they found themselves on. they continue to do that. When Favre wasn’t re-instated or in camp, they spoke about where the team was given those realities. Now he is re-instated and in camp, they are dealing with it the proper way, welcoming him back and giving him the chance to win the job, which he almost certainly will. The team didn’t panic and undermine Rodgers before it was necessary (and it is now both necessary and fair to the team to change their stance towards him being starter), didn’t panic and give favre away for too little compensation or to a competetitor and didn’t cut him. As a result they now have 2 starter quality QB’s and 2 young prospects. I think the team is set up well for the short term and long term future. Might the whole thing rub Rodgers the wrong way and lead him to leave next year? maybe, but that is a price worth paying for the short term benefit of perhaps winning a SB this year or next and with Brohm and Flynn they should be prepared for that happening. When this thing all started I would have been happy to hear that it ended this way, unhappy with almost any other possibility besides Favre staying retired. It’s a good day to be a Packer fan!

  11. PackerBelle Says:

    Ron, I find part of your post to be completely irrelevant to my point. I pointed out that Thompson’s style does not appear to be intimidate and then capitulate. Harrell and Picket are not holding out. Whether or not they will reach their full potential is a question, but it is not relevant to Thompson’s negotiating style.

    As for Mike Sherman, if you recall Favre essentially said that he would be likely to retire if Mike Sherman was fired. He also apparently told Thompson that if Wahle and Rivera weren’t kept he would retire. Don’t see any of those guys still with the organization which means he didn’t capitulate.

    Which leaves Grant as the only time he’s capitulated in his tenure. As of August 1st there had been only a little progress in the talks. Yet on August 2nd he inks a deal, which happens to be about the same time Goodell is telling the Packers that they need to resolve the Favre situation. Seems like it is an awfully big coincidence for those two events to coincide so neatly. And it makes sense, given the circus atmosphere that is going to descend getting everything else wrapped up becomes a much bigger priority.

    I’m still waiting to hear the other times Ted Thompson has supposedly intimated and then capitulated.

  12. Ron La Canne Says:

    Sherman, Wahle, Rivera all related to Favre. And Favre is where? That is capitulation (surrender). I’m with you on Favre. He is the origin of all things bad in this instance. Thompson just doesn’t have the administrative skills to deal with Favre, Cook and the Comish. And worse yet, I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this.

    Belle, I hope you are right and I am wrong.

  13. PackerBelle Says:

    It isn’t capitulation with Favre. If Thompson had capitulated Favre would have been retired. As it was the Packers had three options – put him on the roster, trade him or release him. They said they wouldn’t release him, and haven’t, no one wants to trade for him and so they did the only thing they could which is stick him on the roster.

    I also don’t think anyone has the administrative skills to deal with Favre. Appeasing him doesn’t work as evidenced by the Sherman era, trying to compromise with him doesn’t work as evidenced by his refusal to accept ANY trade or the marketing deal, and telling him what to do doesn’t seem to work either since Favre claims setting a deadline for him to make a decision is the reason he rushed into retirement. I’m not saying that TT is blameless or that he doesn’t have areas he could work on. But in this I think he’s doing the best that can be expected. Nor is he operating alone, the Executive Committee has backed him, Murphy has backed him, etc. There is an awful lot of experience that is backing Thompson. The problem is when the Commissioner gets involved and you don’t have a lot of leverage that even your best efforts can be futile.

  14. Kristin Says:

    You ask: Why would you say “no matter what”?
    I agree with you. Makes no sense. But I understand where they’re coming from.

    Let’s assume that Ted Thompson did say something to that effect to Rodgers. The reason is simple. Number one: You have to instill confidence in the dude that’s been holding the clipboard for three years. Number two: No one, absolutely no one, would have predicted what transpired over the last month.

    The Packers likely were prepared for Favre to get itchy come June or July, and I suspect they had a plan to address it when it happened. They were resolved to keep him retired (give him the cold shoulder, repeat publicly that Rodgers is the starter, we’re moving on, moving on, moving on.) They apparently didn’t prepare for how hard Favre would fight to return to the field (whether it be Lambeau or Hubert Humphrey). A colossal underestimation. We’re talking about Brett Favre: 275 consecutive starts, playing with separated shoulders, sprained ankles, a fractured thumb, not to mention wicked hangovers and a stomach full of vicodin. His biggest nemesis just might be -10 degree weather. But one thing is clear: If Brett Favre decides he wants to play, nothing can stop him. Nothing.

    The thing that annoys me most about the Packer’s public stance in this has been the constant line that the Packers have moved on, gone a different direction, moved forward, the landscape has changed, yada, yada. All this before July training camp ever started? Nobody buys that. Like Mike Golic said on Espn this morning… unless they have rewritten the playbook in Mandarin Chinese, that a bogus argument.

  15. Ron La Canne Says:

    T.T, wanted him retired. T.T. came up with the lame P.R. scam. Favre is in camp. T.T. has capitulated. Game, Set, Match to Favre and Cook.

  16. PackerBelle Says:

    If Ted Thompson wanted him retired why was he ready to fly down to Mississippi in late March to announce his un-retirement? And according to Mike McCarthy he heard about the licensing agreement at the retirement press conference and before Ted Thompson was ready to welcome him back in late March.

    There was nothing Ted Thompson could do to prevent Favre from being re-instated and coming to camp except trade or release him. Favre refused a trade and Ted Thompson has said he won’t release him. As a result he can’t capitulate because he’s not letting Favre show up to camp. The Packers are contractually obligated to let him show up. Had Thompson released him then he would have capitulated. But he did not do that. Instead he stood firm and now Favre has done the only thing he can to try and force the Packers’ hand – show up. He wouldn’t be trying to force the Packers’ hand had Thompson capitulated.

  17. Ron La Canne Says:

    You are loyal to T.T., I’ll give you that.

  18. PackerBelle Says:

    I’m not loyal to T.T, I just will not throw someone under the bus without evidence. And the evidence thus far seems to suggest that he’s doing a pretty good job. The salary cap is in good shape, we went from 4-12 to 14-4 in just a couple of years, his hire for coach seems to have been pretty good, we’ve gotten some great young players such as Jennings and Grant, and if not for this Favre saga most people were thinking Ted Thompson had the Packers in a pretty good position.

    And there really doesn’t seem to have been anything he could do to stop this soap opera. Favre has been less than consistent and certainly less than truthful. In March he said that there was nothing TT and MM could have done to keep him playing and that they did not force him out. That seems to be supported by the fact that they were ready to welcome him back in late March. Then he comes out and starts laying the blame for forcing a decision and for Thompson being untruthful. I really think it is hard to judge TT’s role as GM during this situation because we don’t know the whole story and there are too many other players (such as Goodell) involved to know who is responsible for what.

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