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First things first: Thompson must get new deal before McCarthy

By By Jason Wilde
Published On: May 20 2014 09:53:22 PM CDT
Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY -

Before Mike McCarthy gets a contract extension, the Green Bay Packers will have to get a deal done with his boss, general manager Ted Thompson.

That’s what Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday, during a break in the NFL Spring Meeting in Atlanta.

Thompson, 61, just finished his 10 th draft as the Packers’ GM and is under contract for two more years, through the 2016 NFL Draft. McCarthy, 50, is about to embark on his ninth season as the Packers’ coach and is under contract for two more seasons, through the end of the 2015 campaign. Both men signed five-year contracts in 2011, after leading the team to the Super Bowl XLV title following the 2010 season.

Murphy disputed a May 3 report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn that Murphy had begun working on an extension for McCarthy. The Journal Sentinel report was very detailed, going so far as to point out that Murphy’s decision to start working on a new deal with McCarthy “was met by some grumbling” from members of the Packers board of directors.

McGinn also wrote that Murphy presumably wouldn't have entered negotiations with McCarthy without having some assurances from Thompson that he planned to work beyond the final two years of his contract.

“That was actually an inaccurate report. From a sense of, the way we’re structured, football reports to Ted, and everything reports up to me,” Murphy told Rapoport. “So the first step would be to extend Ted, and then he would in turn enter into an extension for Mike.”

Asked if that meant that he, as team president, would sign Thompson to an extension first, Murphy replied, “Yes. [The coach] should be the general manager’s decision.”

Asked if talks were underway with Thompson about a new deal, Murphy refused comment.

“I can’t talk about that,” he said. “But that’s the structure.

Thompson was asked a series of questions about his future during a press briefing last Saturday following the team’s rookie orientation camp. He refused to be specific about how long he intends to work, declining to even say whether or not he would finish out his current contract.

Asked what his plan was, Thompson replied, “I don’t really have one. I’ve never had one. I wouldn’t anticipate doing anything different.”

And when asked if he could say with certainty that he would remain GM through the end of his current contract, Thompson replied, “Certainty is a fairly strong word. I’m feeling good and ready to go.”

That said, Thompson did seem to be in better spirits after seeming to be under the weather at his pre-draft news conference on May 1 and undergoing an undisclosed medical procedure that caused him to miss the NFL Meetings in Florida in March, when he was able to work but unable to travel.

“I feel pretty good,” Thompson said before explaining what keeps him going. “I think when you’re in the scouting business, it’s the chase [that drives you]. … You’re hoping to find that diamond that nobody else has found. And that’s hard to do with the coverage we have in the NFL and the scouting departments that are all around the league. But I think it’s the chase, and coming together, and most importantly the Sundays or Mondays or Thursdays when you’ve won the game and you’re in a winning locker room. That’s as good as it gets.”

Listen to Jason Wilde every weekday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Green & Gold Today,” and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonjwilde.

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