Aug 9, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Does Ted Thompson Hold Key to Reggie McKenzie's Free Agency Plan?



For the Non-Football geeks, allow me to introduce Packers General Manager Ted Thompson. A Ron Wolf disciple like Reggie McKenzie, who took over as Packers GM in 2005. Thompson has built a reputation as one of the top General Managers in the league, and helped build Green Bay into a Playoff contender year in and year out.

In a great article by Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press Gazette, he highlights a very similar resentment by Packers fans towards their very successful GM Ted Thompson. He especially pinpoints many Packers fans outright disdain for Ted Thompson’s philosophy on Free Agency.

Thompson has a reputation of being stingy with Cap Money and not making big free agent signings, especially with players from other teams.

Vandermause states “I believe, as Thompson does, that it’s foolish to pay inflated prices for players that for one reason or another weren’t retained by their former teams. I think Thompson is wise beyond his years to resist the temptation to start throwing money around like a drunken sailor.”

See where this is going? This is only the second offseason we have seen from GM Reggie McKenzie, and to be honest last year was hard to judge due to cap restraints. But in 2014 we are finally getting the answer we should have known all along….Reggie McKenzie is following the Free Agency blueprint of his mentor Ted Thompson.

Reggie will avoid overpaying, signing big names, and rushing in on the first day of Free Agency.

Something also very interesting, yet similar to Thompson is…Reggie will pay players based on how he values them, not what the market deems their value. Meaning only the people behind the Raiders shield know how or what value they place on individual players. Reggie will not be forced into overpaying for “assumed top talent” in the free agent market.

Many experts, former scouts and players, as well as fans will determine the value of each player in Free Agency. Sometimes those evaluations match what the GM’s in the league see, but sometimes they are way off.

Case in point Lamarr Houston and Jared Veldheer, two young players apparently in their primes. Value should be high, according to fans and the so-called experts. Instead Reggie offered low ball offers to both players, and both signed with other teams. We obviously were way off on how much Reggie valued both players.

Did the market agree with Reggie? Well both Brandon Albert and Eugene Monroe were paid significantly more than Veldheer, as was Reggie’s own signing of Rodger Saffold. Lamarr Houston received a nice payday, but not nearly at the level of Everson Griffen, Michael Johnson, and even Michael Bennett who took a discount.

The article concludes….”But the early portion of free agency, generally speaking, is not the best time to restock the cupboard. Let’s allow the entire offseason to play out and see how Thompson addresses the Packers’ needs before throwing him under the bus.”

The same sentiment should be applied with Reggie McKenzie, time is the only judge of moves made in the offseason. This offseason is far from over and despite losing two good young players, Raiders fans should take solace that there is a “Plan” in place. A plan that works, and a plan that has proven to be very successful





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Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie Ted Thompson

  • bigninaross

    Totally agree with this. Everyone is calling for Reggie McKenzie’s head for letting Valdheer, Houston and Jennings go, but I’m staying patient. I think he’s done enough to earn his position, so let’s wait and see. Come on people, stop trying to can people after 2 or 3 years with a franchise that has been in the basement for over a decade.

  • Brian Huth

    In Reggie I trust.

  • Pridenpoise

    Here’s the difference Reggie’s drafting has been an absolute joke, so if you’re not drafting properly, there’s not going to be any talent on the team to start with, Reggie was supposed to be all about resigning our own guys and drafting smart, his words not mine, he’s yet to do either. I’m not to sad to see Houston go, he didn’t want be in Oakland, however Jared was a better player than Saffold and should have been treated as such, not offered a low ball contract, that I’m sure he took as an insult.

  • bnetts

    This is exactly the article I was planning on writing. Ted Thompson and Ron Wolf are very happy with the Reggie’s moves.

  • Mike McCarthy

    It is too early to rate last years draft and from what I’ve heard Jared’s brother had no intention of allowing him to sign in Oakland.

  • KloverJane

    Exactly. That o line was nothing last season without Veldeer. NOTHING! How many times did Terrelle and McGloin run for their lives? Every down. Almost no pocket protection. Just watch Veldeer next year at the Cards. Watch how much time Carson gets. Again I might add. Foolish. I can’t move on yet. And whoever our QB is, watch him get sacked for a fumble repeatedly week one. I won’t forget. It’s like the Tuck rule revisited ,as far as pain. Lol The Autumn wind cometh. …..

  • KloverJane

    We will see come OTA’s. Then I might hail him Einstein instead of a snake oil salesman.

  • KloverJane

    Who’s reporting that?

  • KloverJane

    I don’t want him fired . I want an explanation as to why. But I’m not going to get it.

  • KloverJane

    Because they won’t face Oakland again in the Superbowl anytime soon now. Lol

  • Pridenpoise

    Give me a break, you heard Jared’s brother had no intention of letting him resign, well here’s the facts his agent, also his brother told him to take the money in Arizona , after the insulting offer from Oakland. As for rating last years draft, it may be to early to judge the players, but I know one thing you don’t take a guy who just had a life threatening issue with his heart in the first round, and then follow it up with a guy who started playing football 2 years ago. But that’s just my opinion.

  • 757Raiderfan

    Yes I agree I was initially very upset with letting them go but just gotta sit back and hope for the best. Al towards the end showed us switching coaching staffs every year or two doesn’t work either. Let’s just try to wait at least till the end of the upcoming season….then hate all you want

  • Lonny

    I do not get Reggie at all. I have no problem with not over paying for high priced free agents. Reggie scores points there with me. Letting two talented young Raider free agents go like Valdheer and Houston and then over paying for Saffold, this I do not get. I was still trying to understand letting Zach Miller walk for so little and then this. I would bet good money that most GMs and Oline coaches in this league would take Valdheer over Saffold and that is not even counting saving 1 million in cap room by doing it. Bad decision with zero foundation if you ask me. I mean is anyone talking about turning Valdheer into a guard….they are with Saffold. That has to be the ultimate insult for a LT.

  • Chip Faver

    You’ll get your explanation as you watch the team perform. In an SI article by Peter King I read RM prefers “Brute Strength” in linemen, that he is very deliberate, etc. These values should show up on the field as the team trends toward being a reflection of his preferences. You may not like what you see if your preferences are different (E.g. You prize agility over strength in OLmen). But if his preferences and process put a repeat contender on the field long-term I will like that!

  • Raiders Rene

    We will be the laughing stock of the Nlf this year our football team will be lousy and we will be 2-14 or 3-13 thats it. Our football team will be like a high school team. I wish Al Davis had a extra son with balls not a pussy like Mark Davis too much power and not enough brains just like Jim Buss from the lakers thats why they are a laughing stock. Well we are fucked again and again next year. Dumb and Dummer needs to go and offer lots a money and power and go and get Chucky the face of the Raiders and he will bring Glory to the Raiders and make our nation proud again.

  • bigninaross

    Well look on the bright side… Once we all get our NFL GM jobs…we can start re-signing, signing and paying all the players that the fans and “experts” tell us to, instead of making our own evaluations and decisions. Then we can start winning again Yeeeee Hawwww! SMH

  • FlyTy

    IF you are true Raiders Fans, you understand that you have to overpay to get someone to come to Oakland. They have to play on a baseball field most of the year and risk injury and we have sucked for a while now. What kills me is most of the players you all are dying to keep every year wash out with other teams within a year or two so what does that say about their talent level?!?!?! We have won 8 games… 2 years!! I don’t know what RM is doing but I say cut them all including Allen!!!!
    The only thing I keep saying is it cannot get any worse!!!!!

  • Marcus Cooper

    “Reggie will avoid overpaying… and rushing in on the first day of Free Agency.”
    You mean, like the Saffold contract that he clearly wasn’t worth??

  • Werner Lewis

    Thumbs up to Regeeeeeee. Silver and Black!!!!!!!

  • Chip Faver

    I met Mr Davis on one occasion in Tokyo. We shook hands and he thanked me for my Armed Service and for being a Raider Fan. Even though that was the extent of our exchange, I got the distinct impression that if he could reach out from the grave; he would bury you next to Jimmy Hoffa for those kind of remarks about the son he trusted his team to when he died.

  • JahRW

    Exactly. No explanation, when the moves have been baffling.

  • JahRW

    If he’s doing this, then he’s foolish. We’re not the Packers. He’s gonna have to overpay some guys to get them to come to Oakland.

  • JahRW

    Exactly. Following this model will not work in Oakland. And for him to think so shows his ineptitude. If he’s smart, make a big signing, become a good franchise, then start following the Wolf model.