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Packers' free agency train leaves station with happier passengers

Packers' free agency train leaves station with happier passengers

By Kris Burke. CREATED Mar 18, 2014

Once again, in the immortal words of Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy in 2008, "the train has left the station."

Except this time, it seems safe to say everyone is finally on board.

After NFL free agency began with Green Bay staying silent once again, Packers Nation began to grow restless. There were obvious holes on the Packers' roster and it was beginning to look like general manager Ted Thompson was content to stick only to the NFL Draft to repair his team.

Fans naturally began their yelling. Calls for Thompson's job were made far and wide across the internet as big name free agent after big name free agent signed with a team other than the Packers.

Then this past Saturday, Thompson decided to serve the complaining fans a nice tall glass of "shut the heck up" and signed former Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers. It was even a team-friendly contract to boot with only $7.5 million guaranteed out of the maximum of $30 million to be paid (potentially) over three years.

While the deal was not unanimously praised (some have concerns about Peppers' age and lack of production in 2013), it was a move that far and away was lauded by Packers fans. Thompson finally stepped outside of his shell and got an impact veteran in free agency.

The debate between fans of whether or not Thompson was doing his job right ceased, and all once again was right amongst Packers fans.

For perhaps the first time since the immediate aftermath of the Packers' Super Bowl XLV victory, Packers Nation once again seemed to be fully behind Green Bay's general manager.

While it is good to see some finally come back around, why did they turned on Thompson in the first place?

Thompson just completed his ninth season at the helm of the Packers' football operations and has a record of 86-57-1 in the regular season and he's won a Super Bowl.

A lot of Thompson's detractors point to Ron Wolf, who was Thompson's mentor, as someone whose example Ted should follow.

What was Wolf's record in nine seasons as general manager? 92-52.  That's not far ahead of Thompson's record. Wolf also had the same amount of Super Bowl titles (though he had a second appearence as well).

Thompson also has four division titles to Wolf's three. Wolf had no sub-.500 seasons and Thompson had two, though 2005 was not necessarily his fault.

The bottom line is the Peppers signing hasn't changed what a great job Thompson has done as general manager, but to some fans it apparently has.

Oh well. No use crying over spilled milk.  Packers Nation is united again and ready to see their team make a run at Super Bowl XLIX.

John Elway's Broncos can have all his overpaid big name signings. Packers Nation stands with Ted Thompson.

Kris Burke (@KrisLBurke on Twitter) is a writer at AllGreenBayPackers.com and a co-host on the Packers Talk Radio Network.