Ted Thompson spent five seasons working in Seattle, but his impact on the Seahawks organization was immense.
Thompson, who spent 13 seasons as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers, helping bring that city a Super Bowl title, died Wednesday night at the age of 68, the Packers announced Thursday, and he will be remembered as one of the most accomplished and well-respected executives of his era.
And while Thompson's most notable work took place in Green Bay, he also had a hand, both directly and indirectly, on a lot of the Seahawks' success this century. After starting his front office career in Green Bay, Thompson joined Mike Holmgren in Seattle in 2000 as the VP of football operations, and during Thompson's tenure Seattle drafted some of the players who led the team to its first Super Bowl appearance in 2005, including Shaun Alexander, Darrell Jackson, Steve Hutchinson, Marcus Trufant and Sean Locklear.
"The Seahawks family is saddened by Ted Thompson's passing and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends," The Seahawks said in a statement. "Ted served with the Seahawks as Vice President of Football Operations from 2000-04 and helped lay the foundation for Seattle's 2005 Super Bowl team. He was a great leader, talent evaluator, and even better person. Ted will be missed."
In addition to helping draft some key players during the Holmgren-era Seahawks, Thompson indirectly had his fingerprints on the Pete Carroll/John Schneider-era teams because of how much Schneider learned while working with Thompson in Green Bay. Schneider worked with Thompson in Green Bay from 1992-1996, joined Thompson in Seattle for one year in 2000, then worked under Thompson again in Green Bay from 2002-2009 before becoming the general manager of the Seahawks.
"Ted was such an amazing person and mentor to so many people," Schneider said. "I was blessed to start working with Ted in 1992 and he taught me so much about professional football and became a close friend. The Seahawks and Packers were fortunate to have Ted's guidance. I was fortunate to work with him on three different occasions and he was consistently a great person in a very tough arena. Rest in peace, Ted."
After Thompson stepped down from the Packers' GM role following the 2017 season, Schneider got emotional talking about his mentor at the 2018 combine.
"He's a special guy," Schneider said. "And he did it his own way. His personality, just quiet, ethical, great character, high character. We miss him down here."