Contract for GM Thompson ‘top priority’ for Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Ted Thompson has been the architect of the Green Bay Packersfor nearly a decade, and team president/CEO Mark Murphy wants to make sure the 61-year-old general manager sticks with the franchise for as long as possible.

Though Murphy wouldn’t discuss details of Thompson’s contract, it’s believed that his current deal runs through the 2016 draft. But a contract extension for Thompson could be happening sooner or later.

"It’s a top priority," Murphy said.

There was some concern about Thompson leading into this year’s draft. He missed the NFL owners meetings for undisclosed personal reasons and didn’t seem like his normal self in a pre-draft meeting with reporters. However, Murphy said that Thompson has not given him any indication that he plans to stop working any time soon.

After the draft in May, Thompson looked and sounded re-energized.

"I’m just getting started," Thompson said May 17 when addressing his future. "I feel pretty good."

Head coach Mike McCarthy is nearing a possible contract extension of his own. McCarthy’s current deal runs through the 2015 season, but it will be up to Thompson — not Murphy — in whether to extend him.

The topic of money was the reason for Murphy gathering with a handful of reporters Thursday on the fourth floor of the Lambeau Field Atrium. It was the team’s annual unveiling of its fiscal year, and, as usual, it brought back big returns.

"It was another strong financial year," Murphy said.

The Packers recorded an all-time high in total revenue with $324.1 million. Of that amount, $187.7 million was national revenue and $136.4 million was local revenue.

However, the franchise’s net income dropped substantially. It went from $43.1 million in 2013 to $25.3 million in 2014, a change of minus-41.3 percent. The main reason for that is because player costs rocketed up from $136 million last year to an all-time high of $171 million this year as a result of the contract extensions signed by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

In April 2013, Rodgers signed a five-year, $110 million extension (with a $35 million signing bonus) and Matthews inked a five-year, $66 million extension. Both of those deals impacted the team’s 2014 fiscal year (which begins April 1 each year), not the 2013 fiscal year.