Last week, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora ranked the best NFL front offices among the top tier teams. While the list was compiled based on La Canfora's subjective views on each team, the list doesn't include many surprises. All but one of the 11 teams that made the cut were in the playoffs last year, with the lone exception being the sanction-decimated New Orleans Saints.
3. Green Bay Packers:
Ted Thompson is so low key and so patient that you sometimes forget he's even there, which is what he loves. But man, what a tremendous front office when you can lose a John Schnieder -- the best young GM in the game -- to Seattle and just keep on winning.
Mark Murphy and Russ Ball help man the ship and keep the cap and budgets humming along, and this ultimate small market team has Super Bowl or bust expectations every year, which is all you hope for. Getting Aaron Rodgers signed to a cap-and-cash friendly deal through the rest of this decade was another phenomenal move, as was waiting for potential impact running backs Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin to fall to them in the draft. Remember, the Packers have had to deal with guys like Brett Favre and Mike Holmgren walking out the door not that long ago, and they have done nothing but thrive since.
Thompson won't get goaded into overpaying or drafting for need, and his keen eye has resulted in guys like Randall Cobb -- so huge now -- being picked where others might not have done so with so many receivers already in the fold.
Mike McCarthy was a sage hire as head coach. He is a perfect fit with this team and that city, and Rodgers isn't done winning Super Bowls by a long shot. When they do venture into free agency, they often find steals, like Charles Woodson, and this front office doesn't get nearly the credit it deserves.
It sure sounds like La Canfora "gets" the Packers. Not only does he mention Thompson's foresight in drafting players like Cobb a year before they're needed, but he also delves into Thompson's impeccable track record with extending players below market value (something he's done with Rodgers twice). There's very little to gripe with in terms of placement. New England has been a championship contender every year for over a decade, while Baltimore is coming off a Super Bowl win. I probably wouldn't rank the Ravens ahead of New England or Green Bay, but La Canfora - a Baltimore native - is certainly entitled to that opinion.
Regardless of where exactly the Packers fall on a list like this, it says a lot about the quality of their front office that they're always considered part of the NFL's top tier.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter: @JBHirschhorn