The Green Bay Packers are a small-market team, so it probably should not come as a major surprise that the team is not viewed by the mainstream media as a critically influential group in the context of the National Football League as a whole. Furthermore, without a single owner to represent the franchise, one might think that the team is not well-represented in the league’s various negotiations, meetings, and other events.
However, there are certainly high-profile individuals within the organization whose impacts are felt far beyond the state of Wisconsin. President and CEO Mark Murphy, for example, represents the team at league meetings with similar clout to that of many team owners. GM Ted Thompson’s impact has been felt in other franchises, as many proteges of his from the Packers’ front office have gone on to become GMs in other cities.
However, despite these factors, the Packers land just a single individual on this list of the NFL’s 100 most important people, published by the USA Today. That person is exactly the one you might expect.
#36: Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers quarterback. The two-time league MVP is the highest-rated passer in NFL history. His off-field profile has risen since he began dating actress Olivia Munn.
While that’s true, Rodgers has always had a high profile in the league since being named the MVP of Super Bowl XLV. What’s fascinating about this ranking is some of the names that are listed above him, especially the quarterbacks.
For example, Rodgers lands in a lower spot than Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who is 26th on the list. Part of the reason for this is that Romo was involved in a planned fantasy football convention in Las Vegas that the league shut down last year. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck slots in at #14, largely due to his contract negotiations which are expected to set a new bar for the league. Finally, Cam Newton comes in at third place on the entire countdown.
To a Packers fan, making no mention of Murphy or Thompson on this list seems a bit silly. In fact, former Thompson mentee John Schneider, the Seahawks’ GM, makes the list in 40th place (along with his team’s head coach, Pete Carroll).
The overall top five on the list go as follows:
- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
- Commissioner Roger Goodell
- Panthers QB Cam Newton
- Patriots head coach/GM Bill Belichick
- NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith
Click here for the full list, and let us know where you would rank Rodgers, Murphy, or Thompson if you were putting this together.