Thompson is one of the oldest and longest-tenured GM's in the NFL. Dallas Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones is 74, and New England Patriots coach and GM Bill Belichick is 65. Former Packers GM Ron Wolf retired at 63 years old in 2001.
Normally at this time of the year, Thompson begins examining ways to trim down the Packers' 90-man roster. This season, that process is less of an emphasis at this point because there's only one cut after the preseason games are through, to a 53-man roster.
"I think it gives you more opportunity to see things, to weigh what you have against what other people might have," Thompson said of the NFL rules change. "So we feel like it helps. It gives free agents especially young guys and players of all ages a chance to show what they've got."
The Packers picked up five free agents, the team's most in any offseason since 2006. Thompson has also kept at least one undrafted rookie in each of his 12 seasons as general manager. Last year, the Packers kept six undrafted rookies - the most ever under Thompson.
He said Family Night on Saturday represents a significant benchmark towards those cuts, a big step in determining which rookies earn spots on the final 53-man roster.
"To see them under the lights for the first time, in the uniform, and going against people they've never gone against before... I think it's a good event, for the organization and the fans and that sort of thing," Thompson said. "But it's also a good mechanism to see what you see and see what you don't see."
Lambeau Field opens at 5:30 p.m. Saturday for Family Night. The Packers' on-field warm-ups begin at 6:30, and the practice kicks off at 7:30. The event will be broadcast live on NBC26 in Northeast Wisconsin and Today's TMJ4 in the Milwaukee area.