How Ron Wolf changed the NFL


Before he became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ron Wolf was the Green Bay Packers general manager from 1991 to 2000. After 20-plus years of mediocrity at best, Wolf helped usher in an era of winning that has lasted for more than 30 seasons in Green Bay. Wolf was the one who brought Hall of Famer Brett Favre to Green Bay from the Atlanta Falcons. Of course, that was one of the defining moves of Wolf’s career as an NFL executive. However, arguably the greatest free-agent signing in NFL history was the deal Wolf made to bring Hall of Fame pass-rusher Reggie White to Green Bay from Philadelphia. That move changed the NFL forever. 

Wolf and the Packers signed White on April 7, 1993, to a four-year $17M deal. This deal changed the game because it was the first real time that an elite, franchise-altering player came to a smaller market. It doesn’t get any smaller than Green Bay, Wisconsin. White was the 1987 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and earned six First-Team All-Pro selections before coming to play for then-Packers head coach Mike Holmgren. Big No. 92 would become a franchise cornerstone for six seasons with the likes of Favre, soon-to-be Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler, Gilbert Brown, Edgar Bennett and Antonio Freeman. He would be a crucial piece of the team’s 1996-1997 Super Bowl team that would cement his legacy as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history.

The case could be made that Wolf made the two most impactful moves in NFL history by trading for Favre and signing White — two of the greatest players at their respective positions in the history of the NFL. They helped define Wolf’s Hall of Fame career that spanned across five different decades (1963-2000), especially the White signing because it changed how players think about their next potential destination.    

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