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Pack’s Thompson, McCarthy to get extension offers

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

DALLAS — The Green Bay Packers defied the odds in a number of ways, among them by overcoming injuries and becoming the first NFC sixth seed to win the Super Bowl.

But the Packers aren’t expected to take any chances with their football operations, wasting no time to lock up coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson for the foreseeable future.

McCarthy and Thompson are under contract through the 2012 season, but president Mark Murphy indicated the team will be proactive in working out extensions.

“We want Ted and Mike to be with the Packers long term, and I’m confident that they will be,” Murphy said.

Murphy will work on Thompson’s extension, then Thompson will deal with McCarthy’s. Despite having 15 players on injured reserve, the Packers plugged in young replacements and continued to win.

“It’s a tribute to Ted Thompson that he’s really put together a team that should be good for a number of years,” Murphy said. “But I’ve been around the NFL long enough to know that each year stands on its own. It’s going to be a real challenge.”

It’ll be interesting to see how much the Packers pay McCarthy.

In 2008, after the Packers reached the NFC title game, McCarthy received a five-year extension that raised his salary to $3.4 million. That’s below the market now for an NFL head coach. Jim Harbaugh signed a five-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers that averages $5 million, and the league’s highest-paid coach is New England’s Bill Belichick, who reportedly makes $7.5 million a year.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said in his season-ending news conference that the club would work on an extension for coach Lovie Smith, who will enter the ­final year of his contract. His four-year deal averages $5.5 million.

Angelo’s contract runs through 2013.

McCarthy was asked Sunday about his future with the Packers, considering Mike Holmgren left the club two seasons after leading the team to a win in Super Bowl XXXI. Holmgren headed to the Seattle Seahawks to be coach and general manager.

“I would hope this is my last job,” McCarthy said. “I’m a builder, and we have built something special. This program was built the right way, has quality people in Aaron Rodgers and all the way through that are going to lead this football team for a long time.”

The Packers, meanwhile, will have difficult decisions to make, but they’ll be the envy of clubs around the NFL because they’ll have the luxury of parting ways — via trade or release — with solid veterans.

Still, even as he celebrated a Super Bowl victory Sunday night, Thompson was guarded about his team’s 2011 chances.

“We have a good team. But if we learned anything from this year, your best laid plans .  .  . this isn’t fantasy football,” he said. “You can’t say, ‘We got this guy at tight end, we got this guy at left tackle.’ You can’t play that way.

“You have to try to get as many good players as you can. I hope and think we’ll be competitive in the future. But we’ll still be the kind of team that has to play well. And if we play well, we’ll have a chance to win.”

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