Packers general manager Brian Gutenkunst was emphatic in discussing the possibilities of trading all-star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers still believe Aaron Rodgers will play for them in 2021, and perhaps beyond. There are no plans to redeem it.
That was GM Brian Gutekunst’s message late Thursday after the first round of the 2021 Draft, shortly after sources revealed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on the same Thursday that Rodgers has gotten so upset with the team that He told some members of the organization that he does not want to return to the Packers.
The Packers are confident that Aaron Rodgers will be the quarterback for 2021 and beyond. Getty Images
“We’ve been working on that for some time, and I just think it will take a little longer,” Gutekunst explained. “But he’s a guy who makes things work. He gives us the best chance to win, and we’re going to work toward that end.”
The 37-year-old Rodgers is under contract through the 2023 season, but he no longer has any guaranteed money left in his deal. Gutekunst said lines of communication with Rodgers and his representatives have been open throughout the offseason, and the parties spoke again Thursday.
Gutekunst, a fourth-year general manager, denied that the Packers had told Rodgers they would trade him, reiterating that there are no plans for them.
“We are not going to trade Aaron Rodgers,” he said.
Gutekunst said he did not speak with San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch on Thursday about a deal for Rodgers. Lynch told reporters Thursday that the 49ers “asked” about Rodgers, but did not say when it happened, adding, “It was a quick end to the talks; it wasn’t going to happen.”
Gutekunst said it wasn’t as if the phones didn’t stop ringing at Lambeau Field after news of Rodgers’ dissatisfaction broke.
Brian Gutenkunst recognized the importance of Aaron Rodgers to the Green Bay organization. Getty Images
“At some point after 5pm, a lot of what started to hit the airwaves, I think I had a call,” Gutekunst reported. “It was very brief, and that was it.”
Earlier in the regular season, it was reported that the Los Angeles Rams called to inquire about Rodgers’ availability via trade, before agreeing to acquire Matthew Stafford.
“I’m not going to confirm that,” Rams general manager Les Snead said Thursday. “But I don’t think it was ever available.”
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Part of Rodgers’ dissatisfaction stems from the 2020 draft, when he was not informed of his decision to move up the order of first-round picks to pick his potential replacement, Jordan Love, on the 26th overall turn, they said. sources to Schefter.
“I certainly look at last year’s draft, and I think some of the communication stuff could be done better,” Gutekunst said. “There’s no question about it. The draft is an interesting thing. It can unfold differently than how you think it’s going to happen, and it happens very soon. But I certainly think that, looking back and sitting where we are now, we were able to do. some aspects of better communication “.
Despite being rejected by Rodgers in his first attempts to extend his contract, the Packers still believe they can convince him to return. They brought back all but two starters from the team that finished 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season.
“I’m not going to speak for Aaron, but I think we really have a good team and I think he will play for us again,” Gutekunst said. “And, like I said, we’re going to keep working toward that from many different fronts. The value it adds to our football team is really immeasurable, you know what I’m saying? It brings so much not just as a player, but as a leader. It’s so important to his teammates, to his coaches, so yes, it is the goal.
“I think obviously we have a good football team, a great organization, we are very committed to it and I think the lines of communication have been open. I am just being optimistic about what is best for the Green Bay Packers and truly I think that’s the best thing for Aaron Rodgers, too. “
Gutekunst was the only member of the Packers organization to chat with reporters Thursday after they selected Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes at No. 29 overall. Head coach Matt LaFleur is scheduled to receive questions after the 2021 Draft on Saturday.
“I think it’s like everything in this business. Look, I don’t think there’s anything that surprises you,” former Packers head coach, who currently holds the same position with the Dallas Cowboys, Mike McCarthy, said Thursday. “And things like that happen. Conversations, I think, always happen when it comes to player acquisition. Obviously, no one knows the impact Aaron Rodgers has had on the Green Bay Packers. [más que yo] but yeah, I haven’t thought about it much. Obviously, I didn’t see anything happen today, so … good story. “
Gutekunst did not set a deadline for when Rodgers’ situation needs to be resolved so that it does not impact the 2021 season.
“It’s a bit hypothetical, and like I said, our wish is to have Aaron as our quarterback leading this team and competing for championships,” he said. “So, it’s a bit hypothetical, so we’ll get to that. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Information from Todd Archer and Lindsey Thiry was used in the writing of this note.