The Green Bay Packers valiantly attempted to keep the attention on their draft picks over the weekend, but they were fighting a losing battle. When your franchise quarterback is reportedly angry and wants to move on, that's going to be on top of everyone's minds.
Aaron Rodgers reportedly wants out of Green Bay, and according to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, the reason is general manager Brian Gutekunst. Gutekunst drafted quarterback Jordan Love in 2020 without letting Rodgers know first, which is where the trouble started. Rodgers reached his boiling point when Gutekunst reportedly declined to give Rodgers a new contract with new guaranteed money after his recent MVP season.
According to Robinson, Rodgers won't return to the Packers if Gutekunst is still the GM. That seems pretty dire, but Gutekunst told NBC Sports' Peter King that he's optimistic about the situation.
Gutekunst hopes relationship can be repaired
When King asked Gutekunst if he thinks his relationship with Rodgers is "irretrievably broken," Gutekunst said the only thing he possibly could: no, of course it's not.
“No, I don’t think so at all. That’s my opinion and that’s the organization’s opinion,” Gutekunst said. “We want Aaron to be our quarterback. We’re pretty resolute with that . . . We want to leave every avenue open for that to happen.”
Gutekunst was a little less sure about Rodgers' reported feelings about him, telling King “you never want to see those things or read those things. He’s never said that to me and he never said that publicly."
It would be one of the least surprising things ever if we heard that Rodgers had gone into Gutekunst's office and said to his face "I think you don't appreciate me, you're bad at your job, and I'd like you to stop working here immediately." But not even Rodgers is that bold. He may not have said those things to Gutekunst in person, but that doesn't mean they're not true.
No trade discussions
The Rodgers' news brought reports that several teams had contacted the Packers about possibly trading for Rodgers after the news broke that he wanted out of Green Bay. Gutekunst shot them down definitively, telling King that only one team had called to inquire about trading for their unhappy QB.
“I had no [trade] discussions with any team," Gutekunst said. "I received one call from a team Thursday night, after all the news came out. I said no. That was the end of the conversation.”
Gutekunst seems committed to keeping Rodgers no matter what his feelings are. That means Rodgers' options are limited to swallowing his feelings and playing, or staging a holdout. Gutekunst hopes it won't come to that.
“I think every day we’re very open to working through everything, all the different issues, and trying to get to get him back in here and moving forward,” Gutekunst told King.