GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s been a long time since a Packers General Manager has given press conferences on back-to-back days, other than the weekend of the NFL draft. But given the current football climate at 1265 Lombardi Avenue, Brian Gutekunst not only addressed the acquisition of Randall Cobb, but Aaron Rodgers comments Wednesday.
“It’s no different than it’s always been. It’s about how the team incorporates the input,” said Gutekunst. “Every player is not going to have that kind of input. It’s going to be Aaron.”
Gutekunst was asked if trading for Cobb was specifically to appease Rodgers and the Packers General Manager didn’t mince words.
“I think that’s a big part of it. Obviously, without Aaron, I don’t think we would probably be pursuing that. Randall is still a really good player. Seeing him last night just kind of reminded me what an impact he’ll have in our locker room for our football team. This is a very important thing for Aaron and this is why we did it.”
Trading for Cobb is the only public concession that has been verified when it comes to pacifying Rodgers, but if he and Davante Adams’ Instagram post (with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen) implying this is “The Last Dance” is true, that would mean the 3-time MVP has lame-duck status heading into this season, something Gutekunst rebuffed.
“Obviously, at the moment, he’s got three years left on his contract, so we certainly don’t look at it as a lame duck. We may alter that, but even at that stage, it’s not going to be a one-year contract. Never looked at it like that. As you guys know, in this business, everything’s year to year.”
The topic of Rodgers asking to be traded in 2022 was also discussed at Thursday’s press conference and Gutekunst didn’t quite answer the question but said that they will definitely meet regarding the matter.
“I think what he’s done for this organization, he deserves at least the conversation every year about where we’re headed, where he’s headed. He’s earned the right to have those discussions.”
On Wednesday, Rodgers gave plenty of clarity as to why he was upset regarding the Packers front office, whether it was the timing of contract negotiations, roster decisions, and letting players go.
“I wouldn’t say I have any regrets. Obviously, this is a hard business. This is a tough business and when it comes to an end for any player, I don’t think it usually goes well, and I don’t think they feel very good about it,”, said Gutekunst. “We are always very sensitive to what those players have given to this organization, and when we go through that, it’s always with class and dignity. But again, it’s a hard business. I think sometimes obviously the Packers may take the brunt of what is the NFL business. I think while those decisions are hard, they have to be made for the team to grow. You know keeping players longer than maybe we should, then all of a sudden we’re not signing guys we should down the road. So it’s a little bit of a domino effect and it’s hard. It’s hard on players, and players should have those feelings. It’s hard. And when play as long as Aaron has, you’re going to see a lot of that.”
So the real question is, does Aaron Rodgers really still want to be a Green Bay Packer? He said that he loves his teammates, his city, and his coaches. When asked about his relationship with Gutekunst? Rodgers said it’s…“professional”.
The leader of the Pack basically looked at management and told them directly in the face, just how bad they have been over the past few years when it comes to decision-making. And now the organization has responded by back-peddling a bit, at least for one season. Rodgers is a once-in-a-generational talent, but he also has to realize his best chance to win another Super Bowl is right here in Green Bay. And if there is an impending divorce, it won’t be taking place until 2022.
“I think we’ve really been pretty resolute the whole way through, kind of how we felt moving forward with this 2021 team, it never really changed, and we were open the entire time to work. A lot of these issues obviously we were unaware of them until this year, until this off-season and once we were, we certainly wanted to work with him and it’s going to take both sides willing to do that to kind of work through them, and we’re committed to doing that.”
It’s easy to respect what Aaron Rodgers said and how passionate he is about a variety of topics, but that doesn’t mean he is 100% right. And the only way this season will be viewed as “The Last Dance” in Green Bay is if another Lombardi trophy comes back to Titletown.