Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst has sensationally revealed that he tried unsuccessfully to speak with Aaron Rodgers on multiple occasions this offseason before the quarterback’s representatives told him the four-time MVP was requesting a trade.
The 39-year-old and Gutekunst met shortly after Green Bay’s season ended with a 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions that snapped the Packers’ string of three straight playoff appearances. Gutekunst said they’d planned to have follow-up conversations.
‘Those never transpired,’ Gutekunst told ESPN. ‘So there came a time where we had to make some decisions so we went through his representatives to try to talk to him [about] where we were going with our team. And at that point, they informed us that he would like to be traded to the Jets.’
That account conflicts with what Rodgers said during his appearance on ‘The Pat McAfee Show’ on March 15.
Rodgers said he wished the Packers had told him early in the offseason that they intended to move on from him in the 2023 season
Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst remains puzzled over reasons behind why talks with wantaway quarterback Aaron Rodgers never transpired
Rodgers previously claimed that the Packers were holding up talks with the Jets due to the lack of agreement in compensation for the 39-year-old
Rodgers said instead that after returning from his isolation retreat last month, he ‘heard from multiple people that I trust around the league – players mostly — that there was some shopping going on, that they were interested in actually moving me.’
‘The Packers would like to move on,’ Rodgers said. ‘They’ve let me know that in so many words. They’ve let other people know that in direct words.’
‘I haven’t been holding anything up at this point,’ he later added, revealing: ‘It’s been compensation that the Packers are trying to get for me, and kinda digging their heels in.’
Gutekunst said that he wanted to have more discussions with the 2011 Super Bowl champ’ earlier in the offseason to discuss how the veteran quarterback could fit in the Packers’ future plans.
‘[With] our inability to reach him or for him to respond in any way, I think at that point, I had to do my job and kind of reach out and, understanding that a trade could be possible and see who was interested,’ Gutekunst said.
A trade of Rodgers would clear the way for 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love to take over as Green Bay’s starting quarterback.
Gutekunst was asked if there’s any scenario in which Rodgers starts another game for the Packers.
‘I think right now all options are on the table,’ Gutekunst said. ‘It’s not trending that way, and we’re very hopeful we can facilitate this [trade] and get this accomplished. But he’s come back under certain circumstances before where maybe he wasn’t the happiest with everything that was going on and played very well. So we’ll just kind of see how all of this transpires.
Rodgers’ departure would clear the way for Green Bay to finally start its 2020 first-round pick at quarterback, Jordan Love (pictured)
Gutekunst & Rodgers met after the Packers’ season ended with a 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions
‘I think it’s trending hopefully in the right direction for what everybody wants, and we can conclude this hopefully.’
Gutekunst also dropped a hint at terms involving any deal for Rodgers, surprisingly disclosing that he’s not requiring a first-round pick from the Jets, but that he’d want ‘fair value’ for who many consider as the greatest Packer of all time.
‘Yeah, I think that’s not a necessity,’ the 49-year-old said of a deal centered around a first-round pick. ‘But at the same time, the value of the player – he’s a premier player, so getting premier picks back for [premier] players is important.’
Gutekunst and Jets general manager Joe Douglas have both discussed trade talks involving Rodgers, who announced his intention to play next season at Florham Park earlier this month on the ‘Pat McAfee Show’.
Rodgers remains under contract with Green Bay but said he wanted the Packers to ‘do the right thing.’
‘There’s been some productive conversations. Obviously, we’re not where we need to be yet. But feel like we’re in a good place.’ Douglas said, adding he’s ‘very optimistic.’
Gutekunst is negotiating a trade to send Rodgers to New York with Jets GM Joe Douglas (seen). The Packers GM revealed that a first-round pick is not necessary for a deal to be completed
Gutekunst said that ‘hopefully, we can come to an agreement sooner than later’ but indicated he could afford to wait until May or June to make a trade if necessary.
‘Yeah, I think so,’ Gutekunst said. ‘Again, there’s not much going on right now.’
‘So, again, I think it has to work for both parties and I think we’re both committed to figuring that out. It’s really kind of in their court right now. We’ll kind of see where it goes.’
Rodgers, for his part, has not made any public statements since Gutekunst’s remarks at the NFL Annual Meeting on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.
The reunion in between all 32 NFL head coaches will be held from March 26-29.