Packers GM: 'Wasn’t a Possibility' to Tell Aaron Rodgers About Drafting Jordan LoveAugust 2, 2021
The Green Bay Packers' decision to trade up for quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 draft has long been believed to be a source of contention between the team and MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
General manager Brian Gutekunst told Albert Breer of The MMQB that he wasn't able to warn Rodgers before it happened:
"Quite frankly, if that was even a possibility, I would've loved to do that. We didn't go into that draft thinking, 'Hey, we're gonna target this and do it.' If that was the case, we probably would've done that. That wasn't reality. Would that have changed anything? I don't know if Aaron, with the issues he has, if that's really part of it. But a player like Aaron, in a situation like that, you would've loved to give him a heads up. It's just that the way this thing transpired, that wasn't a possibility."
Breer reported that the Packers thought Love would be off the board earlier, so they intended to select a wideout or offensive tackle in the first round. But when he was still available at No. 26, the Packers decided to trade up to land him.
Rodgers has been unhappy with the front office's disinclination to hear him out on personnel decisions in general:
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Rodgers says another frustration was he wasn't used in free-agent recruiting. Feels it's needed in Green Bay, which isn't a "vacation destination." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Packers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Packers</a> "tried to throw some money at me." Says it was about more than that, though he didn't want to be a "lame duck" QB.
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Going back to something Rodgers said earlier, he wasn't consulted on the hiring of Matt LaFleur (which is absolutely nuts, btw). "I love Matt, we've had a blast and I'm glad he's here," but it was clear at that point the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Packers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Packers</a>' organization viewed his job as "just play."
Gutekunst said he understood Rodgers' desire to have more input:
"First of all, I'd say there's very few of those players—you're talking Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, there are very few of those players. The quarterback position, particularly, because he's affected by so many things, and particularly on your offense... the ones like Aaron and Tom, their input is valuable. How [has that piece] affected things? That's kind of hard for me to say. But I can understand why they want to have input."
Rodgers' future in Green Bay remains up in the air, however. The sides negotiated a reworked contract this offseason that voided the third year in his current deal (2023) and made him untaggable after the 2022 season. Essentially, Rodgers is only under contract for two more seasons, and if Green Bay wants to get assets for him before he walks out the door, it will likely have to trade him after this season.
Head coach Matt LaFleur told Breer that he doesn't want to see Rodgers go anywhere anytime soon:
"I mean, the guy is, in my eyes, the greatest to ever do it. So yeah, why wouldn't you want to [keep coaching him]? And I think he's still got a lot left in the tank. I see it every day. He has so much fun out there, too, just competing. The ball's still jumping out of his hand so damn effortlessly. So yeah, if he were to have retired, I would've put it in the same category as how I felt growing up in Michigan [when Barry Sanders retired]."