The San Francisco 49ers' offseason pursuit of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly caused tension in the relationship between Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Mike Silver of NFL Network reported details of the tension, which boiled over ahead of the 2021 NFL draft.
The report detailed an awkward encounter Shanahan had with Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, both of whom were former assistant coaches with the 49ers. According to Silver, Shanahan joked that the Jets had to take Zach Wilson with the No. 2 pick because the 49ers hadn't watched much film on him.
LaFleur, the brother of Matt LaFleur, then responded by saying the 49ers already had their quarterback: Rodgers. The Niners were among the teams first linked with Rodgers when news of his trade request became public.
While Shanahan initially took Mike LaFleur's comment as a joke, he then "got visibly upset and hastily left the room."
Several months later, it appears tensions have cooled.
“Kyle’s a great friend of mine,” Matt LaFleur told reporters Wednesday. "Absolutely, I hold no ill will toward him.”
“I understand, he’s trying to do whatever he thinks he needs to do for his football team," LaFleur added. "He’s got a responsibility to everybody in that organization, and if there’s an opportunity, I don’t hold that against him. So, yeah, that will have no effect on our relationship.”
The 49ers ultimately selected Trey Lance as their quarterback of the future, while Rodgers reported to training camp after restructuring his contract with the Packers.