Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his relationship with general manager Brian Gutekunst has improved, and he hinted that staying with the franchise beyond this season may be his best option.
Rodgers was asked about his future during an appearance Wednesday on SiriusXM's The Adam Schein Podcast (via Kevin Patra of NFL.com) amid a season in which he's once again in the MVP conversation, and the Packers are a top-tier Super Bowl contender:
"The grass is greener where you water it. I really believe that. And you know, that's an adage to dissuade people from going out and taking risk and chances, and you know, I think that where you spend your time and energy and what you choose to water will always be the greenest part of your life. I decided when I came back that I was going to be all in with the team and all in to see things move forward to a better place. And that's what the conversations were about, you know, during the offseason, was about being a part of those conversations that impact my ability to do my job.
"And I, you know, from one of the first days, Brian and I sat it down and got on the same page and it's been a really nice Fall and Winter. I appreciate his approach, how it's been, and it's been very meaningful to me. So I'm thankful for that relationship, where it's at at this point, and that's made my life that much more enjoyable. So I gotta give Brian a lot of credit for meeting me in the middle."
The relationship between Rodgers and Gutekunst appeared on the verge of being unsalvageable at one point during the offseason, which raised serious questions about whether the three-time NFL MVP had played his last game for Green Bay.
In May, Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported the quarterback was "adamant" he wouldn't return to the team as long as Gutekunst remained in charge of the roster, and at that point it seemed "reconciliation may not be possible."
The sides were able to work out their differences, and a season that was on the brink of collapse before it even began has instead turned into a potentially memorable year for the Packers.
Green Bay has clinched the NFC's top seed with a 13-3 record, giving it a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the conference's playoffs.
Rodgers has been the driving force behind that success. He's completed 68.6 percent of his throws for 3,977 yards with 35 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 15 appearances.
The Packers lost the one game he missed—Week 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs while he was on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list—by a 13-7 score under the guidance of backup Jordan Love.
Rodgers has put together his latest terrific season despite a lingering toe injury that is finally starting to subside just in time for the postseason—a worrisome thought for the rest of the NFC contenders.
"This is a first game that my toe got through the game without any issues," Rodgers told reporters after Sunday's 37-10 blowout win over the Minnesota Vikings to clinch the top seed. "No pregame painkiller shot. I'm feeling good. I'm happy about it."
Regardless of when Green Bay's season comes to a close, the focus will quickly shift to Rodgers' future.
The good news for Packers fans, though, is Rodgers spending his entire career with the franchise is starting to sound like a far more realistic possibility than it appeared to be in mid-2021.