Packers HC LaFleur Reveals Advice to Jordan Love Amid Aaron Rodgers Trade Rumors

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers warms up before the NFC championship NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Mike Roemer/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said he has spoken to Jordan Love, imploring the young quarterback to stay focused on his own development amid Aaron Rodgers' trade request. 

"I've talked to Jordan, and I told him, you know, there's a lot of noise out there," LaFleur told reporters Saturday. "You can't focus on that. You've got to focus on yourself. And I know you guys think it's cliche, but he's got to be the best version of him, and he's got to do everything in his power to make sure he knows the expectations, the standards which we've developed at that position. I know he's working hard."

Rodgers' trade demand has sent the Packers organization into a state of disarray, despite the organization being in lockstep that it has no plans on trading the reigning league MVP. LaFleur said he "can't fathom" the idea of Rodgers not being on the Packers roster in 2021.

"I can't fathom [him] not being in Green Bay," LaFleur said. "That's where my mind's at. I don't only love the player, but I love the person. I love working with him on a daily basis; I think we all do—from the players in that locker room to the coaching staff. Again, I don't even want to let my mind go there."

Love's arrival last offseason seems to be the overarching impetus for Rodgers' desire to depart Green Bay. The Packers traded up to select the Utah State quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, blindsiding Rodgers and the fanbase, both of whom seemed to feel a more immediate-impact player was more important. The team doubled down in Round 2, selecting running back AJ Dillon, another backup.

While the Packers made the NFC Championship Game, they did so largely with players from the previous season. Their 2020 draft class was almost entirely given a redshirt season, which was understandably a source of frustration for the 37-year-old Rodgers.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst acknowledged there were "communication issues we could have done better" regarding their 2020 draft strategy.

Rodgers seemed to do his part in playing the role of mentor to Love, but the relationship with the front office may have reached a point of no return. The three-time MVP is known to be steadfast in his convictions, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Rodgers would be willing to forfeit $23 million to retire rather than return to Green Bay.

The next date to watch in this saga may be June 1, when the Packers' cap hit for trading Rodgers will be split in half. If the situation is still as broken a month from now, Green Bay might need to start taking calls and hand the future over to Love.