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Packers GM Didn't Talk Aaron Rodgers Trade with Teams, Working on New Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2021

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2021, file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs during an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Green Bay, Wis. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst says the team remains committed to Rodgers “for the foreseeable future” one year after trading up in the first round to draft the three-time MVP’s potential successor. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, File)
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is sending a public message to Aaron Rodgers: He is not trading the disgruntled quarterback.

Gutekunst spoke to Peter King of NBC Sports and Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, doubling down on comments made during the 2021 NFL draft regarding Rodgers' trade request.

"I had no [trade] discussions with any team. I received one call from a team Thursday night, after all the news came out. I said no. That was the end of the conversation," Gutekunst told King.

Rodgers has been pushing for a trade behind the scenes since the Packers' NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

"Yes, we were surprised by it. But at the same time, we're very committed to working through all the things we need to get this thing righted with him and get him back as our quarterback," Gutekunst told Breer.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the impetus for Rodgers' trade request came at this time a year ago, when the Packers surprisingly traded up in Round 1 to select quarterback Jordan Love without telling Rodgers of their intentions to seemingly draft his successor. In the high-leverage rounds of the 2020 draft, Gutekunst chose backups at quarterback (Love), running back (AJ Dillon) and tight end (Josiah Deguara) with the team's first three selections.

The Love selection seems to be the root of the issue, given the Packers had needs elsewhere (particularly at receiver) and the team chose to draft Rodgers' eventual replacement. Gutekunst said he could have done a better job at communication with Rodgers ahead of the 2020 draft with the quarterback blindsided by the selection of his successor.

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Gutekunst told Breer he was aware of a report that Rodgers wanted him fired but said that has never been communicated to him directly.

"Yeah, you obviously don't want to hear those things. But at the same time, Aaron's never said that to me, and I haven't heard him say that publicly. So I think it's a little unfair. I don't know where that's coming from," he said.

Gutekunst added that he holds no "animosity" toward Rodgers, who is under contract through the 2023 season. He also expressed a willingness to rework the contract of the reigning MVP, though it's unclear if the situation has reached a point of no return from Rodgers' perspective.