The ugly ongoing situation within the Green Bay Packers appears to have broken down to Aaron Rodgers vs. general manager Brian Gutekunst. According to a new report from Saturday morning, one of the things that Rodgers wants is for the team to bring in a new GM, if he is to return to Green Bay for a 17th season.
Caught in the middle is head coach Matt LaFleur. In his first year under LaFleur, just his second coach with the Packers, he was solid but far from elite. In 2020, a year into the new system, Rodgers put together one of his best seasons, running away with the MVP award.
Gutekunst may secretly, or not so secretly, look forward to getting his own quarterback draftee, Jordan Love, into the lineup sooner than later. Ted Thompson made the bold choice to pick Aaron Rodgers and replace Brett Favre a few years later. Gutekunst can solidify his Packers legacy the same way if Love turns into the third straight great Packers QB.
For LaFleur, however, things are pretty clear: Rodgers gives the team the clear best chance to win at the moment. In his post-NFL Draft press conference, he was pretty honest about the situation. “I can’t even take my brain to that spot right now,” he said, when asked about the possibility of Aaron Rodgers leaving. “I just want to do everything in my power to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
Matt LaFleur reiterated that Aaron Rodgers is “the greatest to ever do it (and) we want him back here.”
Follow up ?: What if he doesn’t want to be here?
“I can’t even take my brain to that spot right now. I just want to do everything in my power to ensure that doesn’t happen.” pic.twitter.com/bw8nAo3OnG
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 2, 2021
“I don’t only love the player, I love the person,” he added, per Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I love working with him on a daily basis.”
I’d have to imagine that most other non-front office folks in the Green Bay Packers organization feel the same. Losing Aaron Rodgers, still an MVP-level player and the heart of the team for almost two decades, would be devastating.
We’ll see if the two sides can figure something out, but right now the situation sounds very bleak.