It’s unclear exactly when the rift between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers began, as it became abundantly obvious during the quarterback’s media session last week that the tension has been mounting for a while. Although a start date might not be easy to point to, the organization’s decision to draft Jordan Love in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft clearly added turmoil to a contentious relationship.
Rodgers’ main gripe with the Packers front office seemed to be that no one consulted him before trading up to take the Utah State quarterback with the No. 26 overall pick. However, recent comments from Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst revealed that contacting their franchise player “wasn’t a possibility.”
In a recent conversation with Albert Breer of MMQB, the Packers GM explained that the organization was aiming for a wide receiver or offensive tackle with the 30th pick. However, when the front office saw Love on the board still, they executed a move to jump up four spots and take him.
“Quite frankly, if that was even a possibility, I would’ve loved to do that,” Gutekunst said about communicating with Rodgers before the selection. “We didn’t go into that draft thinking, ‘Hey, we’re gonna target this and do it.’ If that was the case, we probably would’ve done that. That wasn’t reality. Would that have changed anything? I don’t know if Aaron, with the issues he has, if that’s really part of it. But a player like Aaron, in a situation like that, you would’ve loved to give him a heads up. It’s just that the way this thing transpired, that wasn’t a possibility.”
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 2, 2021
Gutekunst’s latest explanation reveals why the Packers made their move although drafting a quarterback successor for an aging Rodgers wasn’t exactly a ridiculous decision. The 36-year-old did follow up the pick by winning the MVP award, which quieted talk of Love taking over anytime soon.
Although the conflict between Rodgers and the Packers doesn’t seem to be completely remedied, he’s back in Green Bay for training camp. He’s also agreed to a reworked deal with the front office that will keep him under contract with the team for the next two years.
With just over a month to go before the 2021 regular season, Rodgers will move past the summer drama and do his best to lead the Green Bay Packers over the hump to the championship game.