There were some reports earlier this year that the San Francisco 49ers had interest in Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers back when it was believed he could be had in a trade. Months later, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has addressed the old rumors.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, LaFleur dismissed the idea that the Rodgers-49ers rumors may have affected his relationship with 49ers head coach and longtime friend Kyle Shanahan. LaFleur made it clear that Shanahan remains a friend and he holds no ill will towards him.
“Kyle is a great friend of mine,” LaFleur said. “I haven’t talked to him in awhile, it’s just part of the business. You get into your own routine, but I hold no ill will toward him.”
Rodgers wound up returning to the Packers right before training camp. Everyone within the Packers organization made it clear that a trade was never really on the table.
Nevertheless, the reports themselves could have had some effects on relationships in the NFL.
Matt LaFleur says 49ers interest in Aaron Rodgers this offseason did not hurt his relationship with Kyle Shanahan: "Kyle is a great friend of mine. I haven't talked to him in awhile, it's just part of the business. You get into your own routine, but I hold no ill will toward him"
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) September 22, 2021
Matt LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan first coached in the NFL together with the Houston Texans in 2008. The two would spend the next six years coaching together in Houston and with the Washington Football Team before being hired elsewhere.
Shanahan became head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. LaFleur was hired by the Packers two years later.
Both have enjoyed superb tenures as head coaches so far.
It would be a shame for their friendship to be hurt by what was ultimately a mere rumor.