Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst says he can’t imagine any scenario where he could trade quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“We are not going to trade Aaron Rodgers,” Gutekunst said Thursday night after the first round of the NFL draft.
ESPN reported in the hours leading up to the draft that Rodgers does not want to return to the Packers. The ESPN report, which cites unidentified sources, says the Packers have offered to extend the reigning MVP’s contract and that team CEO Mark Murphy, Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur met with Rodgers during the offseason.
Gutekust responded to the report saying that “we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond.” He expanded on those comments Thursday night following the Packers’ first-round pick of Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes.
“I’m not going to speak for Aaron, but I think we obviously have a really good team and I think he will play for us again,” Gutekunst said. “As I said, we are going to work to achieve it and we have been working to achieve it on several different fronts. The value he brings to our football is truly immeasurable, do you know what I mean? He brings a lot to the table not only as a player but also as a leader. It’s very important to his teammates, to his coaches, so yeah, that’s the goal. “
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch acknowledged that he had consulted with the Packers about Rodgers’ possible availability and was quickly rejected. The 49ers selected North Dakota state quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick.
“We asked and it was a quick end to the conversation,” Lynch said. “It wasn’t happening.”
Without going into details, Gutekunst said Packers officials had reached out to Rodgers on Thursday.
Rodgers, 37, has spent his entire career with Green Bay since the Packers selected him as the 24th pick in the 2005 draft. But his long-term future has been a subject of speculation since the Packers traded four spots. in the first round to select Rodgers’ possible successor, Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, with the 26th pick in last year’s draft.
Rodgers acknowledged after last year’s draft that he was surprised by Love’s selection and that it complicated his hopes of ending his career in Green Bay.
“I certainly look back on last year’s draft and maybe some of the communication issues that we could have done better,” Gutekunst said. “There is no question about it. The draft is an interesting thing. It can unfold differently than you think it will unfold and it happens quite quickly. But I certainly think that looking back, sitting where we sat today, there might be some things of communication we did better. “
Rodgers has three years left on his contract after signing a four-year, $ 134 million extension in August 2018.
Even when Rodgers threw 48 NFL-leading touchdown passes and won his third Most Valuable Player award last season, he referred to his future as a “beautiful mystery.” Following the Packers’ NFC championship loss to Tampa Bay, Rodgers said “the future of a lot of the guys is uncertain, myself included.”