Only So Many Ways to Say It

Brian Gutekunst continues to answer questions about Aaron Rodgers.

 

You can only say the same thing in so many ways. Since the end of last season, Green Bay Packers General Manager has had to answer numerous questions about Aaron Rodgers’ future. Whether it’s regarding Rodgers’ contract situation or his future with the organization, the answer remains the same.

“Obviously he’s under contract, and he’s playing at an extremely high level,” Gutekunst said back in February. “What we’re trying to do as an organization and what we’re trying to accomplish, we can’t do without Aaron Rodgers right now. He’s such a part of what we’ve done. He’s such a part of what we’re doing right now and certainly in the future.”

In the same media session, Gutekunst squashed rumors of a potential trade involving Rodgers. Yes, trading the 2020 MVP.

The selection of Jordan Love in the first round of last year’s NFL draft altered the outside perception of the team’s loyalty to their franchise quarterback. Since the pick was made, Gutekunst has been baited into saying something, anything that would offer any insight into the current relationship between the front office and Rodgers. However, he’s never given so much as an inch of ground. Instead, Gutekunst has opted for a poker face approach and the cool hand of someone who holds pocket Aces.

During Monday’s press conference, Gutekunst was asked about Rodgers yet again. Gutekunst delivered the same message with the same temperament he’s had all offseason.

“Aaron is our guy,” he said. “He is going to be our quarterback for the foreseeable future.”

It doesn’t help when Rodgers utters phrases like “beautiful mystery” or "we'll just kind of see as we go," which fans the proverbial flames. However, with the draft approaching and no news surrounding Rodgers’ contract, it does spark more questions the GM must answer. This week, Gutekunst answered the same question he will certainly get asked before Rodgers takes another snap in a Packers’ uniform. It must be tiring, but it’s also part of the job.

Obviously, the foreseeable future is an open-ended response, meaning it could be two years, three years, or maybe just one year. Rodgers is under contract through 2023, but his deal has no guaranteed money over the final two years. Restructuring or extending Rodgers could provide short-term cap relief and also show the team is committed to him beyond 2021.

After all, Rodgers is the leader of this Green Bay team and the heart and soul of the entire franchise. As long as Love is behind him on the depth chart, these same questions will continue to get asked. Just be ready to hear the same answers from Gutekunst, who would rather wait than offer any certainties.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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3 points

Comments (38)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
mnbadger's picture

April 28, 2021 at 12:28 pm

thanks for saying what is painfully true: no matter what the plan is, nobody will say. For all we know Rodgers is in on the plan and is helping gutey drum up calls about trade partners? We only know AFTER something happens, b4 that, all speculation. GPG

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 28, 2021 at 12:30 pm

We get it, or at least I hope we do, Rodgers will be the QB until he isn't.

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Since'61's picture

April 28, 2021 at 12:48 pm

"Me thinks the GM doth protest too much." Thanks, Since '61

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Since'61's picture

April 28, 2021 at 12:49 pm

"Me thinks the GM doth protest too much." (Paraphrase from Macbeth, Shakespeare). Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

April 28, 2021 at 01:38 pm

"During Monday’s press conference, Gutekunst was asked about Rodgers yet again."

BG will have to keep answering this question as long as ARod is on the team, because it will keep being asked. All told, I think he's been pretty patient with it.

Draft is tomorrow, so we can then move on to second-guessing the GM about something different for a while.

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greengold's picture

April 28, 2021 at 01:45 pm

I don't think there is anything wrong with setting Aaron Rodgers up to succeed in adding another Super Bowl to his tenure in Green Bay. They were one or two plays away from getting there last year, and might have closed the deal if not for those plays going the wrong way in the NFCC game.

Too much is being made of his going up 5 draft slots to take Jordan Love for a very nominal fee of an R4. The guy is a super talent worthy of collecting onto your roster, and Gutekunst was being a responsible GM in doing so.

We all have to live with it, and there are worse things than having a bona fide franchise QB waiting in the wings, learning and developing on your team while you chase the dream of winning another Lombardi Trophy. This draft sets up well for us. We'll see soon enough. I'm confident Gutekunst will add 4 or 5 Top 100 players this week. That can make all the difference in the world.

Let's not forget, the change in defensive philosophy by LaFleur should help as well. Barry is simply going to run exactly what LaFleur wants him to, and he'll have even better personnel to use after this week. Our STs should see improvement as well with the additions.

As for this entire AR story, it is all based on rumors that they are trying to put to bed. There is too much to play out over the next few years. No one knows what is going to happen, yet everyone wants the answers now. All I know is that Aaron Rodgers should be set up for the title run once this draft and FA period is over, and we'll see if he can bring it home.

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MarkinMadison's picture

April 28, 2021 at 01:47 pm

I suspect that this is a dispute about money. Rodgers probably wants lots of new money, and is pointing to his MVP and the fact that Brady just won the Super Bowl at the age of 98. The Packers probably don't want to go there with a guy coming up on 40 fast. They want him, they just don't want to pay him THAT much money. So we are in a standoff.

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greengold's picture

April 28, 2021 at 01:49 pm

No.

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NorCalPacker685's picture

April 28, 2021 at 04:54 pm

Brady is winning at his advanced age because he’s taking half of what Rodgers is commanding so they can build a super team around him. That’s everything. Look at that roster. Multiple pro bowlers and all pros at almost every position... all because Brady’s contract allows them to. Meanwhile GB is over here scraping pennies to resign Kevin King and Will Redmond. If Aaron wants a new deal, and compete approaching his 40s, he needs to take about 70% of what he’s making. Simple as that.

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stockholder's picture

April 28, 2021 at 01:49 pm

Aaron Rodgers signed a 4 year, $134,000,000 contract with the Green Bay Packers, including a $57,500,000 signing bonus, $98,700,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $33,500,000. In 2021, Rodgers will earn a base salary of $14,700,000, a roster bonus of $6,800,000, a workout bonus of $500,000 and a incentive bonus of $850,000, while carrying a cap hit of $37,202,000 and a dead cap value of $38,356,000.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 28, 2021 at 04:05 pm

Yep, he's a Packer.

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cms's picture

April 28, 2021 at 02:44 pm

He should be patient! He did it to himself for picking Love. As fans we are trying to understand his vision for the team. Unfortunately, I'm not sure he has a clear vision. We are given the impression from Gute, MM and Rodgers that we are not all pulling in the same direction.

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Cubbygold's picture

April 28, 2021 at 02:56 pm

For sure. He created this problem and he created the confusion/interest among reporters and fans.

He's not going to come out and say 'there were some real concerns about #12's declining production and his play last year slammed the door on those concerns. We bought an insurance policy a few years before we should have'.

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Bear's picture

April 28, 2021 at 06:33 pm

It took Rodgers 4 years to develop into a starting quarterback. It’s easy to criticize Gute but if you don’t start developing Rodgers replacement you sure the heck aren’t going to pluck his replacement out of thin air when he does retire.

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cms's picture

April 29, 2021 at 12:51 am

Wonder how Boyle would have done as Rodger's replacement. We groomed him for two years. I guess we'll never know.

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Lphill's picture

April 28, 2021 at 03:34 pm

If Gute moves on from Rodgers anytime soon it would be the biggest blunder in sports.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 28, 2021 at 04:44 pm

Bigger than trading Babe Ruth? Bigger than drafting Sam Bowie? Bigger than not drafting Rodgers ? I mean, 20 teams could have taken him.

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wsn's picture

April 29, 2021 at 06:57 pm

Gute is in a tough spot. I hope there is a happy ending tthis soap opera.

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HankScorpio's picture

April 28, 2021 at 04:17 pm

We reached the end of the list of ways to say it about 11 months ago. I wonder when people will stop imaging there is more to say. The drivel is getting tedious.

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LambeauPlain's picture

April 28, 2021 at 04:27 pm

"....which fans the proverbial flames." I would say "which flames the proverbial fans."

Many profess to the wisdom of drafting the BAP, not need. I think most effective GMs draft BAP at positions of need.

Was QB a position of need? After Hundley and Kizer failed as solid back ups you couldn't win with, it seems obvious a back up QB who can win games was a position of need. And when the board wiped off WRs Gutey said he was targeting, it seems plausible Love was the BAP of need on Gutey's board and it did not cost much to get him.

If Aaron has another good year, it is entirely likely he will be extended next year when the cap issues remain. Or he can play out his contract and remain wealthy until he and the Pack meet the terms of the contract both agreed on. Then agree to new contract...or not.

So far, both sides are living up to the agreement. Aaron is playing sublimely and the Pack is paying him handsomely.

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Rebecca's picture

April 28, 2021 at 04:33 pm

Rodgers is also a revenue generator, win a super bowl and let the cash cow roam the tundra. In the mean time mention Rodgers, contract, Love, girlfriend, Jeopardy or the like on your blog. Good click bait.

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Leatherhead's picture

April 28, 2021 at 04:41 pm

I think the author stumbled into the truth and didn’t realize it, when he said that reworking Rodgers deal would show a commitment beyond this season. True.

So the question is, “why hasn’t it happened ?” Because the Packers want to have flexibility after this season.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 29, 2021 at 03:37 am

Yup.

The Packers probably will knock down AR's cap hits ($37M and $39M) but it looks like they will do only what is necessary: watch what Gute does and not what he says.

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CoachDino's picture

April 28, 2021 at 05:01 pm

We are all Packer fans in one way or another, So as fans should we expect the packers to "Show loyalty" to AR by making decisions based on being loyal instead of what is best for the team? I define best for the team by continued success, winning.

IMO (In the days of a Cap) Decisions should never be based on Loyalty, maybe there are small gestures that can be made with minimal negative impact to the team or if all things are even lean toward your guy (the packers are very Loyal and are one of the best teams in the league at PAYING/KEEPING their own guys). Once a salary cap was instituted teams lost the ability to be "loyal" w/o risking negative team impact. AR didn't play for GB due to Loyalty he played for GB due to being paid. Wouldn't you? Don't most? IIs Watt such a bad guy because he "dogged" wi for the money? hell no, the only guy I know in sports off the top of my head that gave his team an edge through taking less money than Market Value was Tom Brady.

I never doubt for 1 second that Gutey/ML are all about doing what's best for the team and if ARs demands/return is whats best they will keep him like any other player. Also like any other Player if the players market Value exceeds the team value then its time to let them walk. The Hype is just the media playing on emotional fans for their own gain, media (most) is about making money as well not supplying the best information.

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Bear's picture

April 28, 2021 at 06:38 pm

You’re to logical……the whiners can’t understand it.

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jclombardi's picture

April 28, 2021 at 06:02 pm

I agree with all who said the Packers management and coach created this problem. Tomorrow the draft will answer a lot of questions about where the Packers are headed this year and next year. Not all people see a happy ending. I say the jury is still out, but fans are correct to say management has created the problem especially since they are Thompson clones. lol.

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Bear's picture

April 28, 2021 at 06:39 pm

The press created a problem when there really isn’t one. Sheep are easily led astray.

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Swisch's picture

April 28, 2021 at 06:32 pm

It seems the Packers would be more committed to Aaron Rodgers publicly if they felt he was more committed to the Packers.
We don't know what is happening behind the scenes, but it seems that whatever is going on is about more than just the outward circumstances of an aging superstar quarterback.
It seems something about the inner workings is amiss.
If both sides were fully committed, they could make something happen right now to solidify the status of Rodgers for the fans going forward. It seems they could work out the money.
My main question is about how fully Rodgers has bought into the new system of offense under head coach Matt LaFleur.
It would seem a great system for Rodgers in protecting him and prolonging his career -- what with an emphasis on quick passes and more running plays -- but he may prefer a freewheeling approach with more passes downfield.
I don't think Jordan Love is going to want to be on the bench past this season. So it seems the Packers would already know as of today which of the two they want for the future. Why they haven't announced one or the other as their guy is to me an intriguing mystery.
It could even be announced by the Packers and by Rodgers that they are going to make one more valiant effort together to win the Super Bowl this season -- and then both sides will move on with no hard feelings and mutual appreciation, with Rodgers going elsewhere.
I'm not putting forth a preference in this comment, rather expressing puzzlement. Though it's a tiring topic, it does seem a matter of the highest importance.
P.S. If the Packers really want Rodgers, trade Love tonight for a draft pick this weekend.

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Bear's picture

April 28, 2021 at 06:44 pm

The fans and sportswriters make it an issue, not Rodgers. Don’t forget it took Rodgers 4 years to develop…..give Love the same 4 years.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 29, 2021 at 03:40 am

GB has announced that AR is their guy for the foreseeable future. That means 2021 for sure. Saying more puts me into the land of speculation.

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wildbill's picture

April 28, 2021 at 07:21 pm

You can always tell when management is lying, their lips are moving. That being said, only a fool for a GM would admit to any of their plans unless its the common “GM speak”.

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CoachDino's picture

April 28, 2021 at 07:38 pm

Arod is signed through 2023. Thats 3 years. Why oh why is this a big issue in that they haven't extended him? It makes no sense. We can answer why they didn't restructure, as they can do so w/o his permission (just move money out over remaining years of the contract). Answer - He already has the highest cap hit in the league making it very difficult to sign your own players to extensions let alone new FA. Thats the reason IMO they already went all in 2019, Between pushing his salary out and signing all the FAs.
They created a window that ends either in 2021 or 2022. Arod failed to win it (thats an unfair statement but he certainly didn't shine in those games) so the run is over. IMO they are trying to extend it one, maybe two more years 2021 and 2022.

All Arod has to do is say hey, Ill take a 3 year extension at less than 30M per year but all guaranteed. They could then adjust 2022 and have him be a 32M per year cap hit and a Packer for 5 years after this one. IDK but odds are he hasn't offered that.
Guy had an MVP year and wanted an extension with 3 years already left? That is the opposite of team friendly. Is he that intimidated by Love? he shouldn't be. He is striking when the iron is hot like he should, but to expect in return for him looking out for himself the packers shouldn't look out for the team as a whole? makes no sense. No one is wrong or bad. Its just business.

Why don't I hear everyone complaining that lamar Jackson, who won an MVP and is playing on a rookie contract shouldn't be extended. he has less years remaining. Same with Murray and Baker. Goeff and Wentz were extended by now. Whats up with that? Why isn't that news?

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flackcatcher's picture

April 28, 2021 at 09:07 pm

Good comment CD. Folks here are seeing the end date for Rodgers, and are having a bit of buyers remorse. Both parties share in this. Murphy gave Rodgers what he wanted, while taking away the hard won Cap flexibility that the late Ted Thompson had built up in his last act as Packers GM. Rodgers got to be the highest paid QB in pro football, but in doing so he took away the ability in the short and medium term to sign high level free agents. It took the return of Brian Gutekunst as GM to break the logjam, and move forward with the reduced Cap flex. Gutekunst ability to maneuver around Rodgers contract, shows why he is one of the best GM in pro sports today.

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PatrickGB's picture

April 29, 2021 at 08:43 am

Looking two years into the future I see that the cap will rise significantly. But until then the team will have money problems. Much of that is do to Rodgers contract. I expect that these machinations will continue all year and even into the next. Yet if Rodgers plays well again extending him next year makes sense and even extending Love is doable with the increase in the cap. But in doing so the team would struggle to sign premier FA’s. I expect this dance to continue for two years.

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Patrick's picture

April 29, 2021 at 06:34 pm

Correct me if i'm wrong, but don't players who want out, usually get out?? I just looked at Yahoo, they reported that Rogers wants out and Packers front office went to California to try to KEEP him on the team. Yahoo reported that Rogers would "not budge". SO. what is next, the fact is Rogers is under contract for three (3) more years, I also read that he could get out by just retiring. ANY thoughts on this?? One things for sure, we might win 3 games or so without him....

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Difer's picture

April 29, 2021 at 06:37 pm

The latest is that Rodgers has refused to renegotiate and wants to move on. He should. He’s done all he can for the Packers. He still has Super Bowl potential with the right team - which is NOT the Packers.

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Crankbait's picture

April 29, 2021 at 09:48 pm

Rodgers is being a jerk. He is being paid like a king but it apparently is not enough. Very selfish and not conducive to bring in more talent for a Super Bowl run.
Best of luck Aaron, you were a phenomenal player and took our breath away with your talent.

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Patrick's picture

May 01, 2021 at 10:59 am

I agree with you, he acts like a jerk, a spoiled brat

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