Aaron Rodgers praises Packers’ front office, lauds ‘great communication’ with GM Brian Gutekunst
The relationship between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ front office was a hot topic throughout the 2021 NFL offseason. The veteran quarterback held out from the team after requesting a trade amid tension from the front office.
But so far this season, there has been little to no drama between the two parties.
Rodgers discussed his relationship with Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.” He characterized the relationship positively.
“There has been great communication,” Rodgers said. “I’ve enjoyed the conversations with Brian that we’ve had throughout the year so far.”
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That’s a departure from the tone Rodgers took when discussing Gutekunst at Packers’ training camp. Rodgers candidly spoke about his relationship with the team and the reasons for his holdout after returning from it. At the time, Rodgers didn’t seem to have a good relationship with Gutekunst.
“I’d say it’s professional at this point,” he said of his relationship with Gutekunst.
So, it at least appears there has been some progress this season. It’s easy to understand why, as the Packers have won seven straight games to improve to 7-1 on the season. They just beat the previously undefeated Cardinals and are in the running to be the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
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For Rodgers, one of the most important elements has been the way Green Bay has built the roster. The team didn’t make any trades before the deadline but Rodgers noted that the team has added veterans like cornerback Rasul Douglas and rush linebacker Whitney Mercilus in recent weeks.
“I think we’ve made some moves already that have been great,” he said.
The Packers have been aggressive in targeting players to improve their depth. They also signed former Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith after Dallas released him. He didn’t pan out, but the effort to add talent is there, and that’s what matters most to Rodgers.
Rodgers previously had expressed anger about some roster decisions — including the release of Jake Kumerow and the departures of players like Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb — but this year, he has no such gripes.
“I like the roster the way it is,” Rodgers said.
Certainly, this seems like a step in the right direction for the Rodgers-Packers relationship. That doesn’t mean that he’s guaranteed to stick around in 2022, but if things continue to go well, the odds of their partnership continuing improve.
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