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Gutekunst: It’s Rodgers’ Fault for Lack of Communication

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst on Monday said offseason conversations with quarterback Aaron Rodgers “never transpired.”
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – On the March 15 edition of The Pat McAfee Show, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lamented the lack of communication that led to the team’s desire to move forward with Jordan Love.

“I wish that in the beginning of the offseason that had been the conversation, because I love direct communication,” Rodgers said. “If they had just said, ‘Listen, we think it’s time to move in a different direction. We love you. You’re going to be a Packer Hall of Famer. You’re going to go into the Hall as a Packer. We’re going to retire your number; whatever it might be, but it’s time to move on.’

“I would’ve said, ‘Thank you so much just for telling me that. I really, really appreciate that. That means the world to me that you would tell me that.’ Because I really believe that’s the sentiment and that’s fine. It really is. It’s totally fine. This is an incredible profession but it’s a tough business, for sure.”

General manager Brian Gutekunst called BS on that during a session with reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix on Monday.

“It’s certainly not true,” Gutekunst said.

In fact, Gutekunst said, he tried to connect with his starting quarterback “many times” but failed to get a response.

Following the season-ending loss to Detroit on Jan. 8, Rodgers stuck around for a few days, as usual, to meet with the coaches, front office and say his farewells to teammates.

Gutekunst said he and Rodgers had a “good conversations” at that time and Gutekunst was looking forward to having more as the team plotted its course ahead to 2023. Instead, those would be the last direct conversations between Gutekunst and Rodgers.

“I was really looking forward to the conversations with Aaron to see how he fit into that; those never transpired,” he said.

Instead of talking to Rodgers, Gutekunst started talking to other teams about a trade.

“I had to do my job,” Gutekunst said.

What Gutekunst said backs up our report from March 15 in which a source said Rodgers had stopped returning messages. Even Rodgers’ desire to be traded to the Jets was made through his agent.

On Monday, Gutekunst tried to walk the fine line of telling his side of the story while taking the high road. If he was upset that the quarterback he had handed a three-year, $150 million contract 12 months earlier decided to cut off communication, he hid it well and chose his words carefully.

“Certainly, whenever a player may have issues, you prefer that they talk to you directly and not do it in the media,” Gutekunst said, “but that's not necessarily the way he goes about it and that's OK. But, yeah, those things aren't of our concern.”

This story will be updated.

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