GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers has “earned a place at the table” when it comes to personnel decisions, Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said on Wednesday.
“I think one of the things to this offseason is learning how to incorporate that,” Gutekunst said during his pre-training camp news conference.
Rodgers, who arrived for training camp on Tuesday, is expected to practice on Wednesday and will talk to reporters after practice, has said little about his spat with the franchise. His lone expansive comments were on Kenny Mayne’s final SportsCenter. In that interview, Rodgers hinted his beef was with Gutekunst and the front office.
“It’s just about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way,” Rodgers said on May 24.
It’s a message Gutekunst has heard and is working toward solving. Communication must be improved, he said. And that starts with giving a deeper consideration to Rodgers’ desires about personnel matters.
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The presumed trade for Cobb notwithstanding, it’s not as if Gutekunst will be ceding his personnel role to the three-time MVP quarterback. There are a lot of voices involved in those decisions. He and his scouts have their thoughts. The coaches have their thoughts. The medical staff has its thoughts. And whatever move that’s made must work with the salary cap.
“I think he’s earned that seat at the table to have a voice. He always has had a voice. I think it's just kind of incorporating that,” Gutekunst said.
If Rodgers indeed is in the team’s long-term plans, the Packers will have the next five-plus months to convince him the grass won’t be greener outside of Green Bay. While the fate of Rodgers ultimately will be in the team’s hands, Gutekunst said Rodgers “deserves the conversation every year” about the relationship between the quarterback and the team that drafted him in 2005.
That starts with winning.
“I think obviously to get him back here playing and going to compete for a championship in 2021. That was kind of the resolution,” Gutekunst said. “And I think we’re working through some things, too, to get to that point. But there was a lot of communication between Aaron and his representatives all summer to kind of get to where we are now. So, we feel good about it and I think obviously we have a very good football team. We’re excited to get out there today and start to prepare for this ’21 season.”