GREEN BAY, Wis. — Three days after the depths of Aaron Rodgers’ disgruntlement along with his group got here to mild, his coach over the previous two seasons nonetheless “cannot fathom” the concept the reigning NFL MVP would think about not returning to the Inexperienced Bay Packers.
Like Packers group president Mark Murphy and normal supervisor Brian Gutekunst have mentioned within the days since ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the information on Thursday, Matt LaFleur was emphatic in his need for Rodgers to return.
However the challenge is not whether or not the Packers need Rodgers again however somewhat that Rodgers does not need to return.
“Yeah, I do know, and I am unable to even take my mind to that spot proper now,” LaFleur mentioned Saturday following the conclusion of the NFL draft. “So I simply need to do every little thing in my energy to make sure that does not occur.”
“I am unable to fathom [him] not being in Inexperienced Bay,” the Packers coach added later. “That is the place my thoughts’s at. I do not solely love the participant, however I really like the individual. I really like working with him each day; I feel all of us do — from the gamers in that locker room to the teaching workers. Once more, I do not even need to let my thoughts go there.”
LaFleur wouldn’t disclose particulars of his current conversations with Rodgers.
“I will at all times stay hopeful and optimistic, and positively, we’ll at all times welcome him again with open arms,” LaFleur mentioned. “He is aware of precisely how not solely myself however our workers and our gamers really feel about him. Like I mentioned earlier than, I simply cannot think about him not being in a Inexperienced Bay Packer uniform.”
At this level, Jordan Love is the one quarterback within the Packers’ digital offseason program. It is unknown whether or not Rodgers will attend the voluntary classes after they flip to in-person work later this month, however he has usually been an everyday participant in offseason packages and even has an offseason exercise bonus ($500,000) tied to it.
The Packers didn’t draft a quarterback this weekend. Gutekunst mentioned they mentioned a number of veteran choices earlier than the draft and that they probably will signal at the least one undrafted rookie quarterback, however he insisted the Rodgers scenario has not been or won’t be the impetus for that.
Love was the third-string quarterback final season as a rookie, and the plan was for him to be Rodgers’ high backup this season. Within the meantime, LaFleur has tried to insulate Love from the distractions.
“I’ve talked to Jordan, and I instructed him, , there’s lots of noise on the market,” LaFleur mentioned. “You may’t deal with that. You have to deal with your self. And I do know you guys assume it is cliché, however he is received to be the very best model of him, and he is received to do every little thing in his energy to ensure he is aware of the expectations, the requirements which we have developed at that place. I do know he is working laborious.”
In the meantime, Gutekunst, in maybe an try and clean issues over with Rodgers, mentioned he can be open to taking the signal-caller’s enter on personnel strikes. Gutekunst acknowledged Thursday that he erred by not telling Rodgers that he was buying and selling as much as take Love in final 12 months’s draft.
“Fairly frankly, I feel over the previous three years that I have been doing this, I’ve at all times welcomed that enter,” Gutekunst mentioned. “I feel he has such an expertise on this league that that enter would at all times be one thing vitally essential to me, if he is prepared to offer it. That is not new. That is not distinctive.”
Earlier Saturday, Yahoo Sports activities reported that Rodgers “stays adamant that he will not return to the group beneath the present stewardship of normal supervisor Brian Gutekunst,” in line with a supply in Rodgers’ camp.
“You already know, Aaron hasn’t mentioned something like that to me and positively hasn’t mentioned something publicly,” Gutekunst mentioned in response to that report. “So, I feel it is just a little unfair to place that on him. However pay attention, you actually do not like to listen to these issues; however on the identical time, it is form of a part of the gig within the Nationwide Soccer League. However no, nothing’s been communicated on to me.”
LaFleur and Gutekunst each spoke Saturday on the draft’s conclusion. Earlier within the day, Murphy, in his month-to-month column on the Packers’ web site, mentioned the group remains to be trying to work out the problems between Rodgers and administration.
“This is a matter that we’ve been engaged on for a number of months,” Murphy wrote. “Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur and I’ve flown out on numerous events to satisfy with Aaron. We’re very a lot conscious of Aaron’s considerations and have been working with him [and his agent, Dave Dunn] to resolve them. We stay dedicated to Aaron in 2021 and past.”