The Green Bay Packers added depth at positions of need, got a much-needed slot receiver with ties to the past, and made a hometown kid’s dream come true.
And then there was the Aaron Rodgers sideshow.
After reports surfaced on Thursday that Rodgers was unhappy in Green Bay, team brass tried to do as much damage control as possible while acknowledging what has been apparent for some time: Rodgers is still unhappy over the team trading up to draft his heir apparent, Jordan Love, one year earlier.
“I know the reports out there,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said Saturday night to reporters via Zoom. “He’s the leader of our team, and I want nothing more than to see him back in a Packer uniform.”
Sunday on a Q&A on Packers.com, team president Mark Murphy confirmed much of the story that has been reported.
“This is an issue that we have been working on for several months. Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur, and I have flown out on a number of occasions to meet with Aaron,” Murphy began. “We are very much aware of Aaron’s concerns and have been working with him (and his agent Dave Dunn) to resolve them. We remain committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. He is not only a tremendously talented player but has developed into a true leader for us.
“The relationship that Aaron has forged with Matt and the other offensive coaches has propelled us to the brink of the Super Bowl in two straight years. We look forward to competing for another Super Bowl championship with Aaron as our leader.”
Yahoo! Sports reported on Saturday that the only way to appease Rodgers was to fire Gutekunst.
“Aaron hasn’t said anything like that to me,” Gutekunst told reporters as part of the team’s draft media availability. “Certainly, hasn’t said anything publicly. So, I think that’s a little unfair to kind of put that on him. But listen, you certainly don’t like to hear those things, but at the same time, it’s kind of part of the gig in the National Football League.”