Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst refuted the one-way narrative of Aaron Rodgers, telling reporters that he reached out “many times” to the quarterback only to hear nothing back.
“Those never transpired,” Gutekunst said Monday, because Rodgers never called back.
Gutekunst made the comments from the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
“So we went through his representatives to try to talk to him (about) where were we going with our team,” Gutekunst added. “At that point, they informed us that he would like to be traded to the Jets.”
That’s not been Rodgers’ tale. A regular guest on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers has bemoaned the lack of “direct communication” from the Packers, never mentioning Gutekunst’s attempts to reach him.
Rodgers has said on the show that the Packers were the ones not being up front about wanting to trade him, saying “something changed” at the end of February.
“Our inability to reach him or for him to respond in any way,” Gutekunst said Monday, “I think at that point, I had to do my job and kind of reach out (to other teams) and understand that a trade could be possible and see who was interested.”
Those trade discussions continue with Jets.
Gutekunst also said Monday that the Packers don’t necessarily require the Jets’ No. 13 overall pick in this year’s draft.
“That’s not a necessity,” Gutekunst said. “I think fair value for the player is important. There’s risks to all this. But again, I’m hopeful, I’m confident that we’ll be able to reach a conclusion at some point.”
Yahoo Sports reported late Monday night that a sticking point for the Jets is protection for draft pick compensation in the event Rodgers retires after the 2023 season. The Packers, however, are resistant to qualifiers that hinge on Rodgers’ plans for 2024 and beyond, per the report.
The talks have focused on a second-round pick in 2023 and another in 2024, with an escalator that would make the 2024 pick a first-rounder if the Jets meet certain performance marks with Rodgers as their QB in 2023, per Yahoo. But the Jets don’t want to part with a potential first-round pick in 2024 if the player they traded for is no longer playing.
Jets GM Joe Douglas gave his assessment Monday about where the teams are, telling reporters that the talks are not “where we need to be yet.”
“But I feel like we’re in a good place.”