That’s the bill of goods Rodgers attempted to sell media members during his opening press conference in New York on Wednesday, April 26. Once it was clear that reconciliation between Rodgers and the Packers had passed the point of no return, Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst said publicly that the team had attempted to contact the quarterback on several occasions over the offseason to work out a compromise. However, the Packers never got an answer.
“As we got out of the offseason, or after the season, we had a good conversation and were going to have some follow-up conversations,” Gutekunst said at the Annual NFL Owners’ Meetings in Phoenix on March 27. “Our inability to reach him or for him to respond in any way, I think at that point I had to do my job and kind of reach out, understanding that a trade could be possible, see who was interested.”
Rodgers was asked Wednesday about Green Bay’s attempts to contact him and his inability and/or unwillingness to return the organization’s calls.
“People who know me, I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful house. The only downside is I have very limited cell service,” Rodgers said. “If you want to get ahold of me, I need to see your face. You have to FaceTime me.”
Packers Outmaneuvered Jets in Aaron Rodgers Trade
The notion that Rodgers’ cell phone service in the region of Malibu, California, was a determining factor in the end of an 18-year professional relationship strains credulity, and then some. FaceTime services also rely on a Wi-Fi connection, but perhaps it is time for all involved and offering commentary to digress.
Rodgers is a Jet. The deal is done, and it was a good one for the Packers. Green Bay already has its replacement for Rodgers in place, and new quarterback Jordan Love spent three years learning behind one of the best to have ever done it. Meanwhile, the Packers appear to have won the trade by securing two major stipulations thought for weeks to be sticking points in the stalled negotiations.
The first big win for Green Bay was securing a conditional second-round pick in 2024 that becomes a first-round selection if Rodgers plays 65% of the Jets’ snaps in 2023, which is highly likely barring serious injury. The second was avoiding the inclusion of a conditional 2025 draft pick should Rodgers play just one season in New York rather than the two years remaining on his deal.
Beyond that, the Packers received a second-round pick (No. 42 overall) and a sixth-round pick (N0. 207 overall) in this year’s draft, as well as a first-round pick swap moving them from No. 15 up to No. 13. Along with Rodgers, Green Bay sent New York a 2023 fifth-round selection (No. 170 overall).
Packers Expected to Look For Pass Catcher in NFL Draft to Aid Jordan Love
An interesting subplot to Thursday night’s NFL Draft now becomes what the Packers do with their newly-acquired 13th pick.
Since the franchise selected Rodgers with the 24th pick in 2005 the team has gone offense just three times in the first round, selecting a couple of offensive tackles in 2010 and 2011 before drafting Love as Rodgers’ replacement in 2020. Consequentially, that choice three years ago is when the rift between Rodgers and the Packers began, at least publicly.
For years Rodgers wanted help on the outside from his front office, but he never got it. The odds that Love gets that kind of first-round help in his first year as the starter look pretty solid with just one day remaining before the draft begins.
The Packers could look to Jaxon Smith-Njigba of Ohio State if he’s still available, though they may need to trade up a few picks to secure the explosive slot receiver. Green Bay also may look to a tight end. Several experts have connected the Packers to both Dalton Kincaid of Utah and Michael Mayer of Notre Dame in mock drafts.
However, Green Bay also needs serious help along the defensive line and even despite the spike in wide receiver value across the NFL over the past few years, a pass rusher is still more valuable than a pass catcher. If a terror off the edge falls into the Packers’ sights, expect the team to pursue him, even if that means trading up.
In that scenario, Green Bay will likely look to procure Love another weapon or two in the middle of the second round on Friday, when the Packers pick at both No. 42 and No. 45 overall.