While the Green Bay Packers wait for Aaron Rodgers to make a decision on his future, general manager Brian Gutekunst has significantly changed his messaging on the 39-year-old quarterback.
Speaking with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, February 28, Gutekunst said that he had yet to meet with Rodgers to discuss the team’s offseason plans. However, when asked if he would want Rodgers back in Green Bay, Gutekunst gave a much different answer than just a few months ago.
“Our feelings haven’t changed about Aaron,” Gutekunst said. “But we need to have some of those conversations about our team, where it’s going, where he’s at before we go forward.”
Where Gutekunst was much more direct about wanting Rodgers back just a few months ago, he remained more noncommittal about the four-time MVP when discussing him during his media availability at the combine. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington tweeted a similar sentiment following the press conference.
Rodgers yet to announce what he’ll do for the 2023 season. Last year, he named March 8 — or the franchise tag deadline — as the date by which he would make a decision on where he would play in 2022. This year’s franchise tag deadline is March 7.
Gutekunst Praises Jordan Love
Gutekunst was also asked about former first-round pick Jordan Love and his development during the press conference. The Packers general manager felt very good about the team’s future with the 24-year-old at quarterback.
“We’re excited about him,” Gutekunst said. “I’ve expressed to a lot of people that he needs to play. That’s the next step in his progression. … But he’s done a great job, worked really hard, so he’s doing everything we’ve asked of him.”
Love was originally drafted by the Packers with the expectation that he would be the successor to Rodgers. Those plans were delayed after back-to-back MVP seasons from the future Hall of Famer, leaving Love with just one start in his first three seasons.
After struggling in his only start, Love finally showed some flashes this past season replacing an injured Rodgers against the Philadelphia Eagles. Finishing out the game, Love completed 6 of 9 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Love is now expecting an opportunity to be a starter heading into his fourth season. The 24-year-old has even gone as far as considering a trade request if Rodgers returns in 2023 so that he can have a chance to start under center elsewhere.
Regardless, it’s looking more and more likely that Love will get the chance to be a starting quarterback next season.
Where Could Aaron Rodgers Be Traded?
In the event that the Packers and Rodgers do mutually decide too part ways, there are already a few teams being linked to the 39-year-old veteran.
The New York Jets have been linked to Rodgers for months. With the failed experiment of Zach Wilson, the team should be in the market for a veteran QB. However, the team is also courting Derek Carr in case they’re unable to strike a deal for Rodgers.
If the Jets end up going in a different direction, the Las Vegas Raiders are another team to keep an eye out on. The Raiders are in the market for a starting QB, and wide receiver Davante Adams is actively campaigning for a reunion with his former QB in Green Bay.
Other teams like the Seattle Seahawks could be darkhorse contenders for Rodgers. However, until he commits on his future, teams will just have to sit and wait patiently.