Nothing dominated Thursday’s pre-NFL draft coverage like the flood of rumors about Aaron Rodgers and his current unhappiness with the Green Bay Packers organization, and general manager Brian Gutekunst wasn’t keen on getting into specifics when he spoke to reporters after the first round close to midnight.
There was one specific rumor, though, that the Packers boss did take the time to shoot down: A report from NFL insider Trey Wingo that alleged Green Bay told Rodgers they were going to trade him this offseason before backing off of the decision.
“It’s absolutely false,” Gutekunst said when asked directly about whether the Packers told Rodgers they intended to trade him earlier this offseason. “There’s no truth to that at all. There’s a lot of false, false reporting going on right now, and that’s particularly one thing that never happened.”
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Wingo Also Alleged Rodgers’ Decision was Final
Insider Adam Schefter kicked off a firestorm on Thursday afternoon when he reported on NFL Live — and later expanded upon in a written article on ESPN’s website — that Rodgers “has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team,” citing both league and team sources. The ensuing result was dozens of other reports about the situation from all sides, including an alleged trade offer from the San Francisco 49ers (which has since denied by John Lynch) and Wingo’s information about the Packers telling Rodgers they would trade him.
Now, how credible is Wingo on the matter? Well, it doesn’t help his case that he makes a few errors in his previous tweet about the situation. He wrongly claimed the Packers traded back in the first round of the 2020 draft to land first-round quarterback Jordan Love (they traded up four spots from No. 30 to No. 26) and also incorrectly referred to the Packers GM as “Guetenkuenst.”
Wingo was also outted for a weird lie about a bear on his back porch back in 2017, which isn’t exactly a breach of journalism ethics but is also too lazy not to lose him some credibility as a whole.
Packers Remain ‘Optimistic’ Rodgers Will Return
Throughout the chaotic day, Gutekunst and the Packers have remained committed to one stance on their three-time MVP quarterback’s availability: “We are not going to trade Aaron Rodgers.”
Gutekunst said those exact words directly during his post-round press conference and expressed a similar sentiment in a statement shared with ESPN and other media outlets earlier on Thursday. He also insisted he remains “optimistic” about Rodgers still being the Packers’ starting quarterback when the 2021 NFL season opens in September.
“We obviously have a very good football team here, a great organization,” Gutekunst said. “We’re very committed to him. As lines of communications have been open, I’m just optimistic that’s what’s best for the Green Bay Packers and I truly believe that’s what’s best for Aaron Rodgers as well.”