Aaron Rodgers is planning on taking the next several weeks to decide what he wants out of his NFL future, but there’s no confusion about where the Green Bay Packers stand on their desire to keep him as their starting quarterback.
Fresh off a heartbreaking loss in the divisional round of the playoffs, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur touched upon some of the big decisions ahead for the team in the 2022 offseason and made clear that keeping Rodgers in Green Bay is something that he is eager to make happen.
“I sat down and talked to Aaron today for quite some time,” LaFleur said on January 25, two days after the Packers’ 13-10 loss to San Francisco. “I think we’re all a little numb to the situation right now. I would say what we talked about I’m definitely going to keep between him and myself, but we’re hopeful he’ll be back next year. Obviously, I mean, this guy has done so much for such a long period of time for this organization, for this city, for this team. And so, I want to be respectful of his process, whatever he needs to go through to make the best decision for himself. Certainly, we would love for him to be a Packer and be a Packer until the day he decides to retire.”
While Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst hasn’t spoken about his relationship with Rodgers since the NFL trade deadline passed on November 2, LaFleur noted that Gutekunst and the rest of the Packers’ leadership are “all on the same page” as him when it comes to making a decision on Rodgers’ future with the team.
“Every conversation I’ve been involved in with Gutey and (Executive Vice President/ Director of Football Operations) Russ (Ball) and (team president) Mark (Murphy), we’re all on the same page there,” LaFleur said. “There is no debate.”
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LaFleur Defends Rodgers’ Play in Playoff Loss
There was a lot of criticism to go around for the Packers after getting eliminated as the NFC’s No. 1 seed in their first playoff matchup, especially for Rodgers. While he tagged Davante Adams and Aaron Jones with nine passes each, he completed just one pass to two other players — Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis — and tried too often to force the ball into the hands of Adams. All in all, he finished with a 19.4 quarterback rating that is unbecoming of a presumptive MVP.
LaFleur, however, didn’t feel like Rodgers played all that poorly. His bigger issue was with the pass protection that allowed him to get sacked five times and kept him under pressure all night.
“I think from what I saw, he was under an intense amount of pressure, and that’s hard to play that position when you’ve got pressure in your lap the whole game,” LaFleur said. “I thought there were a lot of things he did great, I really did, and unfortunately, we all hold him to such a high, high standard, just like he holds himself to that high standard. But ultimately, like we’ve said many times, the quarterback will get too much blame when it doesn’t go right and a lot of times too much credit (when it does).”