The Green Bay Packers have been patient in finalizing a trade that would send Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, but general manager Brian Gutekunst appears to be losing patience with the four-time MVP.
Despite the Packers and Jets entering into trade discussions prior to the start of NFL free agency, a deal has yet to be made. Rodgers has even confirmed since then that he wants to play for the Jets in 2023 during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show.
During that same interview, Rodgers took some shots at Gutekunst and came off as surprised that the team would want to move on from him. When asked about the comments during the NFL owner meetings in Phoenix on Monday, March 27, Gutekunst set the record straight according to Matt Schneidman with The Athletic.
“Our inability to reach [Rodgers] or for him to respond in any way, I think at that point…I had to do my job,” Gutekunst said. “I was really looking forward to the conversations with Aaron to see how he fit into [future plans]. Those never transpired…so we went through his representatives to try and talk to him about where we were going with our team. At that point, they informed us that they would like to be traded to the Jets.”
More Details from Brian Gutekunst’s Interview
The Packers GM wasn’t done there, however. Schneidman added another quote from Gutekunst about the situation, specifically regarding Rodgers’ comments on The Pat McAfee Show compared to what they were trying to do internally.
“Certainly whenever a player may have issues, you prefer that they talk to you directly and not do it to the media, but that’s not necessarily the way he goes about it and that’s ok,” Gutekunst told reporters.
Compared to what Rodgers had said to McAfee, the Packers general manager laid out a much different timeline of events leading to the trade request.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero provided some additional information about the current situation during Gutekunst’s interview. The Packers general manager noted that the team doesn’t have a timeline as to when Rodgers would be traded, and that the team doesn’t necessarily need a first-round pick in order to move on from the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Gutekunst also didn’t rule out the possibility that Rodgers could return to Green Bay in 2023. Although he said that it wasn’t trending that way, Gutekunst mentioned that all options are still on the table for next season.
That would further complicate the situation with former first-round pick Jordan Love, who has considered a trade request if Rodgers returns. However, that option appears unlikely based off of Gutekunst’s comments.
Jets Are Ready for Aaron Rodgers
Although a trade hasn’t happened yet, the Jets seem like a team prepared for Rodgers to be their starting quarterback.
Former Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard signed a four-year, $44 million deal with the Jets, and explicitly said that playing with Rodgers again was a big reason he came to New York. The veteran wideout also noted that he had no concerns with a Rodgers trade potentially falling through.
Head coach Robert Saleh also expressed little worry when asked about a Rodgers trade during owners meetings. The Jets head coach mentioned that there’s no urgency in Rodgers coming to New York, mentioning his previous relationship with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who had been his OC in Green Bay during his back-to-back MVP seasons.
Even if a trade hasn’t been finalized, everyone appears to be operating as if it’s a sure thing.