Packers GM: Team’s Feelings About Aaron Rodgers ‘Haven’t Changed’

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INDIANAPOLIS — Despite the reports the Green Bay Packers are basically over the Aaron Rodgers drama and ready to move, general manager Brian Gutekunst said Tuesday the team still wants him to continue playing in Titletown.

“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.”

Rodgers emerged from a so-called “darkness retreat” the week before last but still hasn’t told the Packers whether or not he wants to play in 2023. That conversation would also include the idea of whether Rodgers and the Packers both want to continue their 18 year relationship.

It is possible if Rodgers wants to keep playing he might want to do so elsewhere. Yes, unlikely but until the guy says otherwise it cannot be eliminated as a possibility.

And, the thing is, Gutekunst and Rodgers haven’t really talked at length. They also haven’t set a date for any conversations or meetings.

It remains to be seen if Aaron Rodgers will return to the Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

“We’ve exchanged some texts and things like that but haven’t had a chance to speak yet,” Gutekunst said. “We’re going through the process as normal. Free agency is coming up here and that’s an important part of what we’re doing so it would be nice to have some answers before then but until we have some conversations we’re still in a good spot.”

Decision Looms For Rodgers, Packers

If that feels like a deadline, it’s because that’s exactly what it is. The Packers want to have certainty from Rodgers by the beginning of free agency on March 13 when teams can begin contacting and negotiating with the agents for free agents. The free agency signing period officially begins March 15.

If Aaron Rodgers decides he wants to return to Green Bay his contract will have to be restructured or adjusted.

“I think that’s fair to say,” Gutekunst said.

Rodgers has $59.465 million guaranteed money coming to him if he plays in 2023, as part of the three-year, $150 million contract extension he signed in March of 2022. It carries a salary cap charge of $31,623,570 for 2023.

“There’s a lot of teams, because of COVID, that are strapped, and you’re seeing with a lot of different contracts, they’re pushing more money out in deals,” Rodgers said recently on the Pat McAfee show. “They’re creating void years to allow for an easier cap hit, so there would have to be some adjustments, for sure.”

The current contract not only would make it practically impossible to be trade Rodgers but also would keep the Packers from being aggressive in free agency if that’s how they want to proceed. So this will be part of that talk that looms between Rodgers and Gutekunst.

As to a trade, Gutekunst did not dismiss it. It obviously remains in play. But the idea he’s sitting in his office constructing trade parameters isn’t correct, either.

“It’s a little premature,” he said. “You usually look at all those things with all your players but we’re not anywhere near that yet.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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