LaFleur: I can’t fathom Rodgers, not in Green Bay
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Three days after the depths of Aaron Rodgers’ dissatisfaction with his team came to light, his manager for the past two seasons is still “failing to fathom” the idea the reigning NFL MVP does not want to return to, the Green Bay Packers .
As Packers Team President Mark Murphy and General Manager Brian Gutekunst have said in the days since ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news on Thursday, Matt LaFleur was emphatic in his desire for Rodgers to return .
But it’s not about whether the packers want Rodgers back, it’s about Rodgers not wanting to return.
“Yeah, I know, and I can’t even get my brain to that point right now,” LaFleur said on Saturday after completing the NFL draft. “So I just want to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
“I can not understand [him] I’m not in Green Bay, “the Packers manager added later. Not only do I love the player, but the person as well. I love working with him on a daily basis. I think we all do – from the players in this locker room to the coaching staff. Again, I don’t even want to let my thoughts go there. “
LaFleur would not disclose details of his recent conversations with Rodgers.
“I will always remain hopeful and optimistic and welcome him again and again with open arms,” said LaFleur. “He knows exactly how not only myself, but also our staff and our players deal with him. As I said, I cannot imagine that he is not wearing a Green Bay Packer uniform.”
At this point, Jordan Love is the only quarterback in the Packers’ virtual offseason program. It’s not known if Rodgers will be attending the volunteer sessions when they turn to personal work later this month, but he has typically attended offseason programs on a regular basis and even received an offseason workout bonus (US $ 500,000 Dollars).
The Packers didn’t draft a quarterback this weekend. Gutekunst said they had discussed several veteran options prior to drafting and that they would likely sign at least one uncovered rookie quarterback, but he insisted that the Rodgers situation did not or will not trigger it.
Love was the third-string quarterback as a rookie last season, and he was slated to be Rodgers’ top backup this season. In the meantime, LaFleur has tried to protect love from the distractions.
“I spoke to Jordan and told him there was a lot of noise out there,” said LaFleur. “You can’t focus on that. You have to focus on yourself. And I know you guys think it’s a cliché, but he has to be the best version of him and he has to do everything in his power to make sure. ” He knows the expectations, the standards that we have developed in this position. I know he works hard. “
In the meantime, Gutekunst said he was open to taking input from the signaler about staff moves, perhaps with Rodgers to remedy the situation. Gutekunst admitted Thursday that he was wrong in not telling Rodgers that in last year’s draft he would act to take love.
“To be honest, I think I’ve done this for the past three years. I’ve always welcomed this contribution,” Gutekunst said. “I think he has such an experience in this league that this contribution would always be of vital importance to me if he were ready to give it. This is not new. This is not unique.”
Yahoo Sports reported earlier on Saturday that Rodgers “remains firmly convinced that he will not return to the team under the current leadership of General Manager Brian Gutekunst,” according to a source in Rodgers’ camp.
“You know, Aaron didn’t tell me anything like that and certainly didn’t say anything publicly either,” Gutekunst replied to this report. “Well, I think it’s a little unfair to do this to him. But listen, you probably don’t enjoy hearing these things; but at the same time it’s kind of a part of playing in the National Football League. But no, I didn’t get anything direct communicated. “
LaFleur and Gutekunst both spoke on Saturday to conclude the design. Earlier in the day, Murphy said in his monthly column on the Packers website the team was still trying to resolve the issues between Rodgers and management.
“This is a topic we’ve been working on for several months,” Murphy wrote. “Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur and I have flown out several times to meet Aaron. We are very aware of Aaron’s concerns and have worked with him [and his agent, Dave Dunn] to solve them. We remain committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. “