Aaron Rodgers was expected by many to be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market this offseason. But according to Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, no teams have called him about trading for the four-time MVP.
“Not at all,” Gutekunst said when asked at the NFL scouting combine Tuesday about whether his phone is regularly ringing from teams interested in Rodgers. “Not at all. Not a single person.”
Gutekunst’s comment hardly means team’s won’t be interested in Rodgers should he be made available. It could show the quarterback-needy teams, including Washington, are focusing on the options in the draft and free agency while keeping the long shot of acquiring Rodgers on the back-burner.
Rodgers has said he will let the Packers know of his decision to retire or not soon. If he doesn’t retire or requests a trade, that would surely cause Gutekunst’s phone to start buzzing. Gutekunst claimed the situation with the back-to-back MVP winner isn’t different than any other player.
“You always have free agents you’re trying to bring back. You don’t know how that’s going to go. You gotta kind of have Plan B, Plan C and those things,” he said. “It’s really no different. [It] garners a lot of attention because of the player and his status, but really no different.”
Rodgers said in January on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he would not drag out his decision past free agency. One big reason pertains to the team’s negotiations with star wide receiver Davante Adams. The deadline for the Packers to franchise tag him is March 8, while free agency begins March 16.
“To drag it out past free agency would be disrespectful to the organization and to those guys, and that 100% will not happen,” Rodgers said in January.
Gutekunst said Tuesday that he hopes that is still the case.
“That’s obviously the start of the new league year. There’s a lot of decisions that have to be made before that. So that would be helpful. I would think we would know something before then,” Gutekunst said.
The Packers may be in the most precarious position of any team in the NFL. Between Rodgers’ decision, Adams’ negotiations and the team beginning the offseason almost $50 million over the salary cap, Gutekunst has some maneuvering to do this spring.
If Rodgers returns, it would likely be paired with a contract extension that would make him the highest-paid player in the NFL, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“Behind the scenes, I’m told, the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers’ representation are working on a deal,” Rapport said on Monday.