LaFleur: ‘Cannot fathom’ Rodgers not in Inexperienced Bay


GREEN BAY, Wis. — Three days after the depths of Aaron Rodgers‘ disgruntlement together with his crew got here to gentle, his coach over the previous two seasons nonetheless “cannot fathom” the concept the reigning NFL MVP would contemplate not returning to the Green Bay Packers.

Like Packers crew president Mark Murphy and common supervisor Brian Gutekunst have mentioned within the days since ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news on Thursday, Matt LaFleur was emphatic in his need for Rodgers to return.

However the difficulty is not whether or not the Packers need Rodgers again however somewhat that Rodgers would not need to return.

“Yeah, I do know, and I am unable to even take my mind to that spot proper now,” LaFleur mentioned Saturday following the conclusion of the NFL draft. “So I simply need to do all the pieces in my energy to make sure that would not occur.”

“I am unable to fathom [him] not being in Inexperienced Bay,” the Packers coach added later. “That is the place my thoughts’s at. I do not solely love the participant, however I really like the individual. I really like working with him every day; I feel all of us do — from the gamers in that locker room to the teaching workers. Once more, I do not even need to let my thoughts go there.”

LaFleur wouldn’t disclose particulars of his latest conversations with Rodgers.

“I will all the time stay hopeful and optimistic, and definitely, we’ll all the time welcome him again with open arms,” LaFleur mentioned. “He is aware of precisely how not solely myself however our workers and our gamers really feel about him. Like I mentioned earlier than, I simply can’t think about him not being in a Inexperienced Bay Packer uniform.”

At this level, Jordan Love is the one quarterback within the Packers’ digital offseason program. It is unknown whether or not Rodgers will attend the voluntary classes once they flip to in-person work later this month, however he has sometimes been an everyday participant in offseason packages and even has an offseason exercise bonus ($500,000) tied to it.

The Packers didn’t draft a quarterback this weekend. Gutekunst mentioned they mentioned a number of veteran choices earlier than the draft and that they probably will signal a minimum of one undrafted rookie quarterback, however he insisted the Rodgers scenario has not been or is not going to be the impetus for that.

Love was the third-string quarterback final season as a rookie, and the plan was for him to be Rodgers’ high backup this season. Within the meantime, LaFleur has tried to insulate Love from the distractions.

“I’ve talked to Jordan, and I advised him, you recognize, there’s lots of noise on the market,” LaFleur mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t give attention to that. You have to give attention to your self. And I do know you guys assume it is cliché, however he is bought to be the most effective model of him, and he is bought to do all the pieces in his energy to ensure he is aware of the expectations, the requirements which we have developed at that place. I do know he is working onerous.”

In the meantime, Gutekunst, in maybe an try to clean issues over with Rodgers, mentioned he could be open to taking the signal-caller’s enter on personnel strikes. Gutekunst acknowledged Thursday that he erred by not telling Rodgers that he was buying and selling as much as take Love in final yr’s draft.

“Fairly frankly, I feel over the previous three years that I have been doing this, I’ve all the time welcomed that enter,” Gutekunst mentioned. “I feel he has such an expertise on this league that that enter would all the time be one thing vitally vital to me, if he is prepared to present it. That is not new. That is not distinctive.”

Earlier Saturday, Yahoo Sports reported that Rodgers “stays adamant that he will not return to the crew beneath the present stewardship of common supervisor Brian Gutekunst,” in line with a supply in Rodgers’ camp.

“You realize, Aaron hasn’t mentioned something like that to me and definitely hasn’t mentioned something publicly,” Gutekunst mentioned in response to that report. “So, I feel it is slightly unfair to place that on him. However hear, you actually don’t love to listen to these issues; however on the identical time, it is type of a part of the gig within the Nationwide Soccer League. However no, nothing’s been communicated on to me.”

LaFleur and Gutekunst each spoke Saturday on the draft’s conclusion. Earlier within the day, Murphy, in his month-to-month column on the Packers’ web site, mentioned the crew remains to be trying to work out the problems between Rodgers and administration.

“This is a matter that we’ve got been engaged on for a number of months,” Murphy wrote. “Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur and I’ve flown out on a variety of events to fulfill with Aaron. We’re very a lot conscious of Aaron’s issues and have been working with him [and his agent, Dave Dunn] to resolve them. We stay dedicated to Aaron in 2021 and past.”