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“I have not talked to Aaron”: Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst on Aaron Rodgers, Jets trade

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Green Bay Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst has admitted that he has not talked to four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers since trading the team’s former franchise QB to the New York Jets.

“I have not talked to Aaron,” Gutekunst revealed in his pre-NFL draft press conference after the trade compensation was finalised on Monday.

“I have talked to Dave Dunn (Rodgers’ agent) quite a bit, but I have not talked to Aaron.”

“I think where our team is at, obviously, Aaron’s up there in age, and although he’s got some really good football in him, I think for us, as we got through the offseason, a trade made a little better sense for us.”

Gutekunst made headlines by drafting Jordan Love, Rodgers’ replacement, in the 2020 first round, just 18 months after signing him to a four-year extension. Green Bay was then put in a difficult situation, with the 39-year-old subsequently winning two MVPs.

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One contract extension later, a decision was finally made to move on this offseason. By trading Rodgers to New York, the Packers have moved up two spots in Thursday night’s 2023 first round, where they’ll look to surround their new quarterback with more talent.

Also in the package was a 2023 second-round pick, and a future second-rounder that can become a first-round pick, should Rodgers play in 65% of games for the Jets in 2023.

Love has made one start since joining the Packers after Rodgers missed a trip to Arrowhead due to testing positive for COVID-19, but there was enough optimism in the organisation for them to move on from their long-time QB.

“I think as we move forward we’re really excited for where Jordan could go, he needs to play, and having him sit another year would’ve really delayed where we’re going and what we’re trying to build.”

“I have so much respect for Aaron, and not only the person, but also the player that he is, and I have so much gratitude for what he’s done for this organisation.

“He’ll always be a Packer, he’ll be one of the best to have ever done it around here, and he will be missed there’s no doubt about it, players like that do not come around very often.

“At the same time, we are really excited about where we are headed and wish him nothing but the best”: Gutekunst said.

Gutekunst also responded to qualms about whether his young quarterback was ready: “We’ve seen steady growth through his first three years here, especially with the challenges of having no pre-season in his rookie year.

“The biggest thing was last year in practice a number of times, because of Aaron’s injuries, he took over a lot of time with the 1’s, and I just think we saw him grow and grow.

“He didn’t get nearly as many opportunities as we’d have liked last season during games, but when he did he was ready to answer the bell.”

Gutekunst then added: “I think it’s natural maturation as a person too.”

“What’s put on the plate of a starting quarterback in the NFL is significant, and there’s a lot to that, with challenges on and off the field, I think we started to see him grow into that role and feel more confident.”

Rodgers isn’t the first superstar player to be traded in Gutekunst’s tenure as GM, All-Pro Wide Receiver Davantae Adams became a Las Vegas Raider last offseason.

On whether trading away two potential future hall of famers was a risk, he responded: “There’s certainly an element of risk, but that’s part of the job right?

“Aaron was coming into the time of his career where it was ending and we had to prepare for the future and to move forward.

“It’s always risky, I mean we were 8-9 last year, we’re always trying to be better.”

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With the draft on the horizon, Gutekunst was quizzed on his strategy: “You’d love to say that every pick is the best player available because you truly don’t know what your needs will be until you get to the season.

“At the same time, it’s hard not to let those subconscious thoughts into your mind about what your roster looks like.

“We evaluate for our football team, rather than for the league, so subconsciously if you have a need it’s going to factor in.

“If we can, the best practice is the best player available because by the time we get to September, October, November what our needs are could be everything.”

He prefixed that by saying: “It’s a good draft overall, it’s one that we’re certainly excited about and one that we really believe that we’re going to be able to add to our football team and help us for 2023 and beyond.

“I think it is a good edge class this year, there’s a lot deeper of a class than there has been in recent years, tight end is another one that I think I’ve mentioned earlier.” Green Bay lost tight end Robert Tonyan to Chicago in free agency.

Gutekunst was then asked whether TE was a more premium position than 15 years ago, to which he replied: “I don’t think so.

“There was already so much demand on the tight ends, with not only the entire passing trees but also the run and pass blocking.

“It’s a very demanding position, obviously with the way Matt (La Fleur) uses multiple TE’s they’re very important to our offense, sometimes it can be scheme related, but for us, it’s a very important position.”

You can watch the 2023 NFL Draft on Sky Sports, with coverage of the first round beginning at 9 PM on Thursday night.

It will begin when the Carolina Panthers are put on the clock just after 1 AM. To stay up to date with all seven rounds, stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Free Agency Day 2 Recap

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Aaron Rodgers made headlines on the second day of free agency, before his seemingly impending move to the New York Jets has even happened.

The four-time MVP is set to be traded to New York, per Trey Wingo, and has given GM Joe Douglas a shopping list of free-agent weapons for the quarterback, should he end up at MetLife Stadium

Former Packers WR Allen Lazard was the first to sign over the dotted line with the AFC East outfit, whilst Odell Beckham Jr, Marcedes Lewis, and Randall Cobb are also on Rodgers’ list.

Nothing is done yet though, could Rodgers confirm the move himself when he appears on Pat McAfee at 6 PM GMT? Or will he shock the world by retiring?

Top 10 free agents: Who signed?

10. James Bradberry – CB – Philadelphia Eagles, 3 years $38 million

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Despite temptation from their division rival Dallas Cowboys, James Bradberry remained in Philadelphia yesterday, signing a deal worth just over $12.5 million a year.

It looks like Bradberry may have a home, having been chucked about in recent years. With a few departures in the Philadelphia secondary this free agency, he’ll be a leader in the city of brotherly love.  

Who’s still left to sign?

1. Lamar Jackson – QB

Today is the day we could start to see some movement with Lamar Jackson. Due to not having an agent, the end of the legal tampering period means he can start to negotiate with teams that are willing to give up two first-round picks.

3. Bobby Wagner – LB

Only one of my top three linebackers has been signed so far, but for Wagner I’m sure it’s more about destination than a paycheck. A second ring is very high on the agenda.

5. Lavonte David – LB

As with Wagner, David is another I’d expect to take his time and pick a destination. Miami is a shout for both of them, less so after signing David Long on Monday, but the linebacker position is valued in Vic Fangio’s defense. 

7. Orlando Brown – T 

Whilst Brown is without a contract so far in free agency, one thing we do know is that he will not be returning to Kansas City.  New FA signing Jawaan Taylor is expected to take his role, moving to left tackle. 


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Stephon Gilmore – Indianapolis to Dallas

2018’s defensive player of the year ended up in Dallas on Tuesday night, moving for a 2023 fifth-round pick, in the aftermath of James Bradberry remaining in Philadelphia.

After a poor final couple of years in New England, Gilmore has bounced back in his previous two destinations of Carolina and Indy, will he be the next dominant Cowboys corner?

Darren Waller – Las Vegas to New York Giants

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Fresh from committing to Daniel Jones, Giants GM Joe Schoen went out and got one of the league’s top tight-ends for his $ 40 million a-year quarterback.

Waller, who signed a three-year $51 million extension in September only cost the G-Men a third-round pick, the one acquired from Kansas City in the Kadarius Toney trade.

Other big Free Agent Signings

Dalvin Tomlinson – IDL – Minnesota to Cleveland, signed for four years, $57 million

Allen Lazard – WR – Green Bay to New York Jets, signed for four years, $44 million

Jason Kelce – C – remaining in Philadelphia, signed a one-year $14 million extension

Kaleb McGary – T – remaining in Atlanta, signed a three year $34.5 million extension

Jakobi Meyers – WR – New England to Las Vegas, signed for three years, $33 million

Bobby Okereke – LB – Indianapolis to New York Giants, signed for four years, $40 million

Charles Omenihu – EDGE – San Francisco to Kansas City, signed for two years, $20 million

Larry Ogunjobi – IDL – remaining in Pittsburgh, signed a three year $28 million extension

Samson Ebukam – EDGE – San Francisco to Indianapolis, signed for three years, $24 million

Eric Kendricks – LB – Minnesota to Los Angeles Chargers signed for two years, $13.25 million

Follow us at Full10Yards to keep up to date with all the latest moves this week, as well as the upcoming NFL draft. Be sure to get in touch on both Facebook and Twitter.

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Five Things: Week 5 – New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

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The Giants returned to our shores this week and shocked everyone with a 27-22 come-from-behind victory over the Green Bay Packers. Let’s take a look at five things that stood out from London:

London Calling

The Giants must really love coming to London. Not only is the team now 3-0 in the city, but they’re also the only team to win three games in three different London stadiums (Wembley in 2007, Twickenham in 2016 and Tottenham this past weekend).

Despite being 3-1, the Giants opened as 7.5-point underdogs against Aaron Rogers and his Green Bay Packers team, and looking at the rosters, it was totally understandable. The Giants were without multiple starters, including starting defensive player Leonard Williams, and after the first half of the game went the way of the cheeseheads (and their huge following), the Giants rallied at half time. After shutting out Green Bay in the second half despite more injury woes, Big Blue scored two unanswered touchdowns via running backs Gary Brightwell and Saquon Barkley before Oshane Ximines sacked Rogers on the final play of the game.

Box of Tricks

The Wildcat formation was obviously something that the Giants had in their back pocket after successfully running it a few times last week. Due to injuries to both quarterbacks, that was a necessity last week; this week, it was more of an option to unsettle the Packers, and it worked.

Barkley lined up on his own 22-yard line, took the snap and darted through for 40 yards. Suddenly, the tails were up, and Big Blue had started to string something together. A few plays later, they found themselves on the cusp of the endzone. In what looked like a failed Philly special, Daniel Jones tossed it to Barkley, who then did the same to tight end Daniel Bellinger. Bellinger looked like he was going to throw the ball but decided to just barrel into the endzone for the Giants’ first touchdown of the game.

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2nd Half Shutout

Wink Martindale seems to use the first half as a learning session before executing his masterplan in the second half, and this time it was Rogers who was in the crosshairs. After Adoree Jackson was ruled out at the half with a knee injury, he was down to Fabian Moreau, Nick McCloud, and Justin Layne, three players who weren’t even on the Giants roster until after the preseason, but all three excelled in their next man up roles.

After completing 18 of 24 for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, he was held to a paltry 7 of 15 for 76 yards and no touchdowns. The amazing thing at the end of all of this is that the only points scored by the Packers in the second half were done so by the Giants, as punter Jamie Gillian got to play a little bit of chase in the endzone before stepping out for a safety.

Slayton Shows Up

The Giants’ receivers had been the most underwhelming unit this season, and after the majority of the so-called big names had been ruled out by injuries, the Giants turned to fourth-year outcast Darius Slayton.

Slayton has found himself on the outside looking in since Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen took over and was touted as being an almost certain cut or trade candidate before the season.

Though he saw a return to the line-up last week, again he didn’t start as practice squad elevation Marcus Johnson started the game, but by the end, Slayton showed why it should be him next week. He led the team in both targets and receptions and comfortably had double the receiving yards of any other Giant receiver. With Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson unlikely to take the field together for at least a few more weeks, the Giants won’t think twice next time about relying on Slayton.

Coach(es) of the Year Incoming?

In their first year leading the team, general manager Joe Schoen, head coach Brian Daboll, offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, and defensive coordinator Wink Martingdale have had quite an eventful start to the season as the team has exceeded expectations to earn their 4-1 start.

Daboll and Schoen have overhauled the culture at the Giants, building a team that not only does the dirty, gritty work but genuinely looks like they are playing for each other. The old cliché is “next man up,” but this is a mantra they are playing by and, to a man, it is working.

The coordinators, as mentioned before, both got the absolute best out of the personnel at their disposal, whether it was Kafka getting creative with his play calling to bamboozle the Green Bay defense or Wink, despite missing key pieces, stifling Rogers’ air attack and holding the Packers’ dangerous rushing tandem of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon to a combined 97 yards.