Packers GM: Not getting trade offers on Rodgers
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INDIANAPOLIS — Brian Gutekunst walked the halls of the Indiana Convention Center uninterrupted on Tuesday, and the Green Bay Packers general manager said it’s the same when he runs into GMs from the other teams at the NFL scouting combine.
He claimed his phone isn’t constantly buzzing, either, with teams calling to inquire about quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ availability via trade.
“Not at all,” Gutekunst said. “Not at all. Not a single person.”
Perhaps they’re just waiting for Rodgers to inform the Packers of his decision — whether he wants to play in 2022 or retire — and then submit the trade offers they’ve no doubt been formulating in case Rodgers tells Gutekunst he wants to continue his career elsewhere.
Rodgers has not informed the Packers of his intentions, but Gutekunst believes the Packers will know before free agency opens on March 16.
“I would hope so, yeah,” Gutekunst said. “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.”
In the meantime, the Packers are planning for multiple scenarios.
“It’s really no different than every year, because as you get into this time there’s just a lot of unknowns,” Gutekunst said. “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. It’s really no different. [It] garners a lot of attention because of the player and his status, but really no different.”
The Packers began the offseason nearly $50 million over the salary cap, and that doesn’t include the contracts of receiver Davante Adams, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and cornerback Rasul Douglas.
Thanks to basic renegotiations with left tackle David Bakhtiari, defensive tackle Kenny Clark and running back Aaron Jones, they’re now $27.5 million over the cap, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Packers almost certainly will use the franchise tag on Adams if a long-term deal isn’t done by March 8. They want to retain Adams whether Rodgers returns or not.
“They’re two different players and two different situations, both great in their own right,” Gutekunst said. “We were lucky to have them and hopefully able to have them both moving forward. But they’re separate.”
Whatever Rodgers decides will create additional cap space. If Rodgers doesn’t play in Green Bay, the Packers would get between $19.3 million and $26.9 million in salary-cap savings depending on the timing of the decision. He has one year left on his deal and would count $46.1 million against the cap, a number that will no doubt be lowered by an extension should he decide to return.
To that end, Packers vice president of football operations Russ Ball has been engaged in contracts talks with Rodgers’ agent, David Dunn.
“It’s part of the process [of Rodgers’ decision-making],” Gutekunst said. “You know, Russ, obviously, does a good job, and he’s kind of prepared for kind of any which way we might go.”
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