Aaron Rodgers' agent demanded Packers fire Brian Gutekunst in 2021; QB places blame on GM for breakup: report
Despite now being a member of the New York Jets, 10-time Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers is addressing issues he had with the Green Bay Packers.
Four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers had a long, drawn-out divorce with the Packers. But the drama between the quarterback and the team may have been worse than it seemed.
The Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft.
At some point before the 2021 draft, Rogers' agent, David Dunn, contacted the Packers to request that his client be traded or the team fire general manager Brian Gutekunst, according to a report from The Athletic.
Dunn could not be reached for comment, and Rodgers declined to speak about the situation during his conversation with The Athletic.
Last month, Green Bay traded Rodgers to the Jets in exchange for multiple draft picks.
The tension between Rodgers and the Packers was palpable in 2021, and the quarterback publicly put pressure on the front office to change the team's overall culture.
Rodgers was named the league's most valuable player in 2021 and was later rewarded with a massive three-year, $150 million contract extension. But the contract was not enough to get Rodgers to attend the team's voluntary OTAs.
The Packers' decision-makers were not "satisfied with Rodgers’ commitment and effort" after he signed the extension, according to The Athletic report.
"When I’m in, I’m all-in, and you wanna ride with offseason workouts?" Rodgers told The Athletic. "I won MVP without doing offseason workouts. Like, was my commitment any less then? I’d say not at all. The way that I come back to work, not just physically in good shape but mentally refreshed, is the best thing for me to have the season I wanted to have during those in Green Bay.
"I think that’s just a cop-out written to try and find something to disparage me about that, honestly. When you know what offseason workouts are really about, it’s completely ridiculous."
Several months ago, Rodgers was reportedly supposed to have a face-to-face meeting with Gutekunst in California. Rodgers claims a date or time was never established for a meeting.
Rodgers again cited the limited cellular coverage at his Southern California home in response to Gutekunst's statement that he attempted to contact the quarterback "many times" during the offseason.
"I have zero or one bar at the house, so you call me — sometimes it goes through, most of the time it drops and doesn’t go through," Rodgers told The Athletic. "Everybody who knows me, when I’m out west, they know that’s how to get a hold of me."
The 39-year-old signal-caller added that he tried to get in touch with Gutekunst before he entered his darkness retreat. He also acknowledged Gutekunst would sometimes text him, and he would return those messages.
"Did Brian text me more than I texted him? Yeah, but did I ghost him? No," Rodgers said. "I texted him back. There was back-and-forths that we had, and so this is the story you wanna go with? You’re gonna stand on this hill of austerity and say that arguably in the conversation of the best player in your franchise history, you’re gonna say I couldn’t get a hold of him and that’s why we had to move on?"
So far this offseason, Rodgers has been present for all of the Jets' practices.