GREEN BAY, Wis. − General manager Brian Gutekunst met with the media on Friday to recap the Green Bay Packers’ 8-9 season that ended without a playoff spot.
Gutekunst spoke at length about quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ future with the club, quarterback Jordan Love’s future, defensive product and more.
“Obviously a tough season, a tough way to end it,” Gutekunst said, “always the endgame is always a bit tough.”
Here are some highlights from the press conference.
On whether he wants Aaron Rodgers back next season:
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“Like I said over the week off, I want all these guys back. That’s part of it. It’s definitely going to take time. I think that’s fair. As we work through this, I think as he takes his time, he kind of makes his decision just about his playing career in general, we’re going to come together, kind of move forward that way.”
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If the decision is up to Rodgers or if the front office has to decide if they want him back:
“We made a really big commitment to him last offseason. Like we did, it certainly wasn’t just for this year. He’s going to take his time and the communication will be pretty constant.”
On who gives them a better chance of winning, Rodgers or replacement Jordan Love:
“Well, you’re talking about a four-time MVP. So we’re very excited about Jordan, where he is, there’s no doubt about that. But Jordan’s never played a 16-game, 17-game season, gone through all that. So it’s no different than when we went from Brett (Favre) to Aaron. It’s a hard thing to say, but at the same time, where Aaron is, on his level, there there aren’t many teams he wouldn’t give the best chance of winning.”
If he can envision a scenario with Rodgers and Love in the squad next season:
“Of course. We really like the development of Jordan. I think he’s ready to play. I think that’s his next step in his development. These guys work well together in the room. If anything this year was happened to Aaron, and Jordan should have played a lot of time, we felt really good about that… but yeah, I can predict (having them both in the squad).”
On whether Rodgers should spend more of his offseason working in Green Bay:
“Well, we want all the players here in the offseason…it’s optional and voluntary, as you know. We invest a lot in these guys and would certainly like them to reinvest, in all of our guys. But you know there are rules for a reason in the ABC… I know a lot of veteran players need less of that, but sometimes younger players need vets here too.
If David Bakhtiari is his left tackle next season:
“I hope so. We hope he’s sort of overcome some of those injury-related hurdles that he’s had in the last few years…I think he’s gotten into a really good pace to learn (how he has to ) training to get to the games. And hopefully beyond this season that pace will serve him well.”
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If Mason Crosby is his kicker next season:
“Again, these are all decisions we’ll be working on this offseason. David is under contract, Mason isn’t. We’re working on all of that. Mason has had an amazing year this year, been very tight in many ways.”
On running back Aaron Jones’ game and his future with the team:
“We certainly expect him to come back. He’s a dynamic player…for a guy his size to bring him in every day, he rarely misses a practice, rarely misses a rep, the way he runs our team just his consistency is amazing in this league you can’t just have one and obviously have AJ (Dillon) it’s nice to have that one-two punch of his build and his size, but he continues to defy the odds.”
On whether Aaron Jones will play his current contract or be restructured again:
“The way we’ve been doing things lately, we’re probably going to restructure everybody to make room.”