Brian Gutekunst commented on Jordan Love’s ability
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst navigated a potential landmine during his press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine. Gutekunst admitted the Packers have yet to have a conversation with quarterback Aaron Rodgers about his future in the NFL following Rodgers’ darkness retreat. He had to answer questions knowing Rodgers or Jordan Love could be his starting quarterback this fall.
According to Matt Schneidman with The Athletic, Gutekunst gave a thumbs up on Love’s ability to be a starter in the league:
“I think he’s ready to play, and I think he’s ready to be an NFL starting quarterback,” Gutekunst said.
Brian Gutekunst on Jordan Love: “I think he’s ready to play and I think he’s ready to be an NFL starting quarterback.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) February 28, 2023
Gutekunst said nothing about Love being ready to start for the Packers. The Packers can’t commit to Love until they know what their plan is with Rodgers. One would assume the Packers will start Love if Rodgers retires or is traded.
Gutekunst walked a tightrope with Rodgers too
Schneidman wrote up a report in The Athletic about Gutekunst’s answers on wanting Rodgers coming back to play for the Packers in 2023 was purposely terse. Gutekunst is balancing Love’s and Rodgers’ egos as the Packers are uncertain of which signal-caller will play, and he can’t offend either:
“Gutekunst would not definitively say on Tuesday that he wants Rodgers back as quarterback. Quite frankly, there’s no reason to publicly say that, even if it’s true in private. That risks rubbing 24-year-old backup Jordan Love the wrong way without having to. If Gutekunst states his desire for Rodgers to start and Love thinks he’s ready to start, then Rodgers retires or requests a trade, it unnecessarily places Love in somewhat of an awkward situation as he prepares to start while knowing he wasn’t his GM’s top option.
There’s also no point in Gutekunst divulging enough hints that signal he wants Rodgers gone, which he didn’t, because there’s no need to potentially irritate the guy who could very well decide he still wants to play for the Packers. And if he does, there’s a chance Gutekunst and Green Bay’s decision-makers still think Rodgers gives them the best chance to win and thus want him back. If Rodgers feels slighted by his own team based on what his GM says, that could push him to request a trade.”
This is a delicate situation that will eventually come to an end by the middle of next month. But the Packers will have to tread lightly until Rodgers has conversations with Gutekunst about his next step. The Packers seem to be happy with either Love or Rodgers playing in Green Bay next season. That should give Packers fans a little solace as they wait for the ever-outspoken Rodgers to voice his verdict.