“We work all year for these three days. We couldn’t let this distract us from the task at hand.”
If Aaron Rodgers was hoping to throw a wrench into the Green Bay Packers’ plans for the NFL Draft, he probably should have known better. That comment above from general manager Brian Gutekunst demonstrates the general approach of the entire Packers organization: the team always, always comes first.
So what did the Packers’ personnel department do on Thursday afternoon when reports of Rodgers’ displeasure with the team took over the NFL’s air time?
They got down to the task at hand.
That task culminated with nine new players headed to the roster as draft picks and a few more undrafted free agents coming in as well. The draft picks are young and talented, as the team attacked the draft hard in the areas of strength in the 2021 class, which coincided well with areas of concern on the roster.
While the team’s rookie minicamp will get underway on one of the next two weekends, the Draft’s conclusion now provides the team — Gutekunst in particular — with a chance to devote some time and effort to the Rodgers situation. It’s unclear what it might take to get him back in the fold, if anything can do it, but at least now there’s an opportunity to try for the first time after the rift went public.
2021 NFL Draft wrap: Packers got more competitive up and down the roster with their nine picks | Packers.com
Green Bay went into the draft looking for cornerbacks and offensive linemen, according to Gutekunst. They certainly addressed those concerns, with two and three picks at those respective positions.
Packers' draft may not change Aaron Rodgers' mind, but perhaps it should - ESPN
The Packers filled plenty of holes on the roster over the weekend, including one glaring one in the slot. Perhaps Randall Cobb, who was with Rodgers on Saturday at the Kentucky Derby, talked to him about his younger friend Amari Rodgers?
FMIA: On Drama In Green Bay, The 49er Fakeout And The '21 NFL Draft - NBC Sports
The always-plugged-in Peter King weighs in on the Rodgers situation, saying that it is his belief that it's not Gutekunst's ouster that Rodgers wants but rather that he is unhappy with the Packers' overall organizational structure instead. It's worth mentioning, though, that it was exactly that structure that empowered Ted Thompson to draft Rodgers in the first place.
Packers' 2021 crop of undrafted free agents highlighted by signing of Illinois State safety Christian Uphoff – The Athletic (subscription)
Uphoff is the odds-on bet to be the best undrafted player in the Packers' class. Originally projected as a mid-day 3 pick, two factors contributed to his going undrafted: the postponement of the FCS football season and a hamstring injury that caused him to run slowly at Pro Day. Now he's hyped to prove the doubters wrong.
Denver Beer Co. falls short of fundraising goal | 9news.com
A small brewery in Denver set a goal of raising a billion dollars to buy the Rockies, fed up with the team's current ownership group. They raised just over $6,000, but at least the money they did pull together will go to a good cause -- a charity helping hospitality workers affected by COVID-19.