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Report: Aaron Rodgers wanted Packers GM Brian Gutekunst fired in 2021

It seems like Rodgers never really got over the selection of Jordan Love.

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NFL: DEC 03 McCarthy Firing Press Conference Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A report from The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman on Wednesday claims that the Green Bay Packers’ former quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, wanted his general manager, Brian Gutekunst, fired in the offseason following Gutekunst’s decision to take quarterback Jordan Love in the first round.

According to a source associated with the team who was granted anonymity to candidly discuss the sensitive dynamics between the front office and the star quarterback, early in the 2021 offseason, Dunn, Rodgers’ agent, called Packers president Mark Murphy with a request: Fire Gutekunst or trade Rodgers. Murphy did neither. Months later, news broke that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay, but the Packers held firm.

When asked about the demand last week, Rodgers deferred to Dunn, who did not reply to The Athletic’s request for comment.

Rodgers seems to have changed his tone on his relationship with Gutekunst, too. Once Rodgers was reunited with his close friend Randall Cobb in 2021, the quarterback claimed that his relationship with the general manager had changed significantly in a positive direction. Now, as the New York Jets’ new quarterback, Rodgers claims the change was only marginal and that the Jets have communicated with him better in his first month with the team.

After the first practice of camp, Rodgers aired his grievances, saying he wanted to see changes to the organization’s communication and culture. According to Rodgers, the communication between him and Gutekunst improved somewhat. (“It still wasn’t anywhere near what I’ve already enjoyed here with the Jets in just a few short weeks,” Rodgers added.)

Who knows how happy Rodgers really was at the end of his tenure? He certainly wasn’t bothered enough to turn down the $42 million in cash that the Packers paid him in 2022 after his extension.

At this point, I don’t know if I trust Rodgers further than I can throw him, but I will say that he did have a point later on in the interview, when he stated, “Just tell the truth, you wanted to move on [to the Jordan Love era.]” For all the bickering about whether or not Rodgers responded to Gutekunst within a reasonable amount of time while the general manager was out west or whether or not Gutekunst should have tried contacting the secluded Rodgers via FaceTime, it really does boil down to that point: The Packers wanted to move on.

Rodgers went 8-9 last year on a team that was pushing cap accounting forward to keep that version of the team together. Rodgers still has good ball left in him, I’m certain, but it’s time to see if Love is good enough to carry a team before the Packers tangle themselves in another veteran quarterback contract. Hopefully, Rodgers can bring Green Bay a first-round pick in 2024 by playing 65 percent of his snaps with the Jets this season, Love proves that he’s the next long-term starter for the Packers and we can all laugh about this in a few years when Rodgers’ number goes into the ring of honor.