Earlier on Wednesday, ESPN broke the news that the Green Bay Packers had called about Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who is currently seeking a trade due to a contract dispute with the Colts. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, who had a press conference scheduled today, answered some questions about the topic — but not before tiptoeing around the fact that he couldn’t call out the running back by name.
Here is the full exchange from the presser:
Reporter: Jonathan Taylor. What was your interest level there and how much can that continue to be discussed?
BG: Let’s get the checklist out. First of all, I can’t talk about players on other teams. We try to be in every conversation. Any time we have good players available to us, we’d like to make the Green Bay Packers better and we’ll look at those opportunities. That’s about what I got to say about that.
Reporter: So does your answer apply to then if [running back] AJ [Dillon] thinks he was part of those conversations [and] that you have to tell him that he’s still an important part of this team?
BG: AJ’s a part of this team, and he was going to be, regardless. Again, there’s a lot of conversations [where] we are used, at times, for leverage, as well. We aren’t doing what we’re supposed to be doing if we’re not investigating these things. At least listening to things. It’s just the nature of the world now. There’s all kinds of things out there. Some are true, some aren’t.
Reporter: Does it piss you off, though, that your name came out? Whether it’s true or not, the perception now is maybe one of the guys — AJ Dillon — in your locker room [is thinking] they’re trying to move on. They’re trying to upgrade.
BG: I don’t know why that perception would be there. I think that’s people pulling things out of air.
Reporter: That’s my point, though. That you’re being thrown out there by, potentially, a colleague. You would never stand up there and say that, but now you guys get thrown out there.
BG: I don’t know how these things get out there. I don’t particularly care, either. You guys know how business is run here. That’s just not how we do ‘em, and I don’t really want to react to them. We have conversations about players throughout the National Football League, players on our team with other teams, all the time. People ask about our guys all the time. That’s just part of it. I can’t be worried about what our players think every time somebody calls and asks us because it might get out in the media. Not really too concerned with that.
We have a great running back room. We’re really excited about it. I think they’re a strength of our football team. We have a lot of conversations. If people perceive that it’s one thing or another, I can’t control that.
From the sounds of it, the Packers didn’t go deep into conversations about acquiring Taylor, which is what Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette wrote today. According to Wood, it was a scout who called the Colts about Taylor, which means that this conversation might not have even been serious enough to land Gutekunst and Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard on the phone together.
You can listen to the full Gutekunst presser in the video linked down below. He begins to get asked questions about Taylor around 19:30. Yes, it did take that long for someone to ask him about it.