GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — General Manager Brian Gutekunst met with the media Friday to wrap up the Green Bay Packers’ 8-9 season, which ended without a playoff berth.
Gutekunst has spoken extensively about the future of playmaker Aaron Rodgers at the club, the future of playmaker Jordan Love, the defensive product and more.
“Obviously a tough season, a tough way to end it,” said Gutekunst, “always its finality is always tough.”
Here are some highlights from the press conference.
On whether he wants Aaron Rodgers back next season:
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“As I said during farewell week, I want all these guys to come back. That’s part of it. It will surely take him some time. I think that’s fair. his decision regarding his football career in general, we will meet, this is how we will move forward.”
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On whether it’s up to Rodgers to decide or whether the front office has to decide if they want him back:
“We made a really big commitment to him last off-season. When we did, it certainly wasn’t just for this year. He takes his time and communication will be quite constant.”
On who gives them a better chance of winning, Rodgers or backup Jordan Love:
“Well, you’re talking about a four-time MVP. So we’re very excited for Jordan where he is, no question about that. But Jordan never played 16 games, 17 games a season, he went through it all. So it’s no different from when we moved from Brett (Favre) to Aaron. It’s hard to say, but at the same time, where Aaron is, what level he’s at, there aren’t many teams he doesn’t give the best chance of winning.
On whether he can imagine a scenario with Rodgers and Love on the team next season:
I think he’s ready to play. I think this is his next step in his development. These guys work well together in the room. Jordan would have to play a lot of time, we felt really good about that… but yeah, I can predict that (having both of them on the team).”
On whether Rodgers should spend more off-season working at Green Bay:
“Well, we want all players to be here during the off-season… it’s optional and voluntary as you know. We invest a lot in these guys and would definitely like them to invest back in all of our guys. But you know there are rules in the CBA for a reason… I know a lot of veterans need it less, but sometimes younger players need vets too.”
On whether David Bakhtiari will be his left winger next season:
“I hope. Hopefully he’s sort of overcome the injury hurdles he’s had over the last few years… I think he’s gotten into a really good rhythm in learning (as he has to) to practice to get to the games Hopefully when we get out of this season this rhythm will serve him well.
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On whether Mason Crosby will be his kicker next season:
“Again, these are all decisions we’ll be working on in the off-season. David has a contract, Mason doesn’t. We’re working on all these things. Mason has had an amazing year this year, he’s been really hooked in so many ways.”
On Runner Aaron Jones and his future on the team:
“We certainly expect him to come back. He’s a dynamic player… for a guy his size who brings it daily, he rarely misses a practice, he rarely misses a rep, the way he leads our team, his consistency is just amazing. you can’t just have one in this league and of course having AJ (Dillon) it’s nice to have a one-two hit. When we first got it, you’re thinking to yourself ‘this won’t last long’ because of how it’s built and how big it is, but it still defies the odds.”
On whether Aaron Jones will keep his current contract or be restructured again:
“The way we’ve been doing things lately, we’re probably going to restructure everyone to make some room.”