Coming Soon: A New Deal for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers might have a new contract soon.

General manager Brian Gutekunst told PFT Live he expects the team and Rodgers to “come to an agreement soon” on a deal.

There have been reports that Rodgers is frustrated with the team for not consulting him before cutting Jordy Nelson and firing QBs coach Alex Van Pelt, but Gutekunst does not seem to be worried about those frustrations affecting contract talks. “We’re pretty confident that this is something that’s taking its normal course, its normal time,” Gutekunst said.

Video: What Does Falcons QB Matt Ryan’s Record Deal Mean for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers?

The Falcons and franchise QB Matt Ryan agreed on a five-year extension on Thursday worth an estimated $150 million, and following the announcement of the deal, NFL Network spoke about it, breaking down what it could mean for other NFL QB’s – including Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

Former Packers DL Carlos Gray Shot to Death in Alabama

Authorities say a former Packers player has been found shot to death in his home in Alabama.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office says former Packers defensive lineman Carlos Gray was found shortly before 10 p.m. Monday near Birmingham, Alabama. The 25-year-old is a native of Pinson, Alabama.

Al.com reports that sheriff’s deputies and Center Point Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the house after a friend found Gray wounded and unresponsive.

Gray played at North Carolina State University and signed with the Packers as a free agent in 2014.

Al.com reports that he was released from the Packers in 2015 and returned home to Alabama. He was the father of two young children.

Packers Earn an ‘A’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Packers, who according to Kiper got an ‘A-‘ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

The Packers think they’re ready to compete for a Super Bowl in 2018, if Aaron Rodgers stays on the field, and if they can defend the pass. That was a major weakness last season — the Green Bay secondary couldn’t stop wide receivers. It gave up an NFL-high 21 touchdown passes to receivers. So new GM Brian Gutekunst went out and got two corners with his first two picks to address that problem, and I like both players. Jaire Alexander (pick 18) is an elite athlete and playmaker. Josh Jackson (45) led the FBS with eight interceptions in 2017. He’s a ball hawk, and I was really surprised that the Packers were able to get him when they did. Possible steal. They’re going to create turnovers. Kevin King had an injury-plagued rookie season and only started five games, but he’s a good player, too. That’s a talented cornerback group. I also liked third-round pick Oren Burks, who will likely play inside linebacker. He was versatile and consistent at Vanderbilt.

The best move the Packers made this weekend, though, was adding an extra 2019 first-round pick. New Orleans traded up from No. 27 to No. 14 to take Marcus Davenport, and Green Bay moved out of Round 1 (and then later moved back in by dealing third- and sixth-round picks to Seattle). That’s a huge chip to have next year, when the pass-rushing prospects should be better than they were in this class.

Elsewhere, J’Mon Moore (133) offers some receiving depth, and Cole Madison (138) reminds me a lot of what David Bakhtiari was coming out of college. That worked out just fine. JK Scott (172) was my third-ranked punter. Equanimeous St. Brown (207) is worth a late Day 3 pick as a talented but inconsistent wide receiver. The reason this class gets an “A” is the 2019 first-rounder it added from New Orleans. Now, that could end up being a very late Day 1 pick. I don’t care. I really like what Gutekunst did in his first draft.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/18 Jaire Alexander CB LOUISVILLE
2/45 Josh Jackson CB IOWA
3/88 Oren Burks OLB VANDERBILT
4/133 J’Mon Moore WR MISSOURI
5/138 Cole Madison OT WASHINGTON STATE
5/172 JK Scott P ALABAMA
5/174 Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR SOUTH FLORIDA
6/207 Equanimeous St. Brown WR NOTRE DAME
7/232 James Looney DT CALIFORNIA
7/239 Hunter Bradley LS MISSISSIPPI STATE
7/248 Kendall Donnerson OLB SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE

Report: Packers Looking to Move Up in the First Round of the NFL Draft

The draft is closing in, and reports from NFL Networks’ Ian Rapoport says the Packers might be in the market to move up, something they haven’t done in some time.

New GM Brian Gutekunst and Packers Use Pre-Draft Visits to Bring in Top Names

In prior years, Packers general manager Ted Thompson used his allotted 30 pre-draft invitations to the Packers’ facility mostly on undrafted free agent types, refusing to tip off the competition on what he might be doing in the early and middle rounds of the draft.

New general manager Brian Gutekunst has changed all that and has brought in some of the top names in the draft, including Florida State safety Derwin James, Washington nose tackle Vita Vea, Virginia Tech inside linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“I just thought for me and how I wanted to go about it, there’s just a certain amount of, yes, I wanted to have some face-to-face time with (them) individually,” Gutekunst said Monday. “I also think getting them with our coaching staff and seeing how they might fit in our room and our team locker room was important.”

“We’ve done that in the past, I don’t know if it’s been as publicized as it has been, but we’ve done that in the past and I always liked it. We just did a little bit more of it this year.”

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst Not Aware if QB Aaron Rodgers is Upset with Team

If there’s a burgeoning feud with his star quarterback, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is unaware of any internal strife, Ryan Wood of USA Today Network-Wisconsin reports.

Gutekunst said Monday he has seen reports of Aaron Rodgers’ discontentment regarding a lack of involvement with personnel decisions. It’s something Rodgers downplayed last week, saying he understands his job is to play quarterback. Rodgers also acknowledged disappointment with receiver Jordy Nelson’s release.

“I’ve certainly seen what’s been reported,” Gutekunst said. “Nobody has voiced any frustrations to me or anything like that.”

Rodgers has lost his favorite receiver and quarterbacks coach this offseason. On the day Nelson was released, Gutekunst said he informed his quarterback only after the decision. Rodgers also mentioned earlier this offseason he wasn’t consulted with the decision to let quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt’s contract expire.

“I always want to listen to any of our players, our coaches, our scouts,” Gutekunst said. “Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s my job to do the task at hand, which is make decisions for the Green Bay Packers on our roster. But I’ve always felt like I was a good listener. I’ve been listening a lot the last couple weeks and will continue to do so.”

Are Things Really Going to Get Tense Between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?

Aaron Rodgers would like more inclusion when the Green Bay Packers are making major personnel decisions that impact him. Whether he speaks those words directly or publicly remains to be seen, but it’s a reality weighing on the quarterback as he moves forward in contract extension negotiations, according to multiple league sources who spoke with Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.

While the relationship between Rodgers and the Packers isn’t in total disrepair, two league sources familiar with the quarterback’s mindset described him as both “frustrated” and “emotional” over a lack of communication from the front office prior to some significant decisions this offseason. Specifically, the sources said Rodgers has lingering discontent being completely cut out of discussions that resulted in the departures of wideout Jordy Nelson and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt. And it apparently is entering his thought process when it comes to his next contract extension.

“Both of those decisions [with Nelson and Van Pelt] were made without him,” one league source close to Rodgers said. “In both situations, he had no influence with [the front office] before anything went down.”

“I know he’s thinking about that stuff when it comes to the next contract because he should have earned a voice by now,” the source continued. “In other places with [elite] quarterbacks, consideration is given to those guys. I think Aaron wants to be engaged in some decisions. But that’s just not the way it works [in Green Bay]. I think that’s obviously frustrating and it’s going to keep coming out.”

Rodgers has already appeared to touch on that twice this offseason. First in February when Van Pelt wasn’t retained, he told ESPN radio that he wasn’t “consulted” and called the Packers’ decision “interesting.”

“I thought that was an interesting change, really without consulting me,” Rodgers said. “There’s a close connection between quarterback and quarterback coach. And that was an interesting decision.”

Then Rodgers appeared to subtly reference his lack of involvement again nearly two weeks ago when talking about Nelson’s departure.

“I think it’s pretty clear that players play and coaches coach and personnel people make their decisions,” Rodgers told Milwaukee radio station 102.9 The Hog. “That’s the way they want it.”

With extension progress still apparently slow, any friction between Rodgers and the franchise could become accentuated in the coming months. Particularly with Rodgers entering the sixth year of a seven-year contract that has him vastly underpaid at his position.

From a public relations standpoint, extension talks are a front-burner issue for the franchise. But this is where things have the potential to get strained between the Packers and Rodgers because there is no looming deadline for Green Bay to do a deal and, in-turn, no driving inventive to lavish a record-breaking contract on the two-time league MVP.