Could the future (quarterback) be now? Packers GM won’t rule it out

Could the future (quarterback) be now? Packers GM won’t rule it out

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Brian Gutekunst admitted early in his tenure as the Green Bay Packers‘ general manager that one of his tasks will be to find Aaron Rodgers’ eventual replacement.

That was nearly two years ago.

With a team that was on the cusp of the Super Bowl last season and seemingly has only a couple of holes to fill to get over the hump, could this really be the year when Gutekunst makes a move for the long-term?

“Sure,” Gutekunst said Friday. “You guys have heard me say this before: Everything I’ve been taught, that’s where you start, you start with the quarterback. So you evaluate them every year, and I think it’s always on the table. It’s a good crop this year. It’s a good group of quarterbacks. I think it’s a little deeper than it has been in the past. It will be interesting. But yeah, sure.”

The Packers’ have the No. 30 overall pick in the NFL draft, along with nine other picks (one each in the first five rounds plus three in the sixth and two in the seventh). Mel Kiper Jr. has four quarterbacks going in the first round in his latest mock draft, including three in the top 5. But the fourth, Washington’s Jacob Eason, was slotted all the way down at No. 23. Utah State’s Jordan Love also could end up in the first round.

Rodgers turned 36 in December — a year older than Brett Favre was when the Packers drafted Rodgers in 2005.

Gutekunst, who was a Packers area scout at the time under then-GM Ted Thompson, called that move “courageous” because not everyone around Lambeau Field saw the benefits immediately.

“I do remember Mike Sherman was our head coach and there were a lot of people not real thrilled about that at the time,” Gutekunst said. “… Ted had been back for, what, three months? Something like that. Been on the job for three months. If you really look back at that, Brett Favre is your quarterback, coaching staff had been here, and Ted was (just) coming in. To have the courage at that time to do that, and what that one decision did for the organization for how many years later? That stuck with me. It could have been real easy to do something different. He thought that was the right thing to do, and he did it. That’s always stuck with me.”

Sherman wasn’t the only one unhappy with the pick. It angered Favre, too.

At that point, however, Favre already into his annual retirement contemplation. Rodgers has stated his goal to play through age 40, and perhaps beyond.

“Aaron didn’t play for three years and for three years people were probably saying well, that was a total waste,” Gutekunst said. “I just don’t think developing a young quarterback is; I don’t think that is a waste. You just don’t know when the time is going to be when you’re going to need (a young QB). Or if you’re going to trade him to New Orleans like we did with Aaron Brooks or Matt Hasselbeck to Seattle. … I know this: If you make it a priority to develop quarterbacks I think it’s going to be a positive for your organization.”

Rodgers said after the loss to the 49ers that he felt like their Super Bowl window is “open.”

NFL News

via http://www.espn.com – NFL http://www.espn.com

February 21, 2020 at 01:00PM

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