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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Zach Kruse

Important things to know from Brian Gutekunst’s availability at NFL Owners Meetings

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst fielded questions for 17 minutes and provided answers on a variety of topics – including the looming trade of Aaron Rodgers – on Monday.

Here are the things to know from Gutekunst’s availability at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix:

– Gutekunst said the Packers attempted to reach Aaron Rodgers “many times” for follow-up conservations but could not reach the quarterback. “At that point, I had to do my job.”

– Gutekunt said he was “really looking forward” to conversations with Rodgers to see how he fit with the Packers moving forward, but the conversations “never transpired.”

– Rodgers’ representatives, not Rodgers, informed Gutekunst that he wanted a trade to the Jets.

– On multiple occasions, Gutekunst said it “would have been nice” to have the conversations directly with Rodgers.

– Gutekunst said he’s expecting Jordan Love to be his quarterback in 2023. “We’re excited about that.”

– The Packers and Jets have had “a lot of good discussions” with the Jets on a trade. Gutekunst already spoke with Joe Douglas in Phoenix, and the two parties have been in contact for a couple of weeks already.

– Gutekunst said a first-round pick in the trade isn’t a necessity but he understands the value of the player and wants premier picks or players back from the Jets.

– Gutekunst said “everything changes” if trade talks go beyond the 2023 draft.

– How long is he willing to hold out on trade talks? “As long as it takes.”

– “It has to work for both parties and we’re both fully committed to figuring it out.” Gutekunst said the ball is in the Jets’ court right now.

– Gutekunst said there were “loose conversations” with other teams but it’s only been the Jets since Rodgers informed the world of his intention to play for the Jets.

– Gutekunst pointed to Jordan Love’s “even-keeled demeanor” and professionalism during his three seasons and this offseason as big reasons for why he’s ready for this opportunity. “His everyday approach…it’s been a steady progression since he got here.” Mentioned a big third-year leap. “It’s just time for him to play.”

– Gutekunst isn’t sure if the Packers will exercise the fifth-year option on Love.

– Gutekunst said it would be “nice” to have a backup quarterback with experience but the Packers will look at all sorts of options for the No. 2 spot behind Love.

– Gutekunst admitted trading Rodgers and incurring a dead salary cap hit has limited the Packers this offseason, but he’s confident the team can find value on veteran free agents this summer.

– Gutekunst said going through adversity will be an important part of Love’s development in 2023.

– On the 2023 draft class “I like the depth of this draft. We have 10 picks right now. We really have a chance to help our football team.”

– Gutekunst said there are a few positions with great depth in the draft class that actually line up well with the team’s needs.

– On Keisean Nixon: “He’s going to see a lot more time in the nickel this year.”

– Gutekunst didn’t close the door on returning Mason Crosby but admitted there are cap hurdles. Said the Packers’ kicker in 2023 is to be determined.

– Gutekunst is hopeful David Bakhtiari is through the worst of his injury issues. Called him an “impactful” player when healthy. The Packers are confident he found a nice “groove” last season.

– Gutekunst said he likes Tyler Davis and Josiah Deguara but also admitted this is a good and deep draft class at tight end.

– “As a football team, we’re excited for what the future can bring.”

– On the Rodgers trade: “I think it’s trending in the right direction for what everybody wants and we can conclude this whole thing…Right now, we’re focused on facilitating a trade that the player and the Jets and what we want, that would be best for everybody.”

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