NFL

Packers want Aaron Rodgers back 'in the worst way' – LaFleur

By Sports Desk May 14, 2021

The Green Bay Packers continue to make it clear they want star Aaron Rodgers to remain as their quarterback, despite reports the reigning NFL MVP is unhappy. 

Rumours have swirled around Rodgers since reports on the first day of the NFL Draft claimed the QB wanted out of Green Bay after 16 seasons with the Packers.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has already said the team would not trade Rodgers and president and chief executive Mark Murphy reiterated Green Bay's commitment to Rodgers.

Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur echoed those sentiments as the Packers opened their rookie mini-camp on Friday.

"I've got nothing new to update, and we still obviously feel the same way," LaFleur said of Rodgers' future.

"We want him back in the worst way. I know he knows that, and we'll continue to work at it each and every day."

Last season, Rodgers amassed 48 touchdowns, five interceptions and a completion rate of 70.7 per cent for the Packers – who lost to eventual Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game.

Rodgers' quarterback rating of 121.5 puts him second on the all-time list among qualifiers, behind only his 2011 campaign (122.5).

In total, Rodgers completed 372 of 526 attempts for 4,299 yards as the Packers topped the NFC North with a 13-3 record to clinch home-field advantage and the top seed in the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Rodgers is level with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown with three MVP honours – only Peyton Manning (five) has more in NFL history.

The Packers begin organised team activities on May 24 and Rodgers is not expected to be present, pending a resolution in the meantime. 

That leaves LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to work with the quarterbacks on hand: Rodgers' heir apparent Jordan Love and new signing Blake Bortles. 

Bortles, who signed with the team on Thursday, previously worked with Hackett on the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2015-18. 

"This is a guy that's started a lot of games and had a lot of success -- shoot, he led his team to the AFC Championship Game [in 2017], and they were close to knocking off the Patriots in New England," LaFleur said.

"He's got a lot of experience, and that's something you can never take for granted."

Love was the Packers' first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but did not play last season. 

LaFleur deflected a question about whether he would use the off-season to prepare Love for a starting role in case Rodgers does not return, saying he expects every player on the team to have that mind-set.

The Packers will open their season at the New Orleans Saints on September 12.

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