NFL

Packers keen for Rodgers to stay after cryptic comments, says Gutekunst

By Sports Desk December 06, 2022

The Green Bay Packers still want Aaron Rodgers to play on next season, says general manager Brian Gutekunst, despite the quarterback's cryptic words over the weekend.

The former Super Bowl champion is in the middle of a three-year contract that runs through the 2024 season, having spent his entire professional career in Wisconsin.

But following Sunday's 28-19 win over the Chicago Bears, Rodgers cast doubt over the subject of his future, stating: "There has got to be mutual desire on both sides."

Amid their bye week, Gutekunst said no discussions have taken place over the 39-year-old's next steps, but stressed they still want the veteran to remain on their books.

"That's an offseason-type kind of decision, but surely, yeah," he stated. "We want all our guys back. We made a big commitment to [Rodgers] this offseason, so that was obviously something that was really important to us.

"But like we've talked about in the past, this is something we'll sit down with him after the season, and it will be something we do together and move forward that way.

"We don't talk about those things during the season very often. We just talk more about our team when we speak. Certainly, that'll be something we get to.

"We went through something in the offseason where it was a very big commitment on our part. It wasn't certainly for one year. B we really haven't had any conversations about that stuff during the season."

Rodgers' comments come amid a difficult season for the Packers, who have posted a 5-8 record and are on the cusp of elimination from playoff contention.

Their next game comes against the Los Angeles Rams in just under a fortnight, with the team facing a fight to recover their campaign.

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    There had been plenty of talk in the lead-up about the success Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has enjoyed against the Chiefs, sporting a 3-0 record against Mahomes' crew heading into the contest. It had led to Bengals fans calling the Chiefs' home ground 'Burrowhead', which clearly irked Kansas City players.

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    He also made the game-deciding play when he scrambled on his bad ankle with 15 seconds left in regulation, converting a third-and-four and making it to the sideline to stop the clock. After crossing the sideline, he was hit late by Joseph Ossai, resulting in a 15-yard penalty to put Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker into range for the game-winner.

    Burrow put together a respectable stat line, completing 26 of his 41 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown, but he threw two crucial interceptions.

    In the immediate aftermath during his on-field interview, Mahomes was interrupted by his future Hall of Fame tight end with a very clear message.

    "Burrowhead my a**," he said. "It's Mahomes' house!"

    Offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr also chimed in about Mahomes: "World's greatest! Give him his respect! Stamp him!"

    Mahomes was far more under control during his interview, but also referenced his displeasure about the Burrowhead nickname.

    "First off I want to thank God, man," he said. "He healed my body this week and gave me the strength to be out here.

    "As for this team, man, we play together. I said it from the beginning, when we were in the locker room, I said 'we've got to be together' – and this team stepped up against a great football team.

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    "They're a great football team, I've watched them all year long," he said. "Great quarterback, and a great entire team. It's going to be a great challenge for us, but I'm going to celebrate this one first.

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    Mahomes was largely able to stay clean in the first half while Joe Burrow took some punishment, but the Chiefs' sole TD pass found Travis Kelce on fourth-and-one.

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    A hobbling Mahomes battled on and connected with Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a scrambling score, only for Burrow to find Ja'Marr Chase deep on fourth-and-six to set up Samaje Perine to run it in.

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    When Mahomes – understandably reluctant to run the ball until that stage – made up five yards and was shoved by Joseph Ossai after running out of bounds, a 15-yard penalty left Harrison Butker with the 45-yard game-winning field goal to set up a Super Bowl meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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    The rookie QB was forced off at the end of the 49ers first drive with an elbow injury after his throwing arm was hit by Eagles edge-rusher Haason Reddick, leading to the introduction of fourth-stringer Josh Johnson.

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    "The replays we saw didn't definitively show that [the catch was dropped]," he explained.

    "I was going to throw one anyway, to take the chance, but they showed one on the scoreboard that didn't have all the angles that you guys saw and it looked like a catch. We didn't want to waste a timeout.

    "We definitely would have [challenged] if we hadn't had seen that. Then I heard they got a couple of angles and you ended up seeing later than it's not a catch."

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