Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst (left) laughs with new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur at his introductory press conference in the Lambeau Field media auditorium.

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst (left) laughs with new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur at his introductory press conference in the Lambeau Field media auditorium..

LAFLUER

Reports: Packers extend coach Matt LaFleur, GM Brian Gutekunst

The Green Bay Packers awarded contract extensions to head coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst and executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball, multiple reports said Monday.

The terms were not revealed, but it was reported that the extensions were agreed to months ago.

Speaking with reporters Monday, Packers president Mark Murphy said, “I’ll just say I’m confident not only Matt and Brian but Russ Ball will continue to be Packers employees for years to come.”

The Packers have gone 39-10 with three NFC North titles in three years under LaFleur and are 45-19-1 since Gutekunst took over for Ted Thompson as GM in 2018.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Packers wideout Davante Adams were apparently disillusioned with Gutekunst during 2020 and 2021. The pair at one point posted the same image of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on their Instagram stories.

At the height of Rodgers’ unhappiness with the Packers organization, the posts were read as a reference to “The Last Dance” docuseries, in which Bulls general manager Jerry Krause was painted as a villain. Rodgers reportedly referred to Gutekunst as “Jerry Krause” in texts with teammates.

Gutekunst and the Packers still managed to convince Rodgers to return to Green Bay after he’d privately claimed he’d never play for the organization again. He signed a contract extension in March that will pay him $150.8 million over the next three years.

Adams, meanwhile, did not receive the deal he was looking for and was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with wide receiver Davante Adams (17) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter during their football game Saturday, December 25, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The touchdown Adams ahead of Jordy Nelsons for touchdown receptions from Rodgers.Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Packers GM: No deadlines, working closely with Aaron Rodgers

Brian Gutekunst has a goal and his preferred outcome begins with a commitment from 2021 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to play for the Packers next season.

But the process in Green Bay might not play out on the general manager’s ideal schedule. Because Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur want to understand Rodgers’ plans before making other moves, Gutekunst said Wednesday at a scheduled press conference there are “no deadlines” where Rodgers is involved.

This means that as of Wednesday, the Packers are in much the same position they were after the loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs: waiting for the Rodgers domino to fall.

“This has been more of a conversation about where we’re headed together. This is a process we’re going through, and a process he’s going through,” Gutekunst said.

“We’ve had really good conversations with Aaron.”

The layered offseason for the Packers is fraught with variables and salary-cap concerns. Rodgers could still retire or ask for a trade, a determination he said Tuesday he hasn’t yet made. He could also return to the team, or indicate he’ll come back only if the Packers address his contract.

All of the “hypotheticals” have Gutekunst working on a matrix of if-then scenarios that would dramatically alter the direction of the Packers — at least in the short term.

Gutekunst said the Packers are also hopeful unrestricted free agent Davante Adams is with the organization going forward. When asked about using the franchise tag to retain Adams at more than $18 million for 2022, Gutekunst said he’d prefer to reach a long-term deal that works for both sides.

Getting that done might be even more improbable than keeping Rodgers content given Adams position that he wants to be the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals had the highest wideout salary of $27.25 million in 2021.

The Packers are well over the projected salary cap of $208 million for 2022, even after restructuring the contract of nose tackle Kenny Clark on Wednesday.

Gutekunst professed he is “very confident” the Packers are in position to “compete for championships” with Rodgers and Adams. He said retaining the high-priced playmakers would not prevent the Packers from being competitive, or kick-start a fire sale.

That includes one valuable backup on the roster — Rodgers understudy Jordan Love, a first-rounder in 2020.

“I would be very doutbful to take any of those calls,” Gutekunst said of any trade offers for Love.

Rodgers sent Green Bay and the NFL-watching world into a tizzy with an Instagram post in which he heaped gratitude on Adams and wide receiver Randall Cobb and spoke partially in past tense. But Rodgers said Tuesday in an interview with Pat McAfee that he had no final answers on his future yet.

Gutekunst continues to nurture the relationship with Rodgers, agitated by the Love draft pick and exacerbated by what Rodgers said in 2021 was disrespect from the GM.

In the most recent example of giving his quarterback a voice, he said the franchise welcomed Rodgers’ input on hiring quarterbacks coach Tom Clements for another tour of duty in Green Bay.

Asked to measure the worst possible outcome of losing Rodgers and Adams, Gutekunst said the Packers would still compete.

“We’re going to field a competitive team regardless. We’re the Green Bay Packers,” Gutekunst said. “We may have to do things different ways if those hypotheticals come into play.”

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (24) during the NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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Davante Adams: ‘No chance’ of Packers extension before season

Star wide receiver Davante Adams said he won’t be signing an extension with the Green Bay Packers before the 2021 season starts on Sunday.

“No. No chance. No,” Adams told reporters Wednesday.

Adams said in July that he wanted to become the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, which seems to be the primary sticking point between the player and the Packers’ front office. Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins is earning $27.25 million in average annual value; Adams’ current deal nets him $14.5 million a year, 19th in the NFL at his position, according to Sportac.com.

The 2021 season is the final year on Adams’ contract. Adams is set to have a cap hit of $16,787,500.

Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst said last month that the team did not have a deadline for getting an extension done with Adams, granting that negotiations could leak into the season.

Adams has hinted at dissatisfaction with Gutekunst and the Green Bay front office. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, before returning to the Packers at the start of training camp, reportedly mocked Gutekunst in a group text with teammates and called him Jerry Krause, a reference to the late Chicago Bulls general manager who was seen as a villain in the Michael Jordan docuseries, “The Last Dance.”

In July, Adams and Rodgers posted identical Instagram story photos of Jordan and Scottie Pippen, perhaps a reference at the time to their unhappiness with their team’s handling of contract issues.

However, Adams told reporters Wednesday that he intends to prevent his unsettled contract situation from becoming a distraction once the season kicks off.

“I feel like I had one of the best camps of my career,” Adams said. “Was able to really lock in, come back and get reacquainted with my brothers. Me and (Rodgers) picked up where we left off. Like I said, it’s just the way that I have found success coming up from all stages of life.

“Just focusing on that moment. It’s not like it took any work to do that. It’s just blocking out the rest of the stuff that I don’t really need at the time, which is some of that other stuff that we’ve talked about (his contract).”

The Packers play the New Orleans Saints in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday to open the regular season.

–Field Level Media