GM Brian Gutekunst 'welcomes' talks with Aaron Rodgers, Packers' players

If Aaron Rodgers is frustrated about being shut out of the Green Bay Packers' decisions, general manager Brian Gutekunst hasn’t sensed it.

The Packers quarterback last week would not say whether he was bothered by it, saying he has to “trust the process,” despite reports and indications that suggested otherwise.

“To be honest with you, I’ve been kind of all consumed with the draft, so I haven’t had, really, hardly any discussions with our players since we kind of started,” Gutekunst said Monday during his pre-draft news conference. “I welcome them, but as far as -- I’ve certainly seen what’s been reported. Nobody has voiced any frustrations to me or anything like that. I always want to listen to any of our players, our coaches, our scouts.”

Rodgers sounded miffed earlier this offseason when the Packers did not retain quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt. Coach Mike McCarthy made that decision. Gutekunst then cut Rodgers’ favorite target, receiver Jordy Nelson, and afterward the first-year GM said he did not talk to Rodgers until after he made the decision.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s my job to do the task at hand, which is make decisions for the Green Bay Packers on our roster,” Gutekunst said. “But I’ve always felt like I was a good listener. I’ve been listening a lot the last couple weeks and will continue to do so.”

The Packers have been in discussions with Rodgers’ agent, David Dunn, about a contract extension. Both the team and Rodgers expressed an interest in getting a deal done this offseason. Rodgers reported last week for the start of the Packers’ offseason program, so if he was frustrated, it wasn’t enough to keep him from the voluntary workouts.

“I think I know my role, and that’s to play as well as I possibly can at quarterback,” Rodgers said. “There are decisions that are going to be made, from a personal standpoint, that’s the toughest part. You’re in this business for a long time, and you start relationships with your coaches and players. As you get older -- and I knew this as a young player -- if I had the possibility and success to play a long time, I’d probably outlive a lot of close friends in this business. Because the longevity offered to a quarterback is obviously greater than a guy who’s banging heads all the time, or running all over the field.

"So that’s the toughest part about the whole thing, is losing guys over the years -- the Jordys, the James Jones, the A.J. Hawks, the John Kuhns, the Julius Peppers, guys you get really close to. Again, those are team decisions, and you just know your role and your responsibility, and you’re trying to do that the best you can.”