PHOENIX — Packers coach Matt LaFleur sounded like a man saying goodbye on Tuesday.
LaFleur addressed the possible trade of Aaron Rodgers to the Jets at the league meetings here.
He did not get into specifics but made it clear that the team is transitioning from Rodgers to Jordan Love, even if a trade has yet to be agreed to.
“First of all, I’ve got nothing but love and appreciation for what Aaron has done for so many in our organization,” LaFleur said. “Obviously, we’ve experienced a lot of great times together, won a lot of football games together. Ultimately, didn’t bring home the Super Bowl, which will always be disappointing. He’s done so much for myself, my family, our coaches’ families, so many people within the organization, other players. A lot of people have been rewarded, quite frankly, because of his ability to go out there and play and play at such a high level.”
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur speaks to reporters at the league meetings on March 28, 2023.AP
Rodgers made it clear two weeks ago that he wanted to play for the Jets.
The two sides are now working on a trade, but they have yet to agree on compensation.
For a long part of this offseason, the Packers did not know whether Rodgers would want to return.
LaFleur said during that time even he was unsure of what to tell Love.
Aaron Rodgers and Matt Lafleur.Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
“I think [Love] just wanted to know what was going on,” LaFleur said. “For a long period of time, I couldn’t even tell him because I didn’t even know where it was headed. I think there’s obviously some clarity to it but nothing’s final yet.”
The belief around the NFL is that the Jets and Packers will get a deal done, but what happens if it doesn’t?
Would LaFleur take Rodgers back?
“That’s all between [Jets general manager Joe Douglas and Packers GM Brian Gutekunst],” LaFleur said. “I’m going to leave that one to them. We’ll coach whoever’s on our roster and we’re going to coach them to the best of our ability and always going to put the best players out there that are going to give us an opportunity to go win football games.”
Matt LaFleur and Jordan Love.AP
There will be massive pressure on Love as he tries to replace a four-time MVP and one of the best quarterbacks ever.
“I just think it’s going to be a progression,” LaFleur said. “Certainly I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think he’s going to go out there and perform at a level to the likes of Aaron Rodgers. This guy is a once in a lifetime, a generational talent. I don’t think it necessarily started that way when he first started, but he progressed into that.”