The Los Angeles Rams reportedly acquired Matthew Stafford in a blockbuster trade with the Detroit Lions, but Stafford may not have been the original target.
According to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, the Rams called the Green Bay Packers about Aaron Rodgers before settling on Stafford. When the Packers didn’t bite, the Rams presumably moved on.
It’s not a mystery why the Packers weren’t interested in unloading their star QB for Jared Goff, but they made it clear Monday. General manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur publicly committed themselves to Rodgers — not just for 2021, but beyond.
Rams interested in Rodgers before Stafford?
In the Rams’ quest to upgrade from Goff at quarterback, they eventually landed on freeing Stafford from his Lions nightmare. He may not have been their first choice. They reportedly “made a run” at Rodgers first.
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) January 31, 2021
“[The Rams] wanted to upgrade from Jared Goff. They felt like there were a certain number of quarterbacks that could do that. I think Deshaun Watson was out of their price range. They made a run at Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers were adamant that they weren’t trading him.”
It makes a lot of sense that the Rams would make a play for Rodgers before Stafford. He’s the presumptive MVP of the league, and there has been some question about his future with the Packers after their elimination from the playoffs. What could it hurt to call and see if Green Bay might be interested in trading him for a lightly used Goff and a bundle of first-round draft picks?
Packers committed to Rodgers in 2021 and beyond
It certainly wouldn’t have cost the Rams anything to inquire about Rodgers’ availability because the worst they could have heard was “no.” And that appears to be exactly what they heard.
During a Zoom call with the media Monday, Gutekunst and LaFleur left no question about where they stand on Rodgers.
“Absolutely. There’s no doubt about it,” LaFleur said via ESPN. “You’re talking about the guy that’s going to win the MVP of the league. We’re not in this position without him. I couldn’t be happier with not only his performance but how he led our football team, all the little things he does within that locker room to ensure that everybody is locked in, focused and ready to go. Absolutely, he will be here for a long time. I know I’ve said that before, but a long time.”
Gutekunst, who as GM actually controls Rodgers’ fate, was equally enthusiastic about the QB’s future with the team.
“We’re really excited not only for next year but the years to come,” Gutekunst said. “He’s playing at such a high level that he always has and I think this year was a special team. It didn’t finish like we wanted to finish, but I think everybody’s purely motivated to get back. I don’t think there’s anything that we have to do [to assure him of his future]. He’s our quarterback, and he’s our leader. [...] What we're trying to do as an organization, and what we're trying to accomplish, we can't do without Aaron Rodgers right now."
Gutekunst denied that the Rams made any inquires about Rodgers. But just in case any other teams were thinking about picking up the phone and asking about whether Rodgers is available, he essentially told them they shouldn’t bother.
Asked Brian Gutekunst if he foresees any scenario in which he would be willing to trade Aaron Rodgers this offseason: "Absolutely not." So, there's your answer.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) February 1, 2021
If anyone was wondering where the Packers stood on the status of their QB — and that includes Rodgers — this should put it to rest. The Pack are all in on Rodgers, period.
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