Brian Gutekunst on trading Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers: There’s risk in the NFL
First, it was Davante Adams. Now, it’s Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers traded their All-Pro receiver in 2022, nine days after Rodgers announced he was returning to the team rather than retire. On Monday, the Packers completed a trade that will send their All-Pro quarterback to the Jets.
In 2020 and 2021, Adams caught 238 passes for 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns in earning back-to-back All-Pro honors. That’s an average of eight catches for 98 yards and a touchdown per game. He helped Rodgers win back-to-back MVP honors.
The Packers went 26-7 in the final two seasons with Rodgers and Adams on their roster. But they were only 1-2 in the postseason with upset losses at home to the Bucs in the NFC Championship Game in the 2020 season and to the 49ers in the division round in the 2021 season.
Now, both are gone without winning a championship together.
“That’s part of the job, right?” Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst said Monday, via video from Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com. “Absolutely. That’s part of the job. Obviously, Aaron was entering a time in his career where he was going to be ending, and we had to be prepared for the future and get prepared to try to move forward. Yeah, that’s part of the National Football League. Great players are going to come, and they’re going to go. You’ve got to be prepared to add good football players to your roster, so you can keep winning. This is the National Football League.”
The Packers drafted Christian Watson in the second round last year to replace Adams. He showed promise with 41 catches for 611 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games.
They now begin the Jordan Love era, having drafted the heir apparent to Rodgers in the first round in 2020.
Gutekunkst was asked if his trades of Adams to the Raiders and Rodgers to the Jets were “risky.”
“There’s risk in the National Football League,” Gutekunst said. “I mean, we were 8-9 last year, so we’re trying to get better. You know what I mean? I think that’s important.”