Packers GM: Randall Cobb here only because Aaron Rodgers wanted him
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst did not mask his intentions in bringing back wide receiver Randall Cobb.
“Obviously without Aaron (Rodgers), I don’t think we would be pursuing that,” Gutekunst said Thursday. “Randall is still a really good player. Seeing him last night kind of reminded what an impact he’ll have in our locker room, for our football team. This was a very important thing for Aaron, and that’s why we did it.”
Cobb, who turns 31 next month, was acquired Wednesday from the Houston Texans for a 2022 sixth-round pick. Houston will pick up $3 million of his salary to make the deal work under the salary cap.
Rodgers said Wednesday he deserves input on personnel matters that “directly impact” his job, and Gutekunst supported that notion, saying Rodgers “earned that right.”
Rodgers described his relationship with Gutekunst as “professional” in a lengthy session with media on Wednesday. Gutekunst said Thursday it is highly important for him to repair his relationship with Rodgers. But he said it will take effort on both sides to rebuild bridges scorched by an offseason standoff that Rodgers said had him considering retirement.
Gutekunst said nothing needs to be done with Rodgers’ existing contract, which expires after the 2023 season, but there are plans to address his deal. He disagreed with the sentiment Rodgers shared Wednesday on being a “lame duck quarterback.”
“I’ve never looked at it like that,” he said. “At the moment, he has three years left on his contract, so he’s not going to be a lame duck. We may alter that, but even still it’s not going to be one year left.”
That’s not the only contract matter on the front burner for the Packers.
All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams is in the final year of his deal and made it clear he wants to be the highest-paid player at his position. That would mean more than $27 million in annual salary with Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins pulling in $27.25 million annually. Gutekunst said the Packers don’t see the Hopkins deal, which is more than $5 million more per season than the second-highest-paid receiver, Julio Jones, makes, as the benchmark.
“It’s very important for us moving forward (with Adams and having) him as part of our football team and making it work,” Gutekunst said.
Cobb played for the Packers from 2011-18 before spending 2019 with the Dallas Cowboys and 2020 with Houston. He had his best season in Green Bay in 2014, making the Pro Bowl with career highs in catches (91), receiving yards (1,287) and touchdown grabs (12).
–Field Level Media