You drafted a quarterback in the first round. What's your plan?
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst looked wise again last night and EJ Manuel's demise is a warning to all. Everything in the NFL revolves around how you handle the quarterback position.
Having a concrete plan at the most important position in sports is bound to piss people off.
The best decisions in life — as we all know — are the hard ones.
Caving to the mob on social media? That’s easy. That’s how most corporations operate.
It’s much harder to do what Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst did the night of April 23, 2020 in selecting Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick. That choice, of course, led to an epic standoff this past offseason. For months, Gutekunst was dragged into the public square by his own starting quarterback — Aaron Rodgers — to be tarred and feathered. (No, the Packers weren’t sabotaging themselves via anonymous sources.) He stood there. He took it. Rodgers ripped the team at a press conference and continued to play football in Green Bay, for at least one more season.
As we’ve written in this space, drafting a quarterback when Gutekunst didn’t necessarily “need” a quarterback was the right call.
Screaming heads on TV disagree. Many fans, too. Rodgers certainly does.
But knowing that his team would never be picking in the Top 10, Gutekunst rolled the dice on potential. His thinking was simple: Let Love sit for a couple seasons and, if it’s time, the Packers can transition from one era to the next to enjoy an unprecedented half-century of quarterback bliss. With Rodgers seemingly forcing The End, heck yes, count me as someone who thought it’d be wise to accept a bounty of picks and players when the Packers had that opportunity.
Wherever anyone stands on this issue, Gutekunst deserves credit for not flinching.