Seemingly immediately after the Green Bay Packers fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game, rumors began to circulate about Green Bay quarterback and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.
"It's been the worst kept secret in football. I don't think they've ever really won him over," Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said last week about Rodgers' relationship with those currently guiding the Packers. "Last year they held him back, and then they picked his replacement in the draft. This guy is nothing if not calculated. He's sending a signal to the rest of the league – Come and get me."
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst attempted to pour cold water over doubts about Rodgers' future on Monday.
"I don't think I have to do a lot of assuring him because I think obviously his play speaks for itself," Gutekunst said, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.
"I will say this: We're really excited not only for next year but the years to come. 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 and I think, like I said, I don't think there's anything that we have to do. He's our quarterback, and he's our leader."
Gutekunst added that the Packers will "absolutely not" trade Rodgers before the 2021 season begins.
"I think that he is arguably the best player that I've ever seen or been around," Gutekunst explained. "The chances he gives us week in and week out are significant, so he's going to be part of our future and we look forward to all the runs we're going to try to make here over the next few years."
While Rodgers turned 37 years old in December, he is the NFL's uncrowned Most Valuable Player and led the league with 48 touchdown passes, a 70.7 completion percentage, a 121.5 passer rating and a total QBR of 84.3.