Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, head coach Matt LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy

During the NFL offseason, there was a brief moment where it sure seemed like the Green Bay Packers were going to have to trade star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The rift between the franchise and their best player seemed pretty wide and it didn’t seem like it was going to be fixed. Cooler heads have prevailed since, even if Rodgers is still getting plenty of guff from people in the media these days.

However, a few NFL teams looked around at one point or another and wondered if they might want to try to trade for Rodgers before the season started. One of those teams was the San Francisco 49ers.

“We heard it like everyone else,” 49ers general manager John Lynch told Cris Collingsworth this offseason. “There had been a lot of murmurs for a long time, like, ‘Hey, Aaron’s not happy.’ We’re human beings, we watch SportsCenter, we do those things. Something’s going on here.”

At the time, Lynch called head coach Kyle Shanahan and asked him to inquire with Packers coach Matt LaFleur, whom he knew from working together, about the possibilities of trading for Aaron Rodgers. Lynch then said that LaFleur told Shanahan, “No chance.”

However, that may not have stopped the Niners from contacting Rodgers directly and the Packers even went as far as to accuse them (and the Broncos) of doing that. That would be considered tampering, although the Packers never filed charges because they almost certainly wouldn’t have been able to prove it.

So given that LaFleur knows that Shanahan was interested in Rodgers and the Packers think the Niners tampered with him, does Green Bay’s head coach have any animosity with his former co-worker as the two teams prepare to play one another this weekend?

Not really, no.

“Kyle’s a great friend of mine. … I haven’t talked to him in a while, [but] it’s just part of the business [and] you start kind of getting into your own routine,” LaFleur said. “But yeah, absolutely, I hold no ill will toward him.”

“It is what it is,” LaFleur said of the 49ers’ efforts to woo Rodgers. “Like, I understand. He’s trying to do whatever he thinks he needs to do for his football team. He’s got a responsibility to everybody in that organization, and if there’s an opportunity, I don’t hold that against him. So that will have no effect on our relationship.”

If LaFleur is telling the truth (and to be fair, “it is what it is” is doing a lot of work here), then all that matters is that Rodgers is still in Green Bay and both teams are vying to get back to the NFC Championship Game, which they met at in 2019, with Shanahan’s Niners winning and advancing to the Super Bowl. The outcome of this weekend’s game won’t get either of them there just yet, but it’ll give one of them a slightly better start to work from.

[ESPN]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.