Brian Gutekunst: Packers to become more aggressive in free agency

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In his first day on the job, Brian Gutekunst said all the right things to satisfy Packers fans.

“I’ll lead in my own personality, probably a little bit more aggressive in certain areas,” Gutekunst said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “We’re not going to leave any stone unturned in every avenue of player acquisition.”

Gutekunst replaces Ted Thompson as General Manager, and Thompson’s history with free agency is well documented. The former G.M., who remains as senior adviser to football operations, only occasionally used free agency to improve the roster.

Under Gutekunst, the Packers will continue building through the draft, using that as the foundation of the team, but they will take a more aggressive approach in free agency.

Green Bay made it to the NFC Championship Game in the 2014 and 2016 seasons and appears within an improved defense of getting back to the Super Bowl. Free agency seemingly would speed up the process.

“Our foundation is going to be the draft, but [free agency] is an absolute must as an accessory piece,” Gutekunst said, via Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com. “We’re not going to be able to sign every player, [but] we want to be in the know of everything that’s going on. We have to be prepared to pull the trigger.”

Gutekunst’s background is college scouting as he spent the first 13 years of his NFL career as an area scout and four more as the Packers’ director of college scouting before he became director of player personnel in 2016. But he plans to supplement the roster with veteran players, which excited the staff when he told them Monday. It also should excite the team’s core players and its fans.

20 responses to “Brian Gutekunst: Packers to become more aggressive in free agency

  1. First words out of his mouth he’s taking a shot at the last guy, who’s still employed with the team. Expected in-fighting from a mediocre team on the decline.

  2. We could have made the playoffs and fallen short of the Super Bowl again, or had this happen. Missing the playoffs this year might be the best thing for us Packer fans, because the team won’t be held back by Thompson and Capers anymore. Things are finally looking up!

  3. Brian will do a great job…Has put in valuable time, been around the game all his life. Good luck Brian and the Packers!!

  4. crownofthehelmet says:
    January 8, 2018 at 3:22 pm
    First words out of his mouth he’s taking a shot at the last guy, who’s still employed with the team. Expected in-fighting from a mediocre team on the decline.

    /////

    Actually the first things out of his mouth included thanking Ted Thompson. Why let the lack of facts get in the way of your bias rant?

    as far as mediocre team on the decline, I think you saw the team hit bottom as far as they are concerned and will turn this around quite quickly.

  5. Seems to be saying the things that the fans have clamored for. It either works or it doesn’t. Common sense seems to indicate using FA as a means to build veteran depth is a good idea, but I’m not an NFL exec – just a fan.

    One things for sure, the NFC North is getting way more competitive. MN seems solid top to bottom, GB has finally accepted that a little change may have been necessary to move forward, CHI seems to be taking the Rams approach of trying to find a young wunderkind to tutor their high-value QB asset… Even my Lions refused to accept mediocrity at 9-7.

  6. mj323 says:
    January 8, 2018 at 3:23 pm
    We could have made the playoffs and fallen short of the Super Bowl again, or had this happen. Missing the playoffs this year might be the best thing for us Packer fans, because the team won’t be held back by Thompson and Capers anymore. Things are finally looking up!
    ______________

    They forgot to address the real problem. Mike McCarthy (and his playcalling)

    Rodgers’ athleticism and arm talent make up for the poor play calling. He extends plays and makes incredible throws game in and game out. But, we’ve seen the Packers look utterly terrible w/o Rodgers. Put that on the ‘QB whisperer’, (probably self proclaimed) Mike McCarthy.

  7. Haters a month ago: Packers will never be competitive again until they fire TT and DC.

    Haters now: Packers are a sinking ship. Schism. On the decline.

    Can’t win.

  8. “Missing the playoffs this year might be the best thing for us Packer fans, because the team won’t be held back by Thompson and Capers anymore. Things are finally looking up!”

    I am a Packers fan, but am willing to be that guy, for the good of the franchise. The team was held back by their head coach more than anyone else. He should’ve been the first to go. Instead, it seems they gave him even more power. We are still stuck with him as HC, and by extension have Hundley as our top backup QB. It’s hard to get excited about the future. We shall see.

  9. What else was he going to say?

    The refusal of TT to use all available avenues to improve the team was glaringly exposed this season.

    The few times he explored FA, usually had lackluster results.

    If Gutekunst can get hit on only half of his FA signings, it will be a huge improvement.

    That said, Murphy said at the start of the interview process that the new GM would have the power to hire/fire the HC.

    Now he has the HC reporting directly to him, leaving the GM powerless over the HC.

  10. Here’s an idea for all the MM haters… Perhaps MM refused to pull Hundley because TT refused to go get a veteran after AR went down… TT was likely forcing MM (through inaction) to show TT that his drafted QB was a bust. Perhaps MM was putting the screws to TT because he was tired of working with rookies that don’t know the laces go out? Perhaps MM saw that this was an opportunity to rid himself of the crustiest, moldiest GM in football???

  11. im thinking McCarthy was only given a short extension to get through this transition. McCarthy has publicly questioned roster moves and is probably blaming Thompson for talent. now TT is gone, McCarthy has a chance to prove that he was right, and if quality of play doesnt go up, McCarthy will be gone in a year.

  12. “Here’s an idea for all the MM haters… Perhaps MM refused to pull Hundley because TT refused to go get a veteran after AR went down… TT was likely forcing MM (through inaction) to show TT that his drafted QB was a bust. Perhaps MM was putting the screws to TT because he was tired of working with rookies that don’t know the laces go out? Perhaps MM saw that this was an opportunity to rid himself of the crustiest, moldiest GM in football???”

    I don’t agree. MM had 3 years of working with Hundley – definitely not a rookie – and always said Hundley was prepared, always spoke highly of him. If he wanted to stick it to TT, he’d at some point say that Hundley was terrible and then play Callahan to show that he was terrible too, thereby showing that TT left him without a capable backup. He didn’t do that, he stuck by Hundley, continued to praise him, and to this day says Hundley played well. BTW – I am not a MM hater. I think he is a good man who tries hard, but without HOF QB play is not cut out for this line of work.

  13. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    January 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm
    Packer fans after AR went down: “we will be the Super Bowl favorites in 2018-19!”
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////

    I think you might be referring to me. What I actually said was; “No matter what the Vikings do in this postseason, including winning the SuperBowl, the Packers will still be rated ahead of them in the preseason polls next year.”

    Watch and see.

  14. How will he get any good free agents to come to Green Bay when it’s their last choice?

  15. stellarperformance says:
    January 8, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    What I actually said was; “No matter what the Vikings do in this postseason, including winning the SuperBowl, the Packers will still be rated ahead of them in the preseason polls next year.”

    Watch and see.
    __________

    Well, you have that going for you, I guess. Enjoy your preseason polls. They’re always good for a laugh when you go back to look at them after the season ends.

  16. djvh2 says:
    January 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I don’t agree. MM had 3 years of working with Hundley – definitely not a rookie – and always said Hundley was prepared, always spoke highly of him. If he wanted to stick it to TT, he’d at some point say that Hundley was terrible and then play Callahan to show that he was terrible too, thereby showing that TT left him without a capable backup. He didn’t do that, he stuck by Hundley, continued to praise him, and to this day says Hundley played well. BTW – I am not a MM hater. I think he is a good man who tries hard, but without HOF QB play is not cut out for this line of work.

    ==========================================

    I understand your point, and I can see that view. However, TT has been notorious for not getting rid of a bust. Remember Justin Harrell? MM and DC wanted him gone, but it took 5 years of no play (and horrible play when he did) to be rid of him.

    As far as what MM says about Hundley, a leader can’t just come out and blast his BUQB in the media and kill his confidence… and even afterward, if he did, he would lose the respect of every player and coach in the locker room and his future bosses before he’s ever hired… So c’mon man.

    And as far as being a good play-calling coach is concerned, I don’t know if you watched the run up to the SB, but we had to win out the last 4 and play every playoff game on the road… and MM did some seriously cerebral coaching… it was good play calling and good coaching. The difference was that we had quality players like DD an Findley as well as a great o-line. And on D we had CM3, Woodson, Ryan Pickett, Tramon Williams, and a rookie Sam Shields. We had players man, that wasn’t all ARod… again, C’mon man!

    No disrespect to you either… I appreciate you very intelligent comment. It’s a refresher in this place

  17. Free agency is a big gamble and needs to be handled very carefully! (See Slacker Bennett). Without Reggie White the Packers wouldn’t have won a Super Bowl at that time!

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