Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst’s first priority will be making Aaron Rodgers the highest-paid player in the league.
But after he secures the present for the Packers, his history there means he’s always going to be aware of how important it is to secure the future.
The Packers have been competitive for generations primarily because they’ve had MVP-level quarterbacks, and they kept the pipeline stocked behind them to have surplus to flip.
There’s no immediate need to replace the 34-year-old Rodgers, but there wasn’t an immediate need to replace Brett Favre when Rodgers fell into their laps in the 2005 NFL Draft.
“I don’t think I’m thinking out that far right now,” Gutekunst said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “But yeah, I know what you’re saying.”
Rodgers was able to sit for three years, which made for an easier transition for him, if not an awkward one for Favre.
So with five quarterbacks possibly going in the first round, there comes a point in the evaluation when Gutekunst at least has to consider it, since he was a scout with the Packers when Ted Thompson pulled the trigger on Rodgers.
“I’ll say this: It’s nice seeing the experience of going from one [quarterback] to the next, seeing that happen and the way it was handled,” Gutekunst said. “It’s nice being part of that.”
The other thing the Packers have been able to do is parlay that stability at the top and frequent mid-round picks into a revolving cast of backups, some of which they have traded for other things. But whether they start the process for a starter this year or in the future, it’s a decision Gutekunst is going to have face at some point in his five-year contract.