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.