Matt LaFleur: Packers brass 'all on the same page' in wanting Aaron Rodgers back

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After a season filled with wins and melodrama concluded in stunning disappointment Saturday night, Matt LaFleur is ready to run it back in 2022.

The Green Bay Packers' head coach discussed Aaron Rodgers in his season-ending news conference on Monday. He left no wiggle room about his desire for the MVP quarterback to return next season.

"We'd love for him to be a Packer — and be a Packer until the day he decides to retire," LaFleur told reporters.

As for team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and executive vice president Russ Ball? They're all on board.

"Every conversation I've had with Gutey and Russ and Mark, we're all on the same page here," LaFleur said. "So there's no debate."

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 24: Aaron Rodgers #12 talks with Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur during the game against the Washington Football Team at Lambeau Field on October 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green Bay defeated Washington 24-10. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
Matt LaFleur made clear that he wants Aaron Rodgers to return. (John Fisher/Getty Images)

Can Packers convince Rodgers to stay?

Wanting Rodgers back is one thing. Compelling him to stay is another.

Rodgers' dissatisfaction with Packers brass over the course of his career is no secret as evidenced by reports and his own words. He wasn't ready to address his football future amid the shock of Saturday's divisional-round loss to the San Francisco 49ers, telling reporters he'll need time away to find clarity on a decision. Rodgers was clear on one point: He doesn't want to stick around if the Packers can't contend.

"I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing," Rodgers said. "So a lot of decisions in the next couple of months.”

LaFleur addressed that concern directly on Monday.

"There's no plan for a rebuild," LaFleur said. ... "There are ways to move money and make sure we get the bulk of our key contributors back."

Packers face a daunting offseason

Green Bay faces a steep challenge in achieving LaFleur's goal of returning "key contributors." The Packers are projected to start the 2022 offseason more than $40 million over the salary cap, according to overthecap.com. Returning a team that can compete at the same level will require creative accounting from the Packers' front office.

Rodgers' top target Davante Adams is among the key players set to enter free agency. His close relationship with the All-Pro receiver is no secret, and the two have alluded to and even said out loud that their fate with the Packers is linked. Securing Adams' services is a priority in Green Bay.

But a lot more than signing Adams will surely go into Rodgers' decision. Meanwhile, the sting of another disappointing postseason isn't helping matters.

The Packers clearly value Rodgers' MVP talents enough to deal with the baggage that projects as the lasting takeaway from their 2021 season. Now it's up to Rodgers to decide if he can reach the same calculation about the Packers.

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