Why the Aaron Rodgers vs Brian Gutekunst feud is no 'Last Dance'

NFC Championship - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers
NFC Championship - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers

The ongoing drama between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers has taken another turn this week, taking us back to 1990s.

The decade of girl bands, F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Tamagotchi hit the news when it was reported that Rodgers had compared current Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst to infamous Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause.

The recent Netflix documentary Michael Jordan: The Last Dance shone a spotlight on the dysfunctional relationship between NBA superstar Jordan and Bulls GM Jerry Krause.

While on the surface the Rodgers situation does appear similar to the Jordan vs Krause feud, it’s not exactly a fair comparison.

As a Green Bay Packers fan, I wish we had won six NFL championships in eight years and we had the greatest NFL player in the history of the league!

However, this is not the case, but before I write off this comparison as irrelevant, let’s delve deeper into the Krause-Gutekunst comparison.

The General Managers’ careers

Krause was the GM of the Chicago Bulls from 1985 - 2003. During this time the Bulls won six NBA championships.

On the other hand, Gutekunst has been the Packers' GM since 2018. Under his management, the Packers made the NFL Playoffs in 2019 and 2020.

The star players careers: Rodgers-MJ

Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. He is recognized as the greatest basketball player of all time.

Meanwhile, Rodgers has played 16 seasons in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers. He is a three-time MVP and won Super Bowl XLV.

Similarities in the feuds?

There are some similarities between the two feuds. For one, it's two star players in an American major league sport feuding with their respective general managers.

MJ showed little respect to Bulls GM Krause and constantly bullied him with verbal taunts about his height and weight. The fact Rodgers compared Gutekunst to Krause shows he has little respect for the Packers GM.

Krause dismantled the Bulls' championship dynasty and their fantastic squad. Before the 1997/98 season, he told head coach Phil Jackson that he was not renewing his contract. This led to a frustrated Jordan retiring and many on the Bulls roster leaving the franchise.

Since Gutekunst became the GM of the Green Bay Packers in 2018, he has cut many of Rodgers’ friends on the team – Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jake Kumerow.

Differences in the disputes

Green Bay Packers Introduce Matt LaFleur - Press Conference
Green Bay Packers Introduce Matt LaFleur - Press Conference

Now to the distinct differences between the two relationships.

Krause was reportedly upset that Jordan and coach Jackson received all the credit for Bulls' championship wins. He believed that he could create another title-winning dynasty without them.

What happened next? Krause is now famous for breaking up the greatest NBA team in history.

Yes, like Krause, Gutekunst used to be a scout for the franchise he now runs, but the similarities end there.

There is no proof that he is systematically dismantling the Packers roster. In fact, he’s done the opposite.

Under his watch, he brought in star tight end free agent Jimmy Graham to help Rodgers. He has strengthened the Packers’ defense by signing Zadarius Smith, Adrian Amos and Preston Smith.

The Packers GM has also drafted Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander, safety Darnell Savage and guard Elgton Jenkins.

Gutekunst also re-signed running back Aaron Jones, wide receiver Davante Adams and tackle David Bakhtiari to long-term deals. Hardly the work of a guy who wants to break up the team like Krause.

Gutekunst cut Rodgers friends

Sure, he cut some of Rodgers’ old buddies off from the team but they were all on the downward trajectory of their careers. Not one of the players Gutekunst has cut has gone on to have stand-out seasons elsewhere.

The key difference in the dispute is that Gutekunst drafted Rodgers heir to apparent Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft. This reportedly angered the Packers veteran QB and is what many believe to be the reason for the strained relationship.

At no point did Krause draft Jordan’s replacement, yes he thought highly of Toni Kukoc, but he didn’t play MJ's position or pose a real threat to replace him

The final rather LARGE difference is that the Green Bay Packers have publicly said they want Rodgers back and have reportedly offered him a giant contract extension!

Will the madness stop?

I don’t know about you but I’m already exhausted with this supposed Rodgers vs Gutekunst feud. Let’s hope that some sort of agreement can be made soon before Rodgers compares his GM to another infamous 90s character like Dr Evil.

Edited by Shivam Damohe
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