Packers GM confirms trading for Randall Cobb was all for Aaron Rodgers

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The Green Bay Packers wouldn’t have traded for veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb without the insistence from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

General manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed the motivation behind the trade was making Rodgers happy.

“I think that’s a big part of it. Without Aaron, we probably wouldn’t be pursuing that,” Gutekunst said Thursday. “This was a very important thing for Aaron, and that’s why we did it.”

The Packers sent a sixth-round pick to the Houston Texans for Cobb.

Giving up draft capital for an older player – especially after trading up to draft a similar player in Amari Rodgers in the third round of April’s draft – is not a move the Packers would make under normal circumstances.

Cobb, who turns 31 in August, departed Green Bay following the 2018 season. He spent the 2019 season with the Dallas Cowboys and the 2020 season with the Texans.

Cobb is one of Rodgers’ closest friends. The NFL’s MVP made it clear to Gutekunst and the Packers that getting Cobb back would be a big part of him returning to Green Bay.

“We realized this was an important piece for Aaron early on in this thing,” Gutekunst said. “Having Randall Cobb in our building is a positive. What he brings as a player and a person to our locker room is a positive, specifically to our quarterback, which is a very important piece of what we’re trying to accomplish in 2021.

Gutekunst called it a “unique situation” and confirmed he hasn’t relinquished any personnel control to Rodgers, who said repeatedly on Wednesday he wants more input on personnel decisions.

Rodgers said he was hoping to get a “true slot receiver” in the offense. Cobb has been one of the NFL’s most productive slot weapons since entering the league as a second-round pick of the Packers in 2011.

Coach Matt LaFleur said the process of getting Cobb worked into the offense will be “expedited” thanks to his relationship with Rodgers, who was his quarterback for the first eight seasons of his NFL career.

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