Top things to know from Brian Gutekunst’s press conference

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Zach Kruse
·3 min read
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Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst met with the media for around 16 minutes on Tuesday afternoon.

Gutekunst touched on a number of topics as the Packers prepare for the start of the new league year later this month.

Here is everything to know from the press conference:

Sidesteps J.J. Watt questions

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Gutekunst passed on digging into details on the Packers' pursuit of J.J. Watt, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. He did call Watt a "great player" and confirmed the Packers at least had some introductory interest in figuring out Watt's potential fit in Green Bay. "Whenever those guys become available, we're certainly interested to see if that's a fit with us," Gutekunst said.

Not ruling out tagging Aaron Jones

AP Photo/Mike Roemer

The Packers could use the franchise tag or transition tag to keep Aaron Jones in Green Bay for the 2021 season, even if the team hasn't used either tag often. In fact, the franchise hasn't used the tag since 2010. Gutekunst didn't rule out using one of the tags to keep Jones, the team's Pro Bowl running back who has an expiring contract. "We certainly could. It's something we're working through," Gutekunst said. "It's not a philosophical thing to avoid it, there's usually better ways to go about it. Certainly, I think, as we're getting down the road here over the next week or so, if that becomes the best interest of the Packers, I think we'll do that. At this point, we haven't done that."

Limited, but capable of adding top free agent

AP Photo/Mike Roemer

Gutekunst is aware of the financial speedbumps in place for his team entering free agency, but he doesn't think the Packers' salary cap situation would prevent him from adding a coveted high-end free agent. "I do think if the right particular player is out there, and we think it's the best thing for the Green Bay Packers, we'll be able to do it. We won't be able to do a lot and I do think there are some restrictions, but if the right guy is there, I think we'd be able to do what we need to do." Gutekunst said much of the team's ability to add players in free agency will depend on what they do with their in-house free agents, such as Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley.

Other things

– Gutekunst said the lost reps from the pandemic-challenged college football season will affect the draft and the rookie class of 2021. He said playing in the NFL "takes a lot of reps of being a football player," and those lost reps from 2020 – especially from players who opted out – will be tough to replace. – Gutekunst said the pro days across college football will be very important to this draft process for all teams, including the Packers. – Gutekunst doesn't think the Packers need to change what they're looking for in a defensive player under new coordinator Joe Barry. – Gutekunst wants as much playing time for Jordan Love in this year's preseason as possible. "The more the better." Love didn't get to play in a single game – preseason or regular season – as a rookie.

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