Friday, August 19, 2022

Packers extend contracts of coach Matt LaFleur, GM Brian Gutekunst and executive VP Russ Ball, per report

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Training Camp

The Packers reportedly extended the contracts of three of the franchise’s key figures this offseason. The team has reached extensions with coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst and executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball, according to ESPN. 

While the terms of the extensions are not yet known, Packers president Mark Murphy expressed confidence when asked about the long-term futures of all three individuals. 

“I’ll just say I’m confident not only Matt and Brian but Russ Ball will continue to be Packers’ employees for years to come,” Murphy said Monday.

Gutekunst’s five-year contract was set to expire after the 2022 season. LaFleur was entering the fourth year of a four-year contract that included a fifth-year option. Ball, who has been with the Packers since 2008, was also at the tail end of his current contract.

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The Packers have won over 69% of their games since Gutekunst replaced Ted Thompson, whose 13-year as Green Bay’s GM included a Super Bowl win at the end of the 2010 season. Green Bay is 39-10 under LaFleur, who owns the most wins by any coach during his first three seasons. The Packers are 2-3 in the playoffs under LaFleur that includes losses in the 2019 and 2020 NFC title games. Green Bay went 13-4 last season before losing to the 49ers — who had defeated them in the 2019 NFC Championship Game — in the divisional round of the playoffs. 

One of the biggest storylines during Gutekunst’s time as Green Bay’s GM was the two-year saga surrounding quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who publicly lauded to have a bigger voice as it related to personnel decisions after the 2020 season. Rodgers, who signed a three-year, $150 million extension this offseason, has credited the Packers’ front office for accommodating his previous requests to have a bigger voice in team-related matters over the past year-plus. 

The 2022 season will be an interesting one for the Packers, who lost All-Pro receiver Davante Adams and two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Za’Darius Smith during the offseason. Despite those losses, Caesars Sportsbook has placed the Packers’ projected win total at 11 games, which is the highest among NFC North teams. 

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