Green Bay Packers GM claims team is always in ‘win-now mode’
The Green Bay Packers have already been far more active in free agency than normal. Less than a week into the player movement period, the green and gold have already added four starters, three of whom garnered the type of salary reserved for true impact players.
Clearly, the Packers have operated with a sense of urgency they have traditionally lacked in free agency. Why? The team’s aggressive approach has nothing to do with Aaron Rodgers, 35, slowly aging out of his prime, general manager Brian Gutekunst says. Instead, he insists Green Bay’s haste was more about a standing organizational edict that prioritizes winning.
“No, I don’t think so,” Gutekunst told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky on Thursday when asked if Rodgers’ age was the impetus behind the Packers’ free agency push. “Obviously, this is Green Bay, Wisconsin; we’re in a win-now mode all the time. I thought we needed to add to our defense significantly, and I think these guys will. So, I don’t think it’s any different than it ever has been.”
Green Bay has been especially proactive in hopes of overhauling a defense that finished 22nd in points allowed per game last season. The team signed former Baltimore Ravens pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith to a four-year, $66 million deal; stole underrated safety Adrian Amos from the Chicago Bears with a four-year, $37 million contract; and inked former Washington Redskins edge defender Preston to a four-year, $52 million contract.
The Packers, under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur, also gave guard Billy Turner, formerly of the Denver Broncos, a four-year, $28 million deal.