The return of the NFL is right around the corner. While many of us are looking forward to the highlight reel plays and exciting touchdowns, this time of year also brings on uncertainty for personnel around the league. This was shown in a recent press conference by Packers president Mark Murphy when asked if Head Coach Matt LaFleur and GM Brian Gutekunst had their contracts extended.
#Packers president Mark Murphy wouldn't comment on whether either GM Brian Gutekunst or coach Matt LaFleur have had their contracts extended. He claimed team doesn't announce coaching/GM signings, but Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson extensions were announced in '14 and MM in '11.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) July 25, 2022
This is certainly an eye-raising answer, but not one that gives a true conclusion. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel continued to report that it appeared as if Murphy wanted to say more but held back. It is entirely possible that the negotiations are in the works and there is not much he can say. Even so, he could have better phrased the answer to say they are in the works or that this is the plan for the franchise.
As things currently stand, Brian Gutekunst is in the final year of the five-year contract he signed in 2018. Matt LaFleur is a;sp in the final year of his four-year contract although the franchise has an option for a fifth year in 2023. Both guys have successfully navigated through some interesting situations with Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the franchise during their Packers tenure.
There is no true downside to reinforcing his belief in the organization's top two personnel making football decisions, which makes his response so curious. Regardless, the plan for the Packers will continue to be in the hands of LaFleur and Gutekunst until it is announced otherwise. Murphy certainly could have handled the interaction differently but this is not to say it truly indicates anything.
Update: Rob Demovsky of ESPN provided this clarity on the situation to confirm what was believed to be the case.
As Murphy indicated with his quote, a league source confirmed that LaFleur, Gutekunst and Ball all did contract extensions this offseason and will be part of the organization for years to come. https://t.co/5kWM6UcdZq
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) July 25, 2022