It wasn’t a joke. But it’s still not happening.
Packers G.M. Brian Gutekunst was asked by reporters on Sunday about the recent effort by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and others to urge the team to bring back linebacker Clay Matthews via Instagram. Gutekunst said that there have been no discussions about that.
It doesn’t mean there definitely won’t be. If it was going to happen, there’s a good chance the Packers already would have at least talked about it.
Rodgers, receiver Randall Cobb, and tackle David Bakhtiari made waves on Instagram by starting the effort to “BRING HIM BACK,” in reference to Matthews. Some dismissed it as a joke, or a precursor to a one-day retirement contract.
The players, we’re told, want him back. Matthews is believed to be interested in coming back. But the Packers, as expected, don’t plan to pursue that possibility.
If it ever were to happen, Gutekunst likely would prefer to wait until after Week One, since the full salary of a vested veteran becomes as a practical matter guaranteed if he’s on the active roster for the first game of the season. Even then, the Packers would have to bump someone off the team in order to put Matthews on it.
It’s unknown whether Rodgers, Cobb, and Bakhtiari have considered that specific aspect of playing pretend G.M. For every player who enters, another player already on the roster must leave.