Brian Gutekunst on tanking
The Packers have lost four in a row and just traded away one of their best players and leaders. Brian Gutekunst was asked about tanking. Not specifically whether the Packers are tanking, but whether it happens around the league.
Gutekunst quickly pushed back on that.
"I don't think people tank. I really don't. People make decisions based on their situations, but I don't think anyone in this league tries to tank," he said. "They may look at their situation and think they are building for the future, but they're not tanking. They're not trying to lose."
And that's a fair point.
The Packers certainly aren't trying to lose games. The coaching staff could lose their jobs if they don't win enough games, and players are also playing for their futures. Put enough bad play on tape, and that can impact the opportunities you get in the future, either in Green Bay or elsewhere.
That said, how can trading away a leader like Douglas not have a negative impact on the locker room? Not just for the talent they are losing, but also for the message it sends. Green Bay is admitting it isn't a contender.
It's not tanking. The Packers aren't trying to lose football games. But trading Douglas is a sign this team's focus is on the long-term picture beyond 2023. As tough as it is for fans this season, it's the right decision. Selling at the deadline was a better move than adding another player and taking on the contract.