If QB Aaron Rodgers left the Packers in the offseason the 49ers were his “first choice.”

If QB Aaron Rodgers left the Packers in the offseason the 49ers were his "first choice."

Sixteen years ago, the San Francisco 49ers passed on hometown hero Aaron Rodgers in order to choose Alex Smith with the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL draught. Rodgers and the 49ers both planned to make amends this offseason.

If QB Aaron Rodgers left the Packers in the offseason the 49ers were his “first choice.”

Rodgers’ “first preference” as a trade destination when he sought to leave the Green Bay Packers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. When 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan contacted Packers coach Matt LaFleur, he was told flat out that Rodgers was unavailable. We’ve all heard the long story that followed from there. The 49ers swiftly modified their strategy, putting all of their chips in the middle of the table and betting on Trey Lance to be their future quarterback. The Packers and Rodgers played chicken all offseason, with retirement rumours and dalliances with hosting Jeopardy creating the most juicy NFL story of the summer.

Rodgers eventually reported to Packers camp after the team granted him some concessions that give him greater control over his destiny. The 49ers’ pursuit of Rodgers appeared to strain LaFleur and Shanahan’s friendship, which was close in coaching circles. In a meeting with media on Wednesday, LaFleur disputed that the schism still exists. LaFleur told reporters, “Kyle is a great friend of mine.” “Absolutely, I bear no grudge against him.” “I understand,” LaFleur continued, “he’s trying to do whatever he believes he needs to do for his football club.” “He has a responsibility to everyone in that organisation, and I don’t hold that against him if the opportunity arises. So, no, it won’t affect our relationship in any way.”

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