Aaron Rodgers admitted he was surprised star receiver Davante Adams left the Green Bay Packers, but insisted they would be "in the mix" again this season even without a first-round replacement from the NFL Draft.
With two first-round picks in Las Vegas, the Packers seemed certain to break their 20-year drought and take a receiver on day one, but general manager Brian Gutekunst decided against it.
There is a deep talent pool of receivers in the 2022 class, but instead Green Bay built on defence with Georgia duo Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt.
A rift between Gutekunst and Rodgers caused by the team drafting a QB instead of a receiver almost saw the now four-time MVP leave Green Bay last summer.
Now the relationship has turned full circle with the QB involved in discussions about team deicisions, and backing the GM to get it right.
Packers opt against drafting first-round receiver
That includes the decision not to take a receiver in the first round, with Gutekunst optiong not to trade up then not seeing better value towards the end of round one.
"There was a couple (receivers of interest), there was a few," said Gutekunst. "They're really good players. At the same time I think you've got to look at the asking price and does that make sense?"
Rodgers was on the Pat McAfee Show while the NFL Draft was taking place, and now he's on the same page with Gutekunst he backed the team to still be Super Bowl contenders without a first-round receiver.
"I'm sure Packer nation will be wondering why we didn't take a receiver or trade up but at this point," Rodgers told McAfee.
"You've just got to have some faith in the organization and faith that whoever we bring for the rest of this draft, I'm going to put in the time to make it work with those guys and we're going to find a way in Matt's offense to be successful - like we always have.
"It's not going to be any different this year, we're going to be in the mix."
Rodgers thought Adams would stay in Green Bay
Rodgers did admit that he thought signing his new deal would help the team to keep Adams, who joined the Las Vegas Raiders even though Green Bay offered him the same contract.
And the 38-year-old admits that losing his favorite receiver is a big blow.
"It was a little surprising with Davante," Rodgers admitted. "Obviously when I made my decision, I was still thinking he was going to come back.
"I was very honest with him about my plans and my future and where I saw my career going, as far as how many years I want to play.
"But I felt like he was going to be back, didn't obviously turn out that way. But that's a big hole to fill."
Would the 49ers trade Deebo Samuel to Green Bay?
Speaking for the first time about the departure of Adams, Rodgers says that Green Bay had been in the mix for some of the big free agent receivers, but understands the complexities of getting those deals done.
"There's a lot of things that happen that surprise you, even still," Rodgers added.
"I thought that based on the number that we offered Davante and being able to play with me for a few more years would make a difference, but in the end I think he was ready to move on.
"It's a tough business. There's not a lot of teams that probably want to trade receivers to Green Bay.
"So I think we're probably at the back of the line for a lot of these teams.
"I feel like we've been in the mix but does San Francisco really want to trade Deebo Samuel to us?"
Rodgers having his say in team affairs
Head coach Matt LeFleur was texting Rodgers throughout the draft process, while Gutekunst seems to be involving Rodgers a lot more in team strategy, making the quarterback more comfortable about their chances of success.
The general manager seems happy with the input their star player has too.
"Aaron he's unbelievable," Gutekunst said. "Our communication, where we were and where we are now, I would say is night and day. I'm very appreciative of that.
"He was here last week for a day and we certainly spent some time talking about our team and where we thought we might be heading.
"That input, that conversation is always welcome and certainly valuable to me."
Rodgers has still never had a first-round receiver drafted for him in his career, and the Packers won't force a pick for one if they see better value elsewhere.
"I don't think we have to," Gutekunst said. "I think there's some really good receivers left in this draft and we'll kind of see how it plays out. We have nine picks left, so we've got a lot of ammunition.
"Whether we stick and pick or move around, we'll kind of see how that goes."