Matt LaFleur mixes messages trying to address Jaire’s suspension

Matt LaFleur mixes messages trying to address Jaire's suspension

The Jaire Alexander suspension dropped like a bomb during one of the most important weeks of the season for the Green Bay Packers. When general manager Brian Gutekunst announced the decision, he said it was related to the incident in Charlotte, when Jaire Alexander decided by his own to participate in the coin toss — and almost made a mistake.

 

 

During his press conference, though, head coach Matt LaFleur went a step beyond — and it was a strange manifestation all around. First, LaFleur said that it was more than one thing, and not only the incident before the game. But also said that every action has a reaction.

 

 

“It’s never for one thing. But like I said, I think there’s a lot of lessons along the way from everybody involved,” LaFleur stressed. “Hopefully we learn from them. I think we will. I think there’ll probably be better communication moving forward. And like I said, I think Ja’s gonna be here a long time. He’s a hell of a player.”

In fact, it’s not usual for NFL teams to take what LaFleur classified as “drastic measures” because of one thing, especially in a week where the Packers play their season’s fate against the Minnesota Vikings. But Jaire’s relationship with the Packers have been growing strange since last year.

 

 

In 2022, Alexander criticized Joe Barry’s scheme. This year, there was the shoulder injury controversy, when he missed six weeks after not being placed on injured reserve.

Matt LaFleur mixes messages trying to address Jaire's suspension

LaFleur, though, said the suspension has nothing to do with the cornerback’s absence.

 

 

“It’s been a frustrating year for him,” LaFleur added. “I want to make sure this is perfectly clear: This has nothing to do with that, with not being able to play. I mean, it’s well documented. He’s been battling through and so it has nothing to do with that. Every action could potentially have a consequence for it. And like I said, I’m just looking forward to getting him back next week, and we’ll all learn from it, and we’ll all move forward.”

 

 

After the game, Jaire Alexander explained his action by saying that he thought coach LaFleur didn’t know he was from Charlotte. On Wednesday, LaFleur had to explain his thought process to determine who the captains would be, and why Alexander wasn’t one of them.

Matt LaFleur mixes messages trying to address Jaire's suspension

 

 

“There’s a lot of reasons. When you go through and you determine who a captain is, and certainly, that to me it’s never about being, like, ‘What ability you have as a player’ That has nothing to do with it,” the coach said. “It has everything to do with how you treat the team, how you show up and prepare on a daily basis. And I’m not saying that he was bad in that regard – it’s not about him.”

“I’m just saying what the thought process and what entails the ability to be a captain, and it’s something that we rotate around in terms of who’s a captain and certainly, when a guy has been in and out, it’s hard to anoint them a captain for a game when you’re not sure if they’re going to be available or not.”

Matt LaFleur mixes messages trying to address Jaire's suspension

Future
Publicly, the Packers have reinforced the message that they intend to keep Jaire Alexander beyond this season. He has a $24.364 million cap hit next year, and a trade would make him actually more expensive in 2024 ($27.456 million dead money). He’s under contract with the Packers through 2026.

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