Matt LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan first worked together in Houston in 2008. They coached together at two other stops before Shanahan and then LaFleur got a head coaching job.
They remain friends today.
For some reason, LaFleur was asked whether a phone call from Shanahan this offseason created a rift between the men. Shanahan talked to LaFleur the eve of the NFL draft, inquiring whether Aaron Rodgers was available.
“Kyle’s a great friend of mine,” LaFleur said after Wednesday’s practice, via Bill Huber of SI.com. “Absolutely, I hold no ill will toward him.”
LaFleur told Shanahan the Packers weren’t trading Rodgers, and the 49ers, who traded three first-round picks to move to No. 3 overall, selected North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. Rodgers eventually decided to return to Green Bay for a 14th season.
“I understand,” LaFleur said. “He’s trying to do whatever he thinks he needs to do for his football team. He’s got a responsibility to everybody in that organization, and if there’s an opportunity, I don’t hold that against him. So, yeah, that will have no effect on our relationship.”
Rodgers, who played at Cal Berkeley, laughed Wednesday when asked whether he thought — or hoped — he would end with the 49ers.
“There were points where I thought anything was possible, definitely, but not a strong possibility,” Rodgers said.