There is no beating around the bush for the Green Bay Packers as it’s crystal clear that Aaron Rodgers wants to play elsewhere. The star quarterback hasn’t budged from his firm position, placing the Packers in a difficult spot. Rodgers could take that a step further with an extremely risky choice.
Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay
The ongoing saga around Rodgers took a drastic turn after reports surfaced that he wants to move on from the Packers.
The star quarterback has headed into unprecedented territory in his illustrious NFL career. He maintains a strong admiration for the team’s fan base and his teammates, but he’s reached an impasse.
“It’s never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan [Love],” Rodgers said during an interview on Kenny Mayne’s final episode of SportsCenter. “I love Jordan. He’s a great kid. Lot of fun to work together. I love the coaching staff, love my teammates. Love the fan base in Green Bay. Incredible 16 years.
“It’s just kind of about a philosophy, you know? And maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go.”
The lingering uncertainty regarding his future due to his contract and Jordan Love’s presence (as much as he denies it) has further fractured the relationship. As the offseason proceeds forward, Rodgers holds a last-ditch effort move that could shake the entire situation.
Aaron Rodgers could pull an insanely risky move to force his way out from the Packers
Rodgers hasn’t budged from his desire to leave the Packers, firmly placing himself into an unfamiliar spot.
The three-time league MVP hasn’t moved a step further toward forcing his way out of Green Bay, but he holds a few options. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Rodgers could push the matter into a tough position if he chose to retire for the 2021 season and return in 2022.
“It would force their hand, the same way Brett Favre’s return in 2008 did, months after he retired and the Packers pivoted to Rodgers — and drafted Brian Brohm in round two and Matt Flynn in round seven,” Florio wrote.
“Presumably, the Packers would give Jordan Love the chance to become the guy they thought he’d be when they traded up in 2020 to draft him, late in round one. Based on his performance in 2021, the Packers either would be fine with Love or they will have made other plans, through free agency, a trade, or the draft.”
The move would require the Packers to proceed with Love or another quarterback next season. Rodgers’ return would be critical as it places a difficult decision on the front office to pay his $14.7 million base salary in 2021.
It’s an extremely risky move for Rodgers, requiring another team to go all in to land him before the 2022 campaign. Much can certainly change, but spending a year away could also significantly impact his performance and ability.
Rodgers certainly holds the option, but it may only be a last-ditch effort if all else fails.
Green Bay holds the decisive leverage
The Packers are well aware of Rodgers‘ strong sentiment, but the front office hasn’t moved toward trading him.
Green Bay remains headstrong in keeping its star quarterback, at least through the 2021 season. Rodgers’ decision to not attend voluntary OTAs and instead go on vacation paints a crystal clear picture that something is wrong.
The 37-year-old wants considerable change, but that won’t arrive solely behind his actions. The Packers have already internally declared that Gutekunst won’t lose his job, which backs Rodgers into a more difficult path.
As the team offseason program moves along, the future Hall of Famer will step more firmly into his holdout or begrudgingly show up. The former route certainly appears quite feasible, but it places him in a dangerous position.
The door is open to fixing the fractured relationship, but there is much that needs to change to make that happen.
Contract courtesy of Spotrac.