The Green Bay Packers fell to another disappointing playoff exit well short of Super Bowl contention. The loss has quickly shifted the dialogue toward Aaron Rodgers‘ future plans. Rodgers has already stated he doesn’t want to be part of any potential rebuild, but his former teammate Greg Jennings believes the star quarterback is delivering a firm message to the franchise.
Aaron Rodgers voices he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild in Green Bay
The Packers let another prime opportunity at a Super Bowl bid slip through their grasp after a disappointing divisional-round loss to the 49ers.
The defeat sends Green Bay tumbling into the offseason, focused entirely on Rodgers’ future. Before the three-time MVP heads into another heavily-scrutinized next several months, he laid out that he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuilding process.
“There’s obviously a lot of decisions to be made,” Rodgers said via The Associated Press. “There’s a lot of players whose futures are up in the air, so definitely it’ll be interesting to see which way some of those decisions go. But I’ll have some conversations with (general manager) Brian (Gutekunst) in the next week or so and get a little bit more clarity and think about my own future and how much longer I want to keep doing this.”
Rodgers is coming off another MVP-caliber campaign that guided the Packers toward securing the NFC’s top playoff seed. Green Bay likely sat a special teams’ miscue away from moving to the NFC championship game for the third straight year.
At age 37, Rodgers holds no interest in tearing it all down to rebuild a team for the long haul. There is no certainty he will continue to play at an elite level through that process. However, one of his former teammates believes he sent the Packers a different message.
Former Packers star Greg Jennings dissects Aaron Rodgers’ comments about a potential Green Bay rebuild
If the last several months have proven anything, Rodgers wants to finish his career on his terms.
He isn’t looking to bow out of Green Bay like Brett Favre unceremoniously but instead use his leverage to shape and mold the team to his liking. During an appearance on FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Monday, former Packers’ two-time Pro Bowl wideout Greg Jennings believes that Rodgers’ comments gave the franchise a direct message.
“Well, I didn’t make too much of it,” Jennings said. “I get what he’s talking about and he’s specifically looking at his side of the ball, but defensively, they’re not close to being in a rebuild. Offensively could they lose some pieces? Yeah, but he’s making this statement because he understands this is what I want back. He’s basically telling the Packers that these are a few pieces he needs to have before he makes a decision.”
Jennings added that Rodgers’ previous remarks about his relationships in Green Bay are critical for the franchise to keep certain players aboard.
“If we go back and listen to some of his previous statements. it’s about relationships,” Jennings said. “‘The relationships that I have here. The relationships that have been built.’ Those relationships start with guys like Davante Adams. Whatever the case may be you bring him back. Whether that’s the tag or signing him long-term. Robert Tunyan. He’s spoken these names up. He’s basically telling the Packers these are the couple of pieces I got to have.”
With the Packers expected to be more than $40 million over the salary cap, the team will likely bring back Davante Adams on the franchise tag while Robert Tunyan is heading into free agency. Green Bay will have much roster change ahead, but it’s clear what Rodgers wants.
Pressure is on the Packers to restructure the roster
Unlike last offseason, Rodgers has already voiced that he won’t drag along his decision-making process concerning his future.
That alone puts pressure on the Packers to quickly get the ball rolling in reshaping the roster for the 2022 season. Their offseason efforts must begin with keeping Adams in Green Bay for the long haul. The star wideout will have the franchise tag placed on him valued at potentially north of $20 million for next season.
Beyond that, it’s too early to tell if both sides can work toward agreeing on a long-term contract. Meanwhile, Rodgers likely wants more help at wide receiver beyond Adams as the team hasn’t had another star wideout for quite some time.
The 37-year-old’s primary desire is to stay with the Packers, but if his desired parameters are not met, much change truly lies ahead.