LOS ANGELES — Aaron Rodgers and James Jones spent parts of eight seasons together with the Green Bay Packers. Jones left the team for good in 2016. Might Rodgers do the same in 2022? Unlikely, Jones believes, based on conversations he’s had with his longtime friend.
Aaron Rodgers’ relationship with Green Bay Packers is much improved
Rodgers flirted with retirement last summer and only returned when the Packers agreed to certain changes, most notably to his contract. Rodgers has increased power to determine where he plays in 2022, even though the Packers still own his rights.
A big part of his frustration with the organization that drafted him was his relationship with general manager Brian Gutekunst. This is much better now than it was this time last year.
When asked following the Packers’ Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers about how their relationship has changed in the last 12 months, Rodgers replied:
“A lot, you know?” Rodgers said. “A lot honestly. Brian came out and saw me on the West Coast and we had some good conversations. And from the day I got back, I feel like there was earnest decisions on both sides to meet in the middle and communicate. I’m very thankful to be a part of the conversations I was a part of. I feel like my opinion mattered.
“To feel the even deeper and more meaningful support from him and him and [director of football operations] Russ [Ball] and [CEO] Mark [Murphy],” he added. “So that was definitely a special part of the season, to see that relationship grow. I think [he] put together a really nice team. A team that could have won the Super Bowl. And he deserves a lot of credit for some of the moves that he made. Disappointed we couldn’t put it together for him and the organization tonight.”
Will Aaron Rodgers return to Packers in 2022?
Comments like that, plus private conversations with Rodgers, has Jones convinced that the soon-to-be four-time league MVP will be back in Green Bay this fall.
“I think this one is going to be much better than last season,” Jones — now an analyst for NFL Network — told PFN Wednesday. “I think this is going to be a whole lot smoother. I think just having the conversations I have with Aaron, he’s in a really good place, not only with himself but with the organization. I think they’re going to sit down, have some conversations, wherever it might be. I think it’ll happen sooner than later. I definitely think it will be much smoother than it was last year, knowing the relationships and how the relationships have grown.”