Prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Aaron Rodgers had requested a trade from the Green Bay Packers. The relationship between Rodgers and the Packers has appeared to be slowly deteriorating for a while now with a new contract having been discussed previously. What are the latest news and rumors surrounding Rodgers’ situation in Green Bay?
The Packers have reportedly changed their tune about trading Aaron Rodgers during the offseason
According to sources close to Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo, the Packers have changed their mind about trading Rodgers this offseason. Wingo tweeted, “Sources: The Packers reportedly told Aaron Rodgers they were going to trade him in the off season, then backed off. It’s been a bleep show between them ever since. And within the last week Rodgers told the team.. trade or no trade I’m not coming back. Buckle up folks.”
Wingo also added further information around the situation, “Also per sources: as of last night Rodgers was convinced he was headed to San Francisco. Draft day is the best…”
The Packers have re-emphasized their commitment to their quarterback
In a statement, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said, “As we’ve stated since the season ended, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. Aaron has been a vital part of our success and we look forward to competing for another championship with him leading our team.”
Thus, the Packers seem unlikely to be looking to trade Rodgers. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said there is zero chance of Rodgers being traded. However, if Rodgers is truly willing to hold out into training camp and the season, who will blink first? At age 38, will Rodgers be willing to miss an entire season or more? Will the Packers want to enter the 2021 season with a cloud surrounding their QB situation?
Rodgers wants a say in personnel decisions
According to sources close to PFN’s Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline, Rodgers wants to have a say in personnel decisions, including the draft and free agency. Therefore, this situation in Green Bay appears to be about more than just money for Rodgers.
After the Packers drafted Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft, there were a number of rumors that Rodgers was disgruntled. Green Bay has continually failed to add talent in the passing game to surround him.
Could Rodgers follow the path of Tom Brady?
Rodgers was on the opposite end of Brady’s success in Tampa Bay. The way Brady has been treated by the Buccaneers in the past 12 months will have understandably left Rodgers frustrated. When Brady wanted Antonio Brown, the Buccaneers made it happen.
Then, this past offseason, Brady wanted his pass-catching group back together. Again, the Buccaneers made it happen. Seeing a fellow QB receive that royal treatment at a franchise will make any star signal-caller jealous.
Now, can Rodgers follow the path of Brady? If Rodgers can engineer a trade out of Green Bay, he would hold a great deal of power with his new franchise. Not every team will be willing to just hand the keys to their new quarterback, but some would heavily consider his suggestions. A player of Rodgers’ undeniable talent is always going to generate interest and respect if available.
Rodgers wants his contract extended, not restructured
Rodgers has three more years remaining on his contract. When the deal ends, he will be 40 years old. As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported, Rodgers is not looking to simply restructure his current deal. Instead, he is presumably looking for the Packers to commit to him over a longer period of time.
Yet, if that does not come with the ability for Rodgers to have more of a say, even a new contract may not be enough. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that he believes this is about more than a new contract for Rodgers. Glazer tweeted that he thinks Rodgers is “pretty strongly convicted that he doesn’t want to go back to Packers.”
Could Rodgers’ off-field interests mean he walks away from the NFL?
Rodgers just finished a stint as the guest host of the game show Jeopardy. He has made it clear that becoming the permanent host is something that interests him. Furthermore, Rodgers has recently been engaged, potentially altering where he prioritizes football in his life. Hence, Rodgers could walk away from the NFL if there are significant other options off the field.
The situation with Rodgers and the Packers is set to dominate the 2021 NFL Draft weekend. Will the Packers be willing to move on and secure picks in 2021? Or will this story rumble on throughout the summer?
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