The Green Bay Packers appear to be in danger of losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams. Adding to that storm of speculation is a matching image both Rodgers and Adams posted to Instagram, which depicts Chicago Bulls legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Shout out to The Athletic‘s Matt Schneidman for documenting the latest twist in a Packers offseason full of drama:
Detractors might call this coordinated social media effort cryptic, passive-aggressive, petty or downright immature. Those who support Rodgers probably can’t blame Adams for joining in. After all, if he’s not going to have the reigning NFL MVP throwing him passes going forward, why would he stick around in Green Bay?
But it runs deeper than that. Allow yours truly to translate what’s really going on here.
Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams are making yet another reference to The Last Dance
It’s been leaked that Rodgers has referred to Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst as “Jerry Krause” in group text messages with teammates.
Krause was the architect of the Bulls’ roster during the MJ-Scottie heyday. Although that did lead to six championships, according to The Last Dance documentary, Krause was constantly seeking more clout and recognition for his role in those NBA Finals victories.
Now, the infamous quote Krause allegedly uttered was somewhat distorted in the doc, probably for dramatic effect. Sporting News‘ Mike DeCourcy clarified that Krause said, “Players and coaches alone don’t win championships; organizations do.“
The point still stands regardless. Krause gets a bit of a bad rap, because at least his moves resulted in championships. Gutekunst has proven very little to date.
Green Bay’s brass appears to worship at the altar of the organizational monolith. The reality is the Packers have gone on the luckiest run of quarterbacks in recent NFL memory — maybe in league history — in transitioning from Brett Favre to Rodgers.
Despite the consistent greatness from the most important position in sports thanks to Favre and Rodgers, the Cheeseheads have only two Super Bowls to show for it. That’s where Rodgers and Adams take issue.
The darker side of an MJ-Pippen analogy for Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams
We all know Michael Jordan retired during his prime just after winning his third straight NBA title. He eventually came back after trying his hand at pro baseball. Maybe the Packers’ dynamic duo is hinting at something similar here.
It’s impossible not to see that as potential subtext here. Multiple sportsbooks have adjusted their odds, or taken down NFC North markets entirely, anticipating that Rodgers will announce his retirement sometime within the next week.
Let’s just not spend too much time thinking about this, hope it’s not the case, and move on to the larger point.
It’d behoove everyone involved to make Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams a package trade deal
To avoid a scenario where Rodgers walks away from the game after an absolutely electrifying MVP season, which helps no one, putting Rodgers and Adams together in a trade is the best outcome for everyone involved.
Even this IG post is implying that Rodgers and Adams are sticking together. How that manifests depends on how well Green Bay plays ball and finally gives in to two players who clearly don’t want to be there anymore.
The Packers’ biggest superstars probably feel like they can win at the rate of MJ and Pippen, but are being held back. After all, NBA rosters are much smaller than those of the NFL, so it takes a little more nuance and aggression to assemble a deep-enough team for a Super Bowl run.
Think about the possibilities of Rodgers and Adams going elsewhere in a package deal. Everyone would be a winner.
Some team would give Green Bay a huge haul, which would increase the front office’s chances of not looking like total idiots, decrease the bust factor for Rodgers’ heir, Jordan Love, and likely give the Packers the draft picks they so preciously covet.
Meanwhile, any team that could pull off a trade for Rodgers and Adams would be making a franchise-altering move that’d kick their fan base into an unprecedented frenzy. Hype levels would be through the roof, revenues and ticket sales would explode, and it’d be well worth the king’s ransom paid.
Also think about the NFL at large. A Rodgers-Adams tandem trade would possibly be the biggest pro football transaction of all-time. It’d empower players even more to alter the course of the league landscape, which is frankly how it should be.
Rodgers and Adams have had plenty of success in Green Bay, put in years of hard work, and have discovered the Packers are content to be good enough, but not great. They’re too conservative, bottom line.
Come on, Mr. Gutekunst. Give everyone what they want. Cut ties with your stars, look in the mirror, do better with player relations going forward, and set up your hand-picked Rodgers successor to be the third straight legend to quarterback the Packers.