As the drama unfolds between reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers, what we see happen this offseason will be telling.
That begins with mandatory minicamp next Tuesday. Should Rodgers remain away from the team, he’s looking at a $93,000 fine from the organization. For someone who has earned an estimated $240 million over his career, this seems to be chump change. Given that Rodgers has already forfeited $500,000 in bonuses by missing the early portion of Green Bay’s offseason workouts, this is magnified further.
With that said, it’s all about optics. The 37-year-old Rodgers seems to be dead seat on forcing a trade from the Packers. Further absences during the offseason will add another layer to this.
Will Aaron Rodgers report to minicamp?
Does Green Bay’s brass believe Rodgers will show up for the start of mandatory minicamp next week? Head coach Matt LaFleur doesn’t seem too confident.
“I don’t know,” LaFleur told reporters Wednesday when posed with the question, via ESPN. “We’ll see come Tuesday.”
The head coach went on to note that he can’t really provide much more to the media.
“I’ve got nothing to update on that situation, and you guys all know how we feel about it,” LaFleur continued.
This all comes with both sides firming up their stances. Rodgers just recently took to the media to question the culture within the Packers’ organization. Meanwhile, embattled Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has made it clear Rodgers will not be dealt this offseason.
As of right now, Rodgers’ primary issue with the Packers stems from their decision to trade up for fellow quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s also unhappy about the lack of a long-term financial commitment from the organization and player personnel decisions he has not be involved in.
How can the Green Bay Packers salvage their relationship with Aaron Rodgers?
There’s one win-now move Green Bay could make that might change how the reigning NFL MVP feels about the organization. That would include going out there and trading for seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones, who will be dealt here soon.
Unfortunately, this would run contrary to Gutekunst’s MO as the Packers’ general manager since taking over that role back in 2018. It would also require salary cap gymnastics, likely including a restructure of Rodgers’ contract. Said move would link the future Hall of Fame quarterback to Green Bay from a financial perspective beyond the 2021 season.
Short of acquiring Jones in a blockbuster trade, it seems like Rodgers will continue in his attempt to force his way from the Packers. Continues absences during offseason programs coupled with public criticism of the organization might force Green Bay’s hands here. Time will tell on that front.
For now, it seems clear that Rodgers will not be on hand for mandatory minicamp next week. What happens after that is anyone’s best guess. Things should intensify the closer we get to the 2021 season.