Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are in a stare-down following the quarterback’s trade demand due to concerns over the team’s culture. After sitting out minicamp, the Packers seem ready to make their franchise quarterback make a decision first.
Trouble started brewing in Green Bay last year, when general manager Brian Gutekunst drafted Jordan Love without ever telling Rodgers about the team’s plan to draft his successor. After years of the same front office parting ways with veteran leaders unceremoniously, the future Hall of Fame quarterback grew tired of Green Bay’s operation.
But after winning his third NFL MVP award, proving he could still play at an elite level, Rodgers approached the Packers about a contract extension. Once the team refused, wanting to stick by its planned timeline for Love, the franchise quarterback asked for a trade.
Unfortunately for the 37-year-old, skipping voluntary practices and mandatory minicamp hasn’t changed the Packers’ stance. Every time another team calls, Gutekunst immediately informs them a trade won’t be considered. While it hasn’t stopped a flurry of NFL rumors, Green Bay isn’t budging from its approach.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky appeared on The Rich Eisen Show this week to provide an update on where things stand with Aaron Rodgers. After being informed that former Packers’ executive Andrew Brandt believes Green Bay will either force Rodgers to sit out or play for them in 2021, Demovsky weighed in
“I think there’s a decent chance of that, Rich. Here’s why: If you trade him now, there’s no real difference in the value you’re gonna get than if you trade him in February, March or April next year.”ESPN’s Rob Demovsky on The Rich Eisen Show
Will Aaron Rodgers play in 2021?
If the Packers are determined to keep Rodgers on the roster, the ball is in his court. He wants to become the full-time Jeopardy host, but that is unlikely. While retirement is an option, that decision some with significant financial consequences.
Rodgers is already facing a $95,000 fine for skipping the three-day minicamp, a requirement in his contract. The Packers could offer to waive it, but recent comments from Mark Murphy suggest this franchise isn’t entirely focused on repairing this fractured relationship. With that in mind, even heavier fines are looming the longer Green Bay’s All-Pro passer holds out.
- Green Bay Packers training camp (July): There is a $50,000 mandatory fine for each day missed and it can’t be rescinded.
- Sitting out 2021 NFL preseason: Aaron Rodgers will be fined the equivalent of a game check ($816,000) for each game skipped
- Aaron Rodgers salary (2021): $14.7 million base salary forfeited, Packers can recoup more than $10 million of Rodgers’ signing bonus
Fair or not, fans will side with the organization. While there is a divide in Green Bay, with some believing the organization is at fault, Murphy is already putting out statements to turn the ire towards the former fan favorite. If Rodgers isn’t on the field in Week 1 and the Packers starting losing, emotions will run even higher.
A decision might not be made until August. But with the Packers unwilling to trade Rodgers this season, the reigning NFL MVP faces a choice. He either sits out one of the remaining years of his NFL career and does irreversible damage to his reputation in Green Bay or he takes the field in 2021 and devotes himself to proving Gutekunst and Murphy were wrong.