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As Aaron Rodgers relaxes in Hawaii, NFL rumors are flying about whether or not he will play for the Green Bay Packers in 2021. While Week 1 is months away, there seems to be a possibility the reigning NFL MVP isn’t on the field against the New Orleans Saints.
Green Bay is doing whatever it can to repair a fractured relationship with its future Hall of Fame quarterback. The 37-year-old requested a trade this offseason, following the organization’s initial refusal to sign him to a long-term extension.
Once general manager Brian Gutekunst and president Mark Murphy wouldn’t commit to the All-Pro passer, only offering to restructure his current deal, it seemed to be the final straw. Rodgers skipped voluntary OTAs, missing out on a $500,000 bonus, and opened the door for Jordan Love to get the first meaningful reps in his NFL career.
The Packers are still hoping the situation could be resolved, but there is a lot of work that must be done. Rodgers isn’t happy with the organization and even if he receives the contract he is looking for, that might not be enough. With the pressure intensifying in Green Bay, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora thinks Rodgers will drag things out and it could stretch into Week 1.
“I suspect he doesn’t take his foot off the proverbial neck of Mark Murphy and Co. without exerting maximum force. And a big part of me expects Rodgers to bleed this into September to try to get out of town.”CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora on Aaron Rodgers’ future with Packers
Will Aaron Rodgers play in Week 1?
It’s one thing for Rodgers to spend time with his fiancee this summer, spending more free time in tropical locations. It would come at a significant cost for the veteran quarterback and that’s even before the regular season kicks off.
- Mandatory minicamp (June 15-17): Green Bay Packers can fine Rodgers $95,877 for missing the three-day session.
- Green Bay Packers training camp (July): There is a $50,000 mandatory fine for each day missed and it can’t be rescinded.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
But if Rodgers opts to drag this into Week 1, with Love stepping in as the starter, it could come at an even bigger roster. The ramifications go beyond losing out on his game check and a huge blow to his legacy. If he retires, pulling a Carson Palmer, Green Bay could go after its quarterback for nearly $30 million.
There is a lot at stake for both sides, with the Packers’ Super Bowl hopes resting entirely on No. 12 taking the field. No one, except Green Bay’s opponents, wins if there is a holdout.
That’s why it comes as no surprise recent reports have come out about contract discussions. Rodgers wants a deal that will allow him to spend the next three seasons with the Packers and the organization doesn’t want to lose a three-time MVP winner.
It’s possible that Rodgers drags this out into the season or Green Bay caves and trades him. But the likeliest outcome is both sides finding common ground on a new contract, with Rodgers taking the field in 2021 and the Packers competing for a Super Bowl.