Training camp is closing in and the biggest NFL storyline is the future of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Fresh off a win in “The Match” over Tom Brady, everyone is wondering if the reigning NFL MVP will play for the Packers in 2021.
While drama between the two sides initially started after the Jordan Love selection, things escalated this spring. Rodgers wanted a long-term deal, one that would ensure he finished his NFL career as the Packers’ quarterback. Instead, Green Bay refused. The front office’s decision was the final sign of a recurring theme the All-Pro saw from top personnel.
Rodgers sat out mandatory minicamp just a few months after requesting a trade. The reigning NFL MVP remains frustrated about the organization’s culture and the front office’s focus on building for the future rather than taking a win-now approach.
The 37-year-old threatened retirement, wanted to become the full-time Jeopardy!, and briefly weighed opting out of the 2021 season. It led to increased speculation that the player known for holding a grudge could sit out this fall, but the sentiment seems to be changing.
ESPN’s NFL insider Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday on SportsCenter, via Bleacher Report, there is a ‘slightly growing sense’ around the NFL that Rodgers rejoins the Packers for the upcoming season. Fowler added that of the 12 people he spoke to, more than half believe Rodgers returns soon.
This always seemed to be the likeliest outcome. Rodgers desperately wants to get out of Green Bay and it’s evident he has zero interest in staying with this organization for much longer. But the Packers hold all the cards and despite efforts from other clubs, Green Bay isn’t trading its franchise quarterback this year.
That leaves a three-time MVP with a decision. Either he sits out the entire season, missing an opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl, and loses out on $30-plus million for the sake of pride. Alternatively, he can agree to play for Green Bay this season to make one last run and they’ll agree to move him next spring.
- Aaron Rodgers stats (2021): 4,299 passing yards, 48 touchdowns, 121.5 passer rating, 8.2 ypa, 70.7% completion rate
Given Aaron Rodgers is one of the most competitive players in the NFL and has strong ties with his coaches and teammates, who continue supporting him, taking the field in 2021 is making the best out of a bad situation.
The Packers came one play short of beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game and advancing likely would have meant a Lombardi Trophy. Running it back this fall, Rodgers is the only hope this team has at competing.
Expect Rodgers to take the field Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints with Love as his backup. After the season wraps up, Green Bay will trade its future Hall of Famer and begin a new era.