The ongoing drama between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers might be taking another turn. As the biggest storyline of the NFL offseason slowly unfolds, a blockbuster trade now seems even more unlikely.
While Rodgers’ relationship with the organization started deteriorating more than a year ago, it came into the spotlight right before the 2021 NFL Draft. News broke that the reigning NFL MVP wanted, with details about his frustrations with general manager Brian Gutekunst and the franchise’s refusal to take a win-now approach
Green Bay is trying to salvage the partnership with its future Hall of Fame quarterback. Both Gutekunst and CEO Mark Murphy made it clear publicly and to other clubs that a Rodgers trade isn’t on the table. Despite the franchise’s approach, many around the NFL believe a return won’t happen.
While Rodgers has a reputation for holding a grudge and for being stubborn, it seems the Packers might still have a chance to keep their star quarterback.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said on The Rich Eisen Show that he believes it’s more likely than not that Rodgers plays for Green Bay in 2021. Factoring in the potential cost ($25-plus million) of sitting out and the impact on his reputation, Florio believes Rodgers will ultimately take the field for the Packers this fall.
Will Aaron Rodgers play next season?
While there is plenty of debate surrounding Rodgers’ future in Green Bay, there likely won’t be any hints about the direction this saga is headed until June. Similar to the Julio Jones situation, the Packers can only gain cap space if they trade Rodgers after June 1.
But everyone in the organization is firmly against that notion. While Gutekunst is high on Jordan Love, he admitted the 2020 first-round pick isn’t ready to start in an NFL game. Meanwhile, Rodgers’ head coach and teammates are advocating for the front office to convince their quarterback and leader to return.
It’s true that Rodgers digs into his heels and stands by what he believes in, making a return more difficult for the Packers. But based on the information about what caused this fractured relationship, it’s possible things could be fixed.
After initially refusing to offer him a contract extension, the Packers recently presented him with a long-term offer. But Rodgers wants a deal that will let allow him to play into his 40s and assurance that he will be Green Bay’s quarterback for years to come.
If the Packers are willing to do that, it will create cap room. The front office could create additional spending money by signing Davante Adams to an extension, who might not re-sign with Green Bay if Rodgers doesn’t return. With the wallet opened up, the Packers can take some swings on the trade market or in free agency to prove they can be aggressive.