There’s been a whole lot of talk about the future of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Wisconsin. The reigning NFL MVP played into the notion that he might not be long in Green Bay after their NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in January.
Since then, the Packers’ inaction as it relates to Rodgers’ contract and rumors coming out of Green Bay seem to suggest that Rodgers could be calling another NFL city home in 2022.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst touched on this during his pre-draft press conference with reporters on Monday. Not surprisingly, the front office head seemed to commit to Rodgers for beyond the 2021 season.
“He’s our quarterback for the foreseeable future,” Gutekunst told reporters.
This has been the company line from the Green Bay Packers’ brass since they were eliminated in the NFC Championship Game for a second consecutive season.
Even then, it’s not too difficult to read between the lines here. In lieu of restructuring Rodgers’ contract and creating more cap room for free agency, Green Bay maintained the status quo. In the process, it has an out on the quarterback’s contract following the 2021 season.
Green Bay Packers’ stance on Aaron Rodgers is built-in hyperbole
Right now, the Packers could trade Rodgers next offseason while saving north of $22 million against the NFL salary cap in 2022. If they had opted to restructure his contract, it would have committed the Packers to Rodgers from a financial perspective beyond the 2022 campaign. It also would have enabled the Super Bowl contenders to be more proactive during free agency. That obviously can’t sit well with Mr. Rodgers.
As for the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, he has not been shy about wanting some clarity about his long-term future with the Packers after putting up a career-best performance in 2020. It’s really hard to blame Rodgers for this stance.
The backdrop here is rather obvious. Green Bay traded up for fellow quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s unreasonable to believe that the Packers exhausted that type of draft capital to have Love sit behind Rodgers for three seasons — leading to speculation that one of the best quarterbacks in modern NFL history could be moved next offseason.
Rodgers, 37, is coming off a 2020 campaign that saw him complete 70.7% of his passes for 4,299 yards with 48 touchdowns against five interceptions.
Regardless of the finances, it makes no sense that the Green Bay Packers refuse to commit to him beyond the 2021 season. The comments from Gutekunst with a few days to go before the 2021 NFL Draft does nothing to change that fact.