Aaron Rodgers trade rumors continue to swirl as the reigning NFL MVP remains disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers. While many believe the All-Pro quarterback won’t return to Green Bay, it seems the door might not be closed on a return.
Hours before the 2021 NFL Draft, news broke that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay, frustrated by a lack of aggressiveness from general manager Brian Gutekunst and dissatisfied with the club’s commitment to its future Hall of Famer.
Soon, speculation turned into a growing expectation that Rodgers wouldn’t take another snap for the Packers. Whether the franchise granted his trade request or he had to retire, many believed the 37-year-old was determined to prove a point.
While that might still be the case, it seems the Packers are still holding some confidence that their franchise star will return and this tension can be resolved.
“Yeah, things have quieted down, certainly since draft day. The Packers still hope and believe there’s a chance he’ll be back with them as their starting quarterback this year. The question is, what will that take? There have been conversations between Aaron Rodgers’ camp and the Packers about a new contract. I think that’s interesting, when you look at the Packers and the way they do business, the willingness to do a new contract tells you they’re willing to bend a little bit in Aaron Rodgers’ direction.”NFL insider Dan Graziano on ESPN’s Get Up
Whether Rodgers is traded or not, there won’t be a resolution to this saga for at least another month and it could drag out even longer. But recent NFL rumors and comments from former teammates hint that a return is possible.
Will Aaron Rodgers play for the Packers in 2021?
Rodgers’ issues with the front office aren’t tied to a singular issue. He’s upset they drafted Jordan Love and never kept him in the loop. While general managers like to keep their plans private, the San Francisco 49ers told Jimmy Garoppolo they would be drafting a quarterback and the Minnesota Vikings kept Kirk Cousins in the loop before drafting Kellen Mond.
Gutekunst acknowledged his mistake, but there’s a lot more work to be done. Rodgers wanted to sign a long-term deal this offseason, a contract that would provide him more guaranteed money and would ensure he is the Packers’ quarterback through his age-40 season.
Green Bay initially refused, only offering a restructured contract. At most, it would only ensure that Rogers stayed in Green Bay for the 2022 season, but the franchise could easily move on from him whenever it wanted, Between that and the organization building for the future instead of taking a win-now approach, Rodgers had enough.
Rodgers could retire, forcing the team to start Love or Blake Bortles. But that would cost him nearly $30 million and it would be an end to a legendary career that would always be remembered. It’s likely part of the reason why several of his former teammates have said everything is fixable.
The first step would be a contract extension, which the team is now willing to do. Offering Rodgers a deal that guarantees he will be under center for at least the next three years, keeping Love on the bench for most of his rookie contract, would go a long way.
After that, Green Bay would have to make promises that it would be more aggressive next offseason. There aren’t any big moves to make before the 2021 season, but the Packers’ roster is already capable of competing for a Super Bowl. If that commitment is made, it could be what Rodgers is looking for.
The Packers have a chance to fix this problem, it’s just going to take a lot of work. With legacies and the pursuit of a Lombardi Trophy on the line, it now seems more possible that Rodgers stays in Green Bay.