Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers stunned the organization this offseason by asking for a trade. With NFL rumors swirling about his preferred landing spot, some recent Packers rumors might make the fans happy.
When the drama between the reigning NFL MVP and the NFC runner-up first went public, many insiders believed a trade was a foregone conclusion. The 37-year-old quarterback tends to be set in his ways and with the threat of retirement to become the full-time Jeopardy! host on the table, he could force his way out.
But the Packers have made it clear they aren’t giving up. Both general manager Brian Gutekunst and CEO Mark Murphy stated their commitment to Rodgers. As Rodgers’ teammates and head coach backed him publicly, the franchise was hard at work trying to mend fences to ensure a return.
It hasn’t stopped NFL teams from calling. Never in league history has the reigning MVP been traded the following offseason, but rival general managers are hoping that changes in 2021. Unfortunately for teams like the Denver Broncos, they might be out of luck.
“From what I understand, they haven’t answered anything. They haven’t engaged, they haven’t answered. I know there have been trade calls, but I don’t believe there’s been any trade talk.”NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on The Pat McAfee Show
Will the Packers trade Aaron Rodgers?
It’s going to take significant work for the Packers to repair this relationship. Rodgers is reportedly dug in on wanting out, but there have been signs of progress recently.
While the rift between Rodgers and Gutekunst really became a problem after the franchise didn’t talk to its future Hall of Famer about the Jordan Love pick, it’s also tied to Rodgers’ contract and the team’s approach every offseason.
Nearing the end of his legendary career, Rodgers wants to finish his career in Green Bay. While he’s under contract for the next three seasons, the structure of his deal allows the Packers to trade him with little financial burden next spring. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection wants an extension, seeking a deal that would guarantee he remains the Packers’ quarterback into his age-40 season.
After initially refusing an extension, Green Bay is now willing to make that long-term commitment. It’s a step in the right direction and the two sides have discussed a deal in recent weeks. The franchise must still make promises that it will be more aggressive in free agency, taking the kind of win-now approach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have with Tom Brady.
For now, everyone is waiting until mandatory minicamp begins in mid-June for real signs of where this relationship is headed. But if the Packers won’t even entertain the thought of a trade and with more than $30 million at stake if he retires, it looks increasingly likely that Rodgers will suit up for Green Bay in 2021.