With training camps slated to get going around the NFL in two weeks, the situation surrounding Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers remains unsettled.
Most recently, the reigning NFL MVP noted that he will decide on his future at some point in the next few weeks.
This timeline has to be considered concerning for the Packers after Rodgers pretty much requested a trade earlier in the offseason. It also comes at a time when the Denver Broncos are viewed as odds-on favorites to land Aaron Rodgers in a trade.
Former Broncos legend and Hall of Famer Peyton Manning broached the subject recently, indicating that it’s unlikely Rodgers lands in Mile High City.
“I hope he plays somewhere this year. The fact that Aaron Rodgers might not play this year, I can’t fathom. He’s too good of a player, too fun to watch for the fans. I personally hope it’s in Green Bay. That’s what I see him as. I hope they can make amends and work it out,” Manning said, via Pro Football Talk.
“That is team is so close, if he were to leave there it’d be a major change, obviously, for them. My gut is he’s not coming to Denver. My gut is Denver’s gonna have Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater be their quarterback. At this point, you’ve kind got to know what your plan is. You can’t be having a new quarterback three weeks before the season.”
Manning is on to something here. Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are slated to battle it out for the starting job in camp after the latter was acquired in a trade with the Carolina Panthers. How long can Denver’s brass wait on the Rodgers’ situation to play out, especially considering it’s unlikely Green Bay is going to trade him?
The interesting dynamic here is that Manning’s own history makes him somewhat of an expert on this. The 14-time Pro Bowler spent each of his first 14 seasons in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts. After missing the 2011 season to injury, he ended up signing with the Broncos. Aaron Rodgers has been with the Packers for 16 seasons.
What to make of the Aaron Rodgers situation right now?
Some within the Packers’ organization are hopeful that Rodgers will play this season. Said confidence could stem from the fact that the future first ballot Hall of Famer did not use COVID-19 as a guise to opt out of the 2021 campaign.
Even then, Rodgers has been steadfast in his belief that a change of scenery is needed. He’s unhappy with the direction of the Packers’ organization and was fed up after embattled general manager Brian Gutekunst traded up for fellow quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
At issue here for Rodgers is timing. As Manning noted, it’s getting darn late in the offseason for any team to justify changing things up midstream with a new quarterback. Meanwhile, one of the quarterback’s preferred landing spots is no longer an option after the San Francisco 49ers selected Trey Lance No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The likeliest scenario here is that Rodgers reports at some point during training camp and plays out the 2021 season with the Packers. It is a scenario that would likely include the multi-time NFL MVP playing with another team in 2022. Either way, it’s clear that this situation will be coming to a head here soon.