OTAs are getting ready to conclude this month and Aaron Rodgers remains MIA. That might not seem like a big deal for the Green Bay Packers. OTAs are voluntary after all, right? Except Rodgers, in his entire career dating back to 2005, has never missed them. That should send a clear signal about how serious the situation between the Hall of Fame QB and the organization has become.
The common details are known by now. Rodgers isn’t happy with Brian Gutekunst. He either wants the GM fired or himself to be traded elsewhere. The Packers have made it clear they aren’t going to do either. Thus the two sides remain locked in a staredown. No signs have surfaced that the quarterback is shifting from his position. Green Bay has even begun using subtle tactics to tilt blame for the debacle away from the team towards him.
Either way, a resolution doesn’t appear in sight.
What people don’t know for certain is how far Rodgers is willing to take this. Is he ready to sit out the entire season if Green Bay calls his bluff? Something that could cost him upwards of $30 million? Many are starting to believe so. Peter King of NBC Sports among them. The longtime insider offered a possible solution for the two sides. One that would involve Green Bay promising Rodgers would be traded in 2022 in exchange for one more year starting in 2021. It was then King delivered this nugget.
“I would bet Rodgers, today, is solid on never playing for the Packers again, so maybe this is useless. But Rodgers might view this as the best way to get through an unfortunate situation.”
It takes a lot for somebody like King to say something like that. He’s been around the league for a long, long time. A well-connected man. Keep in mind King didn’t believe at first that Rodgers would consider sitting out. That his stance has shifted like this is telling. Just another reminder of how incredible this entire situation became in the past few months.
Aaron Rodgers had to have been planning this for a long time
Under normal circumstances, there is no way he’d be staying away from the team. The Packers have finished 13-3 each of the past two seasons. They reached the NFC championship game both times. Back in January, they were a questionable field goal decision away from possibly going to the Super Bowl. With a roster that appears so close to hoisting a Lombardi trophy, one would think Rodgers wouldn’t want to rock the boat.
That is why some theorize he’s been planning this for a long time. As far back as when Green Bay drafted Jordan Love in the 1st round. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t say a ton publicly but the man has a longstanding reputation for holding grudges. It was clear when the Packers made that decision, he took it personally. Here he was having just taken them on another deep playoff run and instead of getting him more help to complete the mission, they draft his replacement instead.
So he bided his time.
After putting together the best season of his NFL career and winning his third MVP, Rodgers decided he was done in Green Bay. The only way that can change is if the organization does something they can’t possibly do in firing Gutekunst. What sort of precedent would that set? Now they’re left with two options. Trade him to another team or call his bluff. They’ve chosen the latter, and by the sound of things that isn’t likely to get the end result they hoped for.