With each passing day, the situation between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers becomes more set in stone. Mandatory minicamps began this week and the 38-year old quarterback was nowhere to be seen. It’s the first time he has ever missed them in his career. The first genuine sign that he is holding out. Green Bay, for their part, still refuses to trade him and appears ready to call his bluff.
What nobody knows for sure is whether Rodgers will stick to his guns. Will he actually consider sitting out the season in a semi-retirement or set aside his pride and return for another year? Insiders are growing more confident in their predictions that the Hall of Famer is prepared to sit out. Even those close to the Packers organization are saying as much now. Tyler Dunne of Go Long got in touch with a former executive of the team.
He didn’t seem at all uncertain about what will happen.
“There’s nothing new. He’s not going back there,” one former member of the Packers front office says. “Unless they make serious changes to the front office, I doubt he’s going back.”
This source is not sure what the Packers’ plan is and warns that they shouldn’t be holding their breath right now.
“That dude is not going back. I’m telling you.”
There isn’t any room for conjecture with that. It is crystal clear. Barring something unexpected, Rodgers won’t return to Green Bay. Not unless they fire GM Brian Gutekunst. That obviously isn’t going to happen. Not after the success the team has had the past two years. Even if so much of that success is credited to Rodgers. The quarterback is basically daring them to do what they initially planned since 2020.
Usher in a new era with Jordan Love at quarterback. Are they confident he can eventually fill such massive shoes? Then get ready. He isn’t going to give them plenty of time to prepare as Brett Favre did back in the 2000s. Love will have to sink or swim right now. As much as Dunne himself talked up the potential of the second-year QB in his article, the Green Bay media aren’t nearly as impressed.
Notes from Minicamp practice No. 1
* Jordan Love struggled with accuracy. 12-23 passing in team, including failed 2-minute drill.
* Davante Adams was present but did very little.
* Devin Funchess looks the part.
* Jaire Alexander with a big PBU (what else is new).
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) June 8, 2021
Jordan Love’s first crack at the 2-minute drill (that we’ve seen) barely gets past midfield and ends with him skying a pass over wide-open Malik Taylor’s head on fourth-and-7 from the plus-46.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) June 8, 2021
Jordan Love struggled with accuracy during team work today. The arm strength is there, but missed a handful of makeable throws. Period ends with Blake Bortles finding Isaac Nauta deep down the left sideline for a TD.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) June 8, 2021
Aaron Rodgers may eventually get his wish
Not the firing of Gutekunst. To be traded elsewhere. The Packers have tried to maintain a strong stance in this entire thing, but it feels like only a matter of time before reality sets in. That he isn’t going to return and the longer they wait, the longer his value could drop on the market. If he ends up retiring, then they won’t be able to trade him. They’ll have lost one of the best quarterbacks in history for literally nothing.
All signs point to training camp being the decisive point of embarkation. If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t show up by July 31st, the Packers will have a pretty definitive idea that he isn’t going to move from his position. At that point, they’ll have a choice to make. Stand their ground or turn the page. That means trading Rodgers elsewhere and moving forward with Love. It isn’t what anybody in the organization will be happy with, but they dug their own grave.
This entire situation serves as a good reminder.
Always remember who you’re dealing with in delicate situations. Green Bay forgot that when they pushed ahead with that fateful pick a year ago. They thought Rodgers would simply fall in line and work to keep his job as Favre did. They were very, very wrong. Now they’re paying the price for that arrogance and nobody can be certain Love is prepared for the challenges to come.