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#pounditSunday, October 24, 2021

Aaron Rodgers

Look: Aaron Rodgers living it up in Hawaii during Packers OTAs

Aaron Rodgers Hawaii

Aaron Rodgers was not present for the start of the latest phase of organized team activities with the Green Bay Packers this week, and we now have confirmation that he is nowhere near the state of Wisconsin. The reigning NFL MVP has been vacationing in Hawaii, and he appears to be having the time of his life.

Rodgers and his fiancee Shailene Woodley have been spending time in Hawaii with actor Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh. Mrs. Teller shared several photos and videos on Instagram of the foursome hiking and adventuring together.

Rodgers even showed how much of a big Taylor Swift fan he is at one point:

Rodgers is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He threw for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions. We have little doubt he will be ready for the start of the season, regardless of how much time he spends hiking around Hawaii instead of working out with his teammates.

Of course, that assumes Rodgers intends to play in 2021. The 37-year-old confirmed in an interview this week that he is at odds with the Packers. There have been reports that he wants the team to make at least one major change before he will consider returning, but the Packers are unwilling to accommodate that.

Rodgers may eventually tell fans in Green Bay to R-E-L-A-X, but you can certainly understand why they’re on edge at the moment.

Packers coach praises Jordan Love amid Aaron Rodgers drama

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers did not report to organized team activities with the Green Bay Packers this week, but the quarterback they drafted to eventually replace him is in attendance. The youngster has already been quite impressive, according to his coach.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had high praise for Love on Tuesday. He told reporters the former Utah State star seems to have really made progress this offseason and the ball is “jumping out” of his hand.

The Packers traded up to draft Love in the first round last year. Many believe that is the main reason Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, though the reigning NFL MVP denied that when he was interviewed for Kenny Mayne’s last “SportsCenter” appearance on Monday night.

LaFleur was asked about that interview, and he found a clever way to avoid the question.

Rodgers said he is unhappy with the “philosophy” of some members of the Packers. It seems like he wants one person in particular to be fired, but the team is reportedly unwilling to make that move for its franchise QB.

If Rodgers is traded or decides to retire, Love will take over. LaFleur has to prepare for either scenario, so Love’s development is extremely important at the moment.

Report: Packers not going to make this change for Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers publicly confirmed on Monday that he is frustrated with the Green Bay Packers. It has been widely reported that his biggest issue is with Brian Gutekunst, but the team has no plans to move on from its general manager.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky said on “Get Up!” Tuesday that Packers president Mark Murphy has told everyone within the organization that the team is committed to Gutekunst. If Rodgers refuses to come back as long as Gutekunst remains in his current position, it sounds like the reigning NFL MVP is going to have to stay home.

“If he wants Brian Gutenkust removed as general manager, that’s not happening,” Demovsky said. “Packers president Mark Murphy has told everyone within the organization that we are recommitted and staying with Gutekunst as general manager, so that’s not happening. If that’s a condition of Rodgers returning, then this is not happening.”

Rodgers joined Kenny Mayne on Monday for the host’s final “SportsCenter” with ESPN. Mayne asked Rodgers multiple questions about the quarterback’s situation with the Packers. Rodgers insisted that Green Bay’s decision to trade up and draft Jordan Love in the first round last year was never a problem for him. He said he is more unhappy with the “philosophy” of the organization at the moment.

You can read more of Rodgers’ remarks here.

For whatever reason, Rodgers does not seem to like Gutekunst. That could be about communication. Rodgers may also be lying about his feelings on the Love pick. Either way, it does not sound like the two sides are close to finding a resolution.

Aaron Rodgers denies having any issue with Jordan Love draft pick

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers denied on Monday that he had any issues with the Green Bay Packers selecting Jordan Love in last year’s NFL Draft.

Rodgers joined Kenny Mayne for an interview that aired on the host’s final “SportsCenter” before parting ways with the network. Mayne asked Rodgers multiple questions about the quarterback’s situation with the Packers.

Rodgers said that the Packers taking Love in the 2020 draft was not his issue.

“It’s never been about the draft pick. I love Jordan (Love). I love the coaching staff. I love my teammates. It’s just about a philosophy and maybe forgetting it is about the people that make things go,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers went on to say how it’s about people like Vince Lombardi, Brett Favre and presumably, himself.

Even if Rodgers says it’s not about the Love pick, that was the catalyst for the issues. Rodgers could see right in front of him that the Packers were working on a succession plan at quarterback. Then he went out and won MVP, which threw a “wrench” in the situation, according to Rodgers.

So what is the big issue for Rodgers if not the Love pick? He reportedly has a personal issue with the team’s general manager.

Video: Kenny Mayne hilariously drops F-bomb on Aaron Rodgers

Kenny Mayne

Kenny Mayne on Monday hosted his final “Sports Center” before he parts ways with ESPN. He was able to lock up an interview with Aaron Rodgers for his farewell show, which led to a funny goodbye.

In typical Kenny Mayne fashion, the TV host reminded Rodgers about how the Green Bay Packers quarterback advised him in their prior interview to invest in cryptocurrency.

“I did (invest in crypto),” Mayne told Rodgers. “We’re down 40 percent. Then I lost my job. Gretchen just wants a new comforter. F— you, Aaron Rodgers.”

Here’s the great clip:

That was said and delivered in perfect Mayne fashion. His wry humor is exactly why Rodgers and so many others love him.

Mayne, 61, had been at ESPN since 1994. He termed himself a “salary cap casualty” when it came to him parting ways with the network. At least he is going out with a laugh. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back one day.

Aaron Rodgers has spoken with other NFL stars about teaming up?

Aaron Rodgers

It has been less than a month since reports really began pouring in about Aaron Rodgers wanting the Green Bay Packers to trade him, but the reigning NFL MVP has apparently been thinking about playing for a new team for quite some time.

According to Tyler Dunne of Go Long, Rodgers spoke with some opposing players last season about the possibility of teaming up somewhere other than Green Bay. That would indicate that he was thinking about leaving the Packers long before the offseason began.

We know players have been successful with assembling so-called “SuperTeams” in the NBA, but it is far less common in the NFL. Rodgers remains under contract with the Packers, so teaming up with star players elsewhere would be a multistep process. He would have to be traded and then either have free agents sign with his new team or have other players force their way to his new team. Both scenarios are complicated.

If nothing else, the report is further evidence of how Rodgers has soured on Green Bay. It’s also consistent with what we heard about the message he supposedly delivered to free agents who were thinking about signing with the Packers.

Rodgers did not report to organized team activities on Monday. He could eventually work things out with the Packers, though he supposedly has a personal issue with one member of the organization.

Here is why Aaron Rodgers did not report to OTAs with Packers

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers was not among the Green Bay Packers players who reported to Lambeau Field on Monday for the start of organized team activities, but his discontent with the franchise may not be the only reason he was absent.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, Rodgers and other veteran Packers players did not plan to report as the NFL and NFL Players Association continue to spar over what this portion of the offseason should look like.

“Really, it’s simple: Veteran players learned last year, because the pandemic made all of the spring virtual, the benefit taking some miles off their legs could bring,” Breer wrote in his weekly column. “And that, along with the actual injuries previously suffered in spring camps, made it so talks that started out as centered on 2021 COVID-19 protocols naturally dovetailed into players’ wanting some level of permanent reform.”

Russell Wilson is another veteran player who is not planning to show up to OTAs just yet. Like Rodgers and the Packers, Wilson has had some issues with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. Breer said he expects Wilson to report to Seattle if and when some of the issues are settled between the NFL and NFLPA, but there is less certainty surrounding Rodgers’ situation.

Rodgers is one of 19 Packers players who have an offseason workout bonus in their contract. However, he has already given up that $500,000 by missing Phase One and Phase Two of the offseason program. He would be subject to another fine of $93,085 if he does not report to minicamp next month.

While Rodgers may have been planning to skip OTAs regardless of his personal situation, it is obviously a factor. ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted that the reigning MVP has been a regular participant in offseason workouts throughout his career.

There was a report last week that may have made Packers fans feel a bit more optimistic, but it doesn’t sound like Rodgers is anywhere close to committing to the team for 2021.

Is this evidence of John Elway, Broncos tampering with Aaron Rodgers?

John Elway

The Denver Broncos have been viewed as one of the most likely suitors for Aaron Rodgers should the Green Bay Packers decide to trade the star quarterback. John Elway would probably love to make that a reality, and it sounds like he and Rodgers have hung out at least one time in a very friendly setting this offseason.

Elway, the president of football operations for the Broncos, reportedly played golf with Rodgers in California recently. CBS 4 in Denver’s Romi Bean said on the DNVR Denver Broncos podcast this week that she confirmed with two sources that Elway and Rodgers spent time together both on and off the course.

“I know for a fact they were playing golf together in California,” Bean said, as transcribed by Egotastic Sports. “I know that has happened even though that’s tampering or whatever, but how else does John Elway woo guys but on the golf course.

“I actually have this story corroborated on two different sides which is pretty wild. One is from someone in the golf world who booked the rounds, which is verified. And the other end by chance I had a friend whose friends were playing at this club that weekend and John and Aaron came up and played poker with them, so corroborated on two sides and no one is talking about that.”

You think they talked football at all?

The Packers have reportedly been upset with other teams for tampering with Rodgers. It would be hard for the Broncos to argue that they’re not guilty of that if the golf and poker stories are true.

The Broncos passed on drafting a quarterback in the first round, and that may have been because of the Rodgers situation. We actually heard a positive report this week on where things stand between Rodgers and the Packers, but Elway is going to make sure Denver remains a part of the equation for as long as necessary.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers working toward resolution?

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has yet to publicly confirm or deny that he wants out of Green Bay, but Packers fans have been understandably anxious since reports about his discontent began spilling out just before the draft. Things may finally be moving in the right direction, however.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano said on “Get Up!” Thursday that the Packers have had conversations with Rodgers’ representatives about a possible new contract. At the very least, that may be a sign that the reigning NFL MVP has not totally ruled out returning to Green Bay.

“There have been conversations between Aaron Rodgers’ camp and the Packers about a new contract. … The willingness to do a new contract tells you they’re willing to bend a little bit in Aaron Rodgers’ direction,” Graziano said. “It’s just a question of what that number is and is it high enough to get him back.

“Do they have to do something with Jordan Love to convince (Rodgers) that he’s no longer a threat to his long-term future there? It’s certainly not resolved or necessarily close to resolved, but right now the Packers’ mindset is finding a way back to Aaron Rodgers as their starter versus moving on from him.”

The Packers traded up in the first round to draft Love last year, so it seems highly unlikely that they would trade him. They could, however, structure a new Rodgers contract in a way that proves they are committed to him as their starter for several more seasons.

Money may not be the issue for Rodgers. There was reportedly a specific reason he turned down Green Bay’s last contract extension offer, and it wasn’t dollars or cents.

Here is why Aaron Rodgers reportedly turned down Packers’ contract offer

Aaron Rodgers

It seemed at one point like the issues between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have at least something to do with the star quarterback’s contract situation. The more we learn, however, the less believable that is.

Peter King of NBC Sports spoke with Packers wide receiver Davante Adams recently. Adams indicated that “respect” is at the core of the dispute between Rodgers and the Packers. While Adams was careful not to criticize the team, he shared some very interesting thoughts.

“It’s just something that’s part of the business—you’ve got to keep people happy,” Adams said. “And it’s tough because you have so much time invested in one place and you’ve done so much for one place you just hope to see that respect reciprocated, I guess you could say. And when it doesn’t work out exactly how you want, you have issues like this.”

Earlier in the offseason, there was talk that the Packers wanted to restructure Rodgers’ contract in a way that would make it easy for them to part ways with him after this season. A more recent report claimed Green Bay offered to make Rodgers the highest-paid quarterback in football, but an agreement could not be reached. Perhaps that is because Rodgers is not concerned about his contract.

As King notes, the disagreement between Rodgers and the Packers is “much more a respect situation than a contractual one.” That almost certainly stems from the team trading up to draft quarterback Jordan Love last year without first consulting Rodgers. The 37-year-old feels he does not have enough of a voice within the organization, and it’s unclear how the Packers can convince him otherwise.

The relationship between Rodgers and one particular person in Green Bay appears to be tarnished beyond repair. That may ultimately lead to the reigning NFL MVP refusing to return to the team. The majority of disputes between professional athletes and their respective teams are about money, but it does not look like that is the case with Rodgers.