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#pounditThursday, June 17, 2021

Aaron Rodgers

Here is the latest in contract talks between Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers appear to have mutual interest in working out a new contract this offseason, but the two sides have yet to come to an agreement. From the way it sounds, the Packers are making sure to tread carefully with their star quarterback.

Michael Silver of NFL Network spoke on Monday about the potential of a restructure or extension for Rodgers. He noted how the Packers have not signed any outside free agents this offseason and that lowering Rodgers’ salary cap number would allow them to do that. However, Green Bay needs to do that in a way that doesn’t offend Rodgers and make him feel like the team believes he only has one or two good seasons left.

“If your attitude is, ‘We’re all-in on Aaron Rodgers and we’re just trying to make it happen while he’s here,’ that restructure should have already been done,” Silver said. “If you’re trying to split the difference and say, ‘Well, we’ll get some cap relief, but if we do want to go to Jordan Love after this season it won’t hurt us that badly,’ that is a disturbing development in a pattern that has gone on for a long, long time.”

You can hear the full insight below:

In other words, the Packers probably don’t want to restructure Rodgers’ contract in a way that frees up space now but puts them in a tough position down the road. You can’t blame them for that, but Rodgers may interpret that to mean they are not willing to sacrifice their future to win with him now.

Rodgers has two years and $50 million left on his current deal. The 37-year-old carries a cap hit of $39.85 million in 2021 and $28.35 in 2022.

While Rodgers created some doubt over his future in Green Bay after last season, that talk has cooled considerably. A long-term extension would throw even more cold water on it.

Danica Patrick shares her mentality on dating post-Aaron Rodgers

Danica Patrick

Aaron Rodgers quickly moved on and got engaged to Shailene Woodley after breaking up with Danica Patrick. Patrick hasn’t found someone new yet as far as the public knows, and that has to do with her standards.

Patrick talked with Tamron Hall for an episode that will be aired on Friday. In the interview, Patrick talked about her dating mentality since the breakup.

“When you know what you don’t want, you know what you do want,” Patrick says, according to US Weekly. “It’s not necessarily that they have their work cut out for him but that they’re going to be an extremely high-quality person with a lot of boxes to check. It’s not as though there are boxes to check, it’s just that I know what I want now and I’m not willing to compromise [or] bend as much.”

Patrick has expressed a similar sentiment over the last several months. The 38-year-old former race car driver said her standards are “off the charts.”

Patrick, who was previously married, dated Ricky Stenhouse Jr. prior to Rodgers.

Matt LaFleur reveals Aaron Rodgers regret from NFC Championship game

Matt LaFleur

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur’s decision to attempt a field goal from the Tampa Bay eight-yard line down eight points with 2:09 to go in the NFC Championship is still hotly debated. LaFleur does have a regret over that series of events, but it’s not the playcall.

LaFleur blamed himself for poor communication with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, adding that he must do better in that regard going forward.

“One thing you definitely learn: I know my communication with [Rodgers] should have been better in that situation,” LaFleur told Peter King of Football Morning in America. “Maybe on that third down we do something a little bit different. His mindset was, ‘we got four downs here.’ It comes down to communication, and that’s something I gotta learn from and be better with him.”

While Rodgers was cautious about throwing his coach under the bus after the decision, it was pretty clear that he thought he had four downs to work with. LaFleur was never operating under that assumption. It’s unlikely to have made the decision to kick the field goal any better, but maybe Rodgers operates differently if he has a better idea of his coach’s mindset.

Aaron Rodgers calls out California Governor Gavin Newsom

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has been openly critical of some coronavirus restrictions since the pandemic was declared last year, and the Green Bay Packers quarterback took another swipe at California Governor Gavin Newsom recently.

Rodgers was interviewed for an Instagram video for Zenith Watches last week when he mentioned how he has been trying to help small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The former NFL MVP recently donated $1 million to businesses in and around his hometown of Chico, Calif. He mentioned the California lockdowns when speaking about that during the Zenith Watches interview.

“You know, we’re just trying to do our part and as we ease back into the training stuff in my professional life, I just want to make sure where I’m from and the area I’ve called home in the past are doing OK. … And California has really been hit hard by COVID and by the rules that the governor has put in place as well,” Rodgers said, as transcribed by Carlos Garcia of Blaze Media.

This isn’t the first time Rodgers has taken aim at Newsom and other government officials. He previously made a sizable donation to “The Barstool Fund,” which was started by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy to help struggling small businesses. Rodgers praised Portnoy during one of his routine appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show” and ripped government officials for their hypocrisy.

“I mean, they put these rules in place … they’re not even following their own rules. How many people have gotten caught?” Rodgers asked. “(They say) don’t travel, don’t leave the state. Oh, here’s so-and-so on a vacation. Oh, here’s so-and-so at a salon. Don’t eat out at a restaurant unless you’re wearing a mask and separate. Oh, here’s a picture of the governor of California violating those rules. Oh, public schools are closed but I can send my kids to a private school in person. It’s like, I mean, for us to count on the government to help us out is becoming a joke at this point.”

Rodgers said early in the pandemic that he is not in favor of stay-at-home orders. Newsom was the first governor last year to order a full lockdown for his state, and many others followed suit.

Rodgers was also critical of the NFL last year for some of the league’s coronavirus protocols.

H/T Outkick

Packers approached Aaron Rodgers about restructuring his contract in January

Aaron Rodgers

NFL general managers face difficult decisions in the coming weeks as the new league year officially begins and free agency gets underway.

While that’s usually a time for money to be thrown around like Fat Joe and Lil Wayne making it rain, things in 2021 will be very different. Due to financial losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL salary cap will drop for the first time since its inception in 1994.

There is some potential for the floor to be raised above $180.5 million should the league agree to a new television deal, but even then, more than half the teams will find themselves in some sort of financial trouble. Accordingly, there will be a slew of restructures, extensions, pay cuts and releases.

For the Green Bay Packers, they will need to clear more than $11 million in space to reach the projected cap floor, which is why they restructured the contract of All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari. It’s also why they approached quarterback Aaron Rodgers about a contract restructure in late January, reports Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal.

According to a source, the team approached Rodgers around the time of the team’s Jan. 24 season-ending loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game about altering his contract to free up cap space. After that game, Rodgers notably mused about his own uncertain future with the team, and multiple sources said at the time Rodgers was merely seeking a longer-term commitment to him as the quarterback in the wake of last year’s first-round selection of Jordan Love in the NFL draft.

Around that time, Rodgers was a bit cryptic about his future in Green Bay, implying that his status in 2021 and beyond was uncertain and that he’d have to take some times to figure things out.

Rodgers later walked back those comments, but it’s now clear they stemmed from being approached about a possible restructure. And that, of course, came on the heels of Green Bay essentially drafting his successor, Jordan Love, in the 2020 NFL draft, which also didn’t sit well with the three-time NFL MVP.

The 37-year-old Rodgers still has two years and $50 million left on his current deal. Including signing bonuses and other built-in bonuses, he’ll account for a cap hit of $39.85 million in 2021 and $28.35 in 2022. By releasing Rodgers this season, the Packers would absorb a dead cap hit of $17.204 million. It becomes much more manageable next year.

As things sit, there’s no way the Packers can afford the dead cap hit or Rodgers’ current salary. He wants an extension, they want a restructure. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays itself out in the coming weeks.

Aaron Rodgers shares what his next biggest challenge is

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers shared what his next biggest challenge is, and it’s not what you might think.

Rodgers has an endorsement deal with Zenith Watches and recently joined their CEO for an interview on Instagram Live. The Green Bay Packers quarterback talked in the interview about his recent engagement to Shailene Woodley. He also shared that he is looking forward to become to a father one day. He called being a father his “next great challenge.”

“It’s gonna be a really fun challenge. I’ve done a pretty good job at taking care of myself for the last 37 years, and look forward to taking care of another life at some point,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s gonna be so fun. I’ve dreamt about what that would be like and I’m really excited about that chapter, whenever that comes.”

The 37-year-old said that many of his peers now have families, which makes him look forward to joining them, whenever the time comes.

Rodgers may be at an age where many of his close friends are fathers and have families, but the time may not be right for him yet. He just put together an MVP season and seems to be showing no signs of slowing down on the field.

Perhaps he will be similar to Derek Jeter, who got engaged, married, and then had children, all after retiring. Though Rodgers became engaged towards the end of his career, he could be waiting until after his playing career to expand his family.

Aaron Rodgers’ date to host ‘Jeopardy’ has been set

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has long been a huge fan of the popular quiz show “Jeopardy!” Now he will have a chance to host the show.

Rodgers is one of several celebrities who have been chosen to guest host “Jeopardy!” as they search for a replacement for longtime host Alex Trebek, who died in November.

Rodgers will host 10 episodes of the show, which will air over the span of two weeks beginning on April 5.

Episodes hosted by Ken Jennings and show producer Mike Richards have aired so far.

Katie Couric, Dr. Mehmet Oz, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, actress Mayim Bialik, “Today” host Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker are also set to be guest hosts for future shows.

Rodgers appeared on “Celebrity Jeopardy!” in 2015, winning the game and netting $50,000 for charity. He even compared meeting Trebek to meeting other iconic TV personalities from his youth, including Pat Summerall and John Madden.

Rodgers seems unlikely to get the permanent show hosting job because of a conflict with his NFL career, but we won’t count him out.

Video: Jodie Foster shouts out Aaron Rodgers in Golden Globes speech

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster made good on her promise to shout out Aaron Rodgers at the Golden Globes.

Foster won the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her role “The Mauritanian.” In her acceptance speech, Foster said she loved her wife, dog, and Aaron Rodgers.

So what’s the story there?

When Rodgers won NFL MVP, he randomly mentioned Foster in his acceptance speech. That led many to wonder what the relationship was between Foster and Rodgers.

The actress is friends with actress Shailene Woodley from their time working together on “The Mauritanian.” Rodgers and Woodley began dating just last summer and quickly got engaged. Foster seemed to be supportive of Woodley’s relationship with Rodgers. She also told Jimmy Kimmel in an interview that she would shout out Rodgers if she won a Golden Globe. Well, a week later, Foster made good on the promise.

Ndamukong Suh shares what his job is when facing Aaron Rodgers

Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh has a long history with Aaron Rodgers, and it’s not a pretty one.

Back in 2014, Suh stepped on Rodgers during a game between the Packers and Suh’s former team, the Detroit Lions (video here). Suh was suspended for his actions and gave a lame excuse.

Then last season, Suh screamed at Rodgers after sacking him in an October game.

Suh joined Shannon Sharpe’s show “Club Shay Shay” for an interview this week and was asked about going up against the Packers quarterback. Suh’s Buccaneers faced Rodgers’ Packers twice last season and won both games.

“My job was to p-ss him off and win that game,” Suh told Sharpe. “I’m gonna always want to p-ss off Aaron and make him not want to be my friend on the football field.”

Suh says that he doesn’t discriminate and that his goal is to tick off all quarterbacks he faces.

“Without question, all quarterbacks. Even Tom, I want to p-ss Tom off during practice,” Suh told Sharpe. “That’s my job. That’s my focus.”

That’s definitely something Suh does well. He’s been irritating NFL quarterbacks since 2010. Sometimes he has even taken things much further than that, to an ugly level of physicality.

Aaron Rodgers got hilarious Wikipedia update after Shailene Woodley comments

Aaron Rodgers

Actress Shailene Woodley confirmed this week that she and Aaron Rodgers are engaged, and she shared some information about the Green Bay Packers quarterback that may have surprised football fans. Naturally, someone ran straight to Wikipedia with that information.

Woodley joined “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for an interview that aired on Monday night. She said she doesn’t understand Rodgers’ football talent because she doesn’t know him as a football guy. Rather, Woodley says she knows Rodgers as “the nerd who wants to host ‘Jeopardy!'”

At some point after the interview aired, Rodgers’ Wikipedia page was changed to describe the NFL MVP as “an American football nerd who wants to host Jeopardy.”

Rodgers’ affinity for “Jeopardy!” has long been known, so those who follow him were not shocked to learn he has a nerdy side. It will be interesting to see if we find out anymore about him through his soon-to-be wife.