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#pounditThursday, September 16, 2021

Aaron Rodgers

Pat McAfee thinks Packers will ‘mail in’ draft and fail Aaron Rodgers

Pat McAfee

It’s a fair question whether the Green Bay Packers are properly building around Aaron Rodgers. Former NFL punter Pat McAfee thinks the answer is clearly no.

McAfee told Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post that he expects the Packers to make a “boring” pick that will work out down the road but do little to help Rodgers win now.

“If they would go in and get more weapons around (Rodgers) so if somebody gets injured they’re OK and they can make a run, or maybe bulking up that defense that seems to get beat whenever they have to make a stop,” McAfee said. “There’s a lot of things they could do, but with the Packers it seems like what they always do is they just prepare for the future and kind of mail it in.

“They’ll make some boring move that will end up being good for them as they get three years from now and the team will still be good, but Aaron Rodgers is the best in the game, the MVP. If they were just to make some moves and go all-in and think differently than they’ve chosen to do it would be great news for everybody, including Packers fans.”

Why is this notable? McAfee had Rodgers as a weekly guest on his radio show last season. While it would be a stretch to say McAfee is speaking for Rodgers, the ex-punter certainly knows better than most what Rodgers is thinking at the time. The Packers quarterback has made little secret of it, too, based on some subtle yet clear remarks he’s made on McAfee’s show.

Other people within the sport say the Packers have blamed Rodgers’ contract for the lack of big moves. With fixed salaries for draftees, that won’t be an excuse for the team if they make a pick similar to the one they did last year.

Packers GM offers update on Aaron Rodgers’ contract situation

Aaron Rodgers

It seems fairly obvious that there has been tension between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this offseason, but general manager Brian Gutekunst continues to insist the team is giving no thought to parting ways with its star quarterback.

In a pre-draft press conference with reporters on Monday, Gutekunst did not rule out Rodgers and the Packers agreeing to a restructured contract. He said the two sides are still “working through” things on that front. The GM also reiterated that the Packers are fully committed to Rodgers.

“Aaron’s our guy. He’s going to be our quarterback for the foreseeable future (and) excited for the next couple of years,” Gutekunst said, via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

Rodgers has three years left on his contract after signing a four-year extension in 2018. His cap hit is around $37 million this year and nearly $40 million in 2022.

The Packers could convert some of Rodgers’ $14.7 million base salary for next season into a signing bonus, which would free up salary cap space for 2021 but increase his dead cap hit for 2022. One line of thinking is that Green Bay doesn’t want to make that kind of commitment with Rodgers in case they decide to move on from him. Rodgers might be looking for assurances from the Packers that he’s not a lame duck.

It’s unclear exactly why Rodgers and the Packers have not agreed to a restructure, but it sounds like it has prevented the team from making certain moves this offseason. A new agreement is less likely with each passing day.

Aaron Rodgers gave ‘Jeopardy!’ noticeable ratings boost

Aaron Rodgers Jeopardy

Aaron Rodgers’ 10-show tenure as a guest host on “Jeopardy!” translated to a ratings boost for the popular quiz show.

TV News Check reported this week that Rodgers helped the show become the No. 1 program on the syndication chart in the session ending April 11. They say Jeopardy got a 5.6 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating, which was its highest mark in a month. That was 14 percent higher than the week before.

Rodgers’ first week of shows aired from April 5-9. His second week was April 12-16. He followed Dr. Mehmet Oz as the guest host.

Jeopardy is trying out various guest hosts as they look to find the permanent replacement for the late Alex Trebek, who died in November.

Even though he is the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers and reigning NFL MVP, Rodgers has a plan for doing both if he gets picked to be the show’s full-time host.

Aaron Rodgers helps launch athlete version of IMDB

Aaron Rodgers

There are plenty of websites available where you can get every stat imaginable for a professional athlete, but Aaron Rodgers has helped launch an outlet that he hopes can take that a step or two further.

Rodgers partnered with actor and producer Ryan Rottman to form the Online Sports Database (OSDB), which officially launched this week. The site not only lists stats and contract information, it also provides users with information about an athlete’s endorsement deals, business ventures, charity work and more.

Rottman told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky this week that the goal for OSDB is to build stronger fan allegiances and provide opportunities for athletes to connect with potential business partners.

“To me, the more you know about an athlete the bigger fan you become, and that’s essentially for the fan side what we’re trying to do,” Rottman said.

“Not only the fan side but we want to be able to help generate additional [exposure] for these guys. We’re not building this for 1 percent; we’re building it for the 99 percent who don’t get the eyeballs or people don’t know how to get ahold of them for deals where they can endorse, say, the local car dealership in Green Bay.”

Rodgers has notoriously kept his private life to himself, but there has been a noticeable change in his approach since he got engaged to actress Shailene Woodley.

“OSDB is a premiere digital sports database and growing daily,” Rodgers said in a statement announcing the launch of the site. “At OSDB, you’ll find stats, breaking news, human interest stories and personal information on your favorite athletes.”

It is probably no coincidence that Rodgers has let his guard down a bit right around the time OSDB launched. The 37-year-old recently gave a surprising response when he shared what he expects his next big challenge to be. He seems to be making an effort to relate to people more, which is the goal of his new business venture.

US senator calls for ‘Jeopardy!’ rematch with Aaron Rodgers after funny jab

Aaron Rodgers Jeopardy

A United States senator called for a “Jeopardy!” rematch with Aaron Rodgers after a funny jab from the Green Bay Packers quarterback.

Rodgers’ two-week stint as a test host on the popular quiz show ended up on Friday. Rodgers filmed his 10 episodes over the course of two weeks and progressed well from the first show to the last.

You can see in this video clip how comfortable he was. Rodgers made a joke about US Senator Mark Kelly finishing second to him in a celebrity Jeopardy episode. Kelly posted the clip on Twitter and asked for a rematch with Rodgers.

Rodgers seemed ready to make it happen.

Given how chummy Rodgers seems to be with the Jeopardy crew now, maybe they would bring him back for a celebrity episode if he doesn’t get the full-time hosting gig.

Compare that video to this one from earlier in Rodgers’ hosting stint and you can see the personality difference.

Packers passed on big addition due to Aaron Rodgers contract?

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers have had a quiet offseason, but there’s some question over who is to blame for that.

The Packers have limited themselves mostly to re-signing current players, including running back Aaron Jones. They have not made any major additions, though quarterback Aaron Rodgers might want them to.

NFL reporter Tyler Dunne said recently that he had heard talk that the Packers would have been willing to make the sort of big addition Rodgers would like. However, Dunne has heard that Rodgers’ refusal to restructure his contract has left the Packers stuck. The team is instead facing the narrative that they are not trying hard enough to appease the quarterback.

Rodgers has three years left on his contract after signing a 4-year extension in 2018. He has a $37 million cap hit in 2021 and would cost the team $38 million in dead cap money if cut. His cap hit is nearly $40 million in 2022, though his dead cap money drops to $17 million, which is a more manageable amount of money if the Packers wanted to move on from him. Rodgers is taking up around 20 percent of the $182 million salary cap in 2021.

This is in line with another report we heard recently. The organization definitely appears to be somewhat frustrated with the narrative that they’re the ones not doing enough when they can’t get Rodgers to give up enough money to allow the team to spend.

Rodgers has his own reasons for standing firm on his contract, as do the Packers. A restructure likely locks Green Bay into keeping Rodgers into 2022. Rodgers knows that, and he sees the team’s refusal to do so as an admission that they’re not prepared to tie themselves to him beyond 2021. That’s why he’s been dropping quotes like this one, and it’s created an awkward standoff between the two sides that seems destined to end with the status quo prevailing into the regular season.

Video: Aaron Rodgers has funny reaction to ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants missing Packers clue

Aaron Rodgers Jeopardy

Aaron Rodgers had a funny reaction to the contestants on “Jeopardy!” missing a clue about his team, the Green Bay Packers.

Rodgers recorded 10 episodes as the host of the popular quiz show. His episodes are airing over the course of two weeks, with the seventh one airing on Tuesday. In the episode, there was a clue about a Midwestern team winning NFL championships. Not only did Rodgers have a funny reaction to the contestants missing the question, but his reaction after they got the next clue correct was good too.

Rodgers was a little stiff at first when he tried out as the show’s host, but he improved as he got more comfortable in the role. His reaction to the miss on the Packers clue shows how much better he became by his seventh game.

Even though he won NFL MVP last season, Rodgers has a plan to host “Jeopardy!” even while he continuing his playing career.

Danica Patrick was helping Aaron Rodgers mend his family relationships

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick may not have been “the one” for Aaron Rodgers, but she was helpful in at least one regard.

According to a report from US Weekly, Patrick was working on helping Rodgers mend a fractured relationship with his family.

“She was working on bringing everyone back together,” a source told US about Patrick’s efforts with Rodgers’ family. The source said that Patrick helped Rodgers get back on speaking terms with his family again.

Rodgers and Patrick have been broken up since at least the summer, with Rodgers moving on and even getting engaged to Shailene Woodley. It’s unclear how Rodgers’ family relationships may have changed since then. Those issues are reportedly presenting problems as Rodgers makes his wedding list.

In 2016 was when we first heard about Rodgers having issues with his family. Rodgers’ brother even opened up about the tension a few years back.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback said that he preferred to keep their issues private.

Packers blaming Aaron Rodgers’ contract for lack of offseason moves?

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers remain in an awkward spot with each other, and it seems the team may be laying the blame for their fairly quiet offseason at Rodgers’ feet.

The Packers have largely focused on re-signing their own free agents, bringing Aaron Jones, Kevin King, and Marcedes Lewis back into the fold. Little has been done to upgrade the team elsewhere, however, in part due to a lack of cap flexibility. In fact, an anonymous NFL agent told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky that the Packers have been citing Rodgers’ contract as a reason for their inactivity.

“It’s screwing the Packers in a lot of ways right now because there’s just no cap space,” the agent said. “They’ve called me about one of my players and said ‘Hey, this is where we are now, and until we get something big done — hint, hint — we don’t have any space.'”

The Packers could easily convert much of Rodgers’ $14.7 million base salary into a signing bonus, and they could do it without the quarterback’s permission. However, by pushing cap dollars into 2022, it would make Rodgers harder to trade. The same mechanism has come up in response to trade rumors involving another high-profile quarterback.

Rodgers continues to be evasive about his future with the Packers despite his success. The Packers seem unwilling to commit strongly to him, either.

Aaron Rodgers says this helped him keep Shailene Woodley engagement a secret

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers shocked the NFL and gossip communities two months ago when he casually revealed he was engaged during his MVP Award acceptance speech. Many people did not even know the Green Bay Packers star had been dating anyone after his split with Danica Patrick, so how did he and Shailene Woodley manage to keep their relationship so quiet?

Apparently the pandemic helped.

Rodgers was asked about keeping his engagement under wraps during a recent interview with USA Today’s Gary Levin. He pointed to the fact that he and Woodley did not travel much and were wearings masks whenever they went out in public.

“Well, COVID was a big help with that, because it just wasn’t the same amount of travel. Wearing a mask all the time gives you just a little bit more anonymity,” Rodgers said. “But we spent a lot of time together during the season, and then she was off doing a movie really shortly after we got engaged.”

You can certainly understand why Rodgers wasn’t in a rush to take things public. It’s even more impossible for athletes and celebrities to find privacy once they’re in a relationship, so he likely wanted to enjoy the peace and quiet as long as he could.

Rodgers has typically tried to keep his personal life under wraps, but his own brother even made that difficult at one point.

Gossip sites will be anxious to see when and where Rodgers and Woodley get married, but the quarterback says the two have not set a date. When they do, we’d be surprised if Rodgers volunteered that information.

H/T Egotastic Sports