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#pounditThursday, May 6, 2021

Aaron Rodgers

Ex-teammate explains why Aaron Rodgers-Packers situation is ‘fixable’

Aaron Rodgers

The situation between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers does not appear to have improved at all in the past week, but one of the quarterback’s former teammates believes it can eventually be resolved.

James Jones, who was teammates with Rodgers in Green Bay from 2007-2013 and again in 2015, said on Thursday that he views the relationship between Rodgers and the Packers as “fixable.” The NFL Network analyst said he speaks with Rodgers frequently, so his opinion is an informed one.

“I speak with Aaron all the time. It has nothing to do with getting the GM fired. It has nothing to do with a new contract and getting money … I think it’s fixable,” Jones said, via Zach Kruse of Packers wire.

A report this week claimed Rodgers will not return to the Packers as long as Brian Gutekunst is the general manager. Jones doesn’t think that is true. Jones also isn’t buying any talk that Rodgers wants more money or a new contract.

So what’s the problem? Rodgers lost trust in management when they did not consult him before trading up to draft quarterback Jordan Love last year. Jones said at the time that he was confident the Rodgers-Love dynamic would work, but the decision clearly bothered Rodgers.

Ex-Packers linebacker AJ Hawk, who is also still friends with Rodgers, seemed less confident that Rodgers will return to Green Bay.

“It’s going to be an uphill battle to figure out the rift. It may take some time,” Hawk told NFL Network, per Kruse. “I don’t know if it’s something they can salvage, but I’m very hopeful they can.”

At this point, there is little consensus among former Packers players about how the Rodgers situation will turn out. Brett Favre also shared his thoughts on the drama this week. You can read them here.

Adam Schefter makes surprising admission about bombshell Aaron Rodgers story

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke arguably the biggest NFL story of the year last week when he reported that Aaron Rodgers no longer wants to play for the Green Bay Packers. There has since been speculation that Rodgers’ camp intentionally leaked the information right before the start of the NFL Draft in an attempt to force a trade, but apparently that was not the case.

During an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” Thursday, Schefter revealed that he simply chose to drop the bombshell story hours before the start of the draft. He said no one came to him that day with anything new about the Rodgers situation. Rather, the story stemmed from an “accumulation of information” that he decided to release then.

So why draft day? Not long before Schefter broke his story, there was a report that the San Francisco 49ers made a massive trade offer to the Packers for Rodgers. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network followed that by confirming that the Niners reached out to Green Bay, though he said no formal offer was made.

Once those reports surfaced, Schefter felt it was only a matter of time before word got out that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. That’s why he decided to break the story. You can hear more of his explanation below:

Some fans are angry over Schefter’s admission, as they believe it was inappropriate for him to steal the spotlight just hours before the draft. Schefter also contradicted himself a bit. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Schefter’s initial tweet and ensuing ESPN story about Rodgers specifically said “league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.” That doesn’t mesh with what Schefter told Patrick.

If Schefter knew definitively weeks ago that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, it would be awfully risky for him to sit on such a huge story. Perhaps the truth about why he dropped the news the day of the draft lies somewhere in the middle.

Here is the reported asking price in a potential Aaron Rodgers trade

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers have given teams no indication that they are open to trading Aaron Rodgers, but we now have an idea of what it might take to land the star quarterback should they change their mind.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky said Thursday that he was told by a high-ranking NFC executive that the price in a potential Rodgers trade would be two first-round picks and a second-round pick. However, Demovsky noted that the cost could be even higher due to the fact that the draft picks coming back to Green Bay would, in all likelihood, be picks near the end of their respective rounds. Any team that acquired Rodgers would instantly be a playoff contender.

Demovsky also reiterated his report from Wednesday that the Packers are angry about teams tampering with Rodgers.

The Packers still want to work things out with Rodgers. If that becomes impossible, they would almost certainly trade him rather than forcing him to retire.

Rodgers reportedly wants the Packers to make at least one big move before he considers returning. Even if the team did that, the relationship might still be unsalvageable. Brett Favre seems to believe Rodgers has played his last snap in Green Bay.

Report: Packers exploring QB options amid Aaron Rodgers drama

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers maintain that they are committed to Aaron Rodgers and will not trade him, but they do not seem confident that the three-time MVP is going to show up to work anytime soon.

The Packers have been exploring options to add a quarterback to their roster ahead of OTAs and training camp, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Jordan Love is currently the only QB on their roster aside from Rodgers, so it’s possible Green Bay planned to address the position anyway.

Even if Rodgers does return to the Packers, it would be a surprise if he did so in the near future. The situation between the two sides has not improved and appears to be getting uglier by the day.

Rodgers has chosen not to publicly address the reports that he wants out of Green Bay, and his silence has been deafening. We learned this week that he may have been discouraging free agents from signing with the Packers dating back to last year.

Adding a veteran quarterback or an undrafted rookie makes sense for the Packers, as they have no way of knowing whether Rodgers will show up even if they don’t trade him. Rodgers would supposedly rather retire than return to Green Bay. Though, it sounds like there is one significant change the team could make that might please him.

Packers reportedly believe teams tampered with Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

There have been a number of infuriating aspects to the Aaron Rodgers saga from the Green Bay Packers’ point of view. One of them, apparently, is how other teams may have behaved in the background.

According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Packers believe teams may have tampered with Rodgers in recent weeks and are “upset” by this. The Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers are two of the teams suspected of quietly reaching out to Rodgers to gauge the quarterback’s interest in playing for them if they were to trade for him. As Rodgers is contracted to the Packers, this would be very much illegal.

The Packers have yet to file tampering charges against any team, and it appears they are unlikely to. This is largely because of how difficult it is to prove such allegations.

We do know that at least one of these teams called the Packers about a Rodgers trade. The suspicion is rooted in more than that, but given how done with the Packers Rodgers appears, it wouldn’t be a shock if he’d been going behind their backs on this.

Aaron Rodgers discouraged free agents from signing with Packers?

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has been unhappy with the Packers dating at least back to last year’s NFL Draft. It was around that time that he reportedly began to question his future in Green Bay, and he may have expressed that doubt to players who were thinking about signing with the team.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported on Wednesday that Rodgers has been telling free agents he does not expect to remain with the Packers. He apparently began delivering that message when speaking with some of his peers a year ago.

“What I’m told from multiple sources is that Aaron Rodgers was telling prospective free agents, basically, ‘Before you make any decisions — I’m probably not gonna be here,'” Garafolo said. “He was telling them, I’m told, all the way to the beginning of last season. That was in the months after the team had drafted Jordan Love.”

Garafolo questioned whether free agents took Rodgers seriously, as longtime Packers offensive lineman David Bakhtiari even signed an extension with the team during that timeframe. Rodgers and Bakhtiari are close friends, so that could be an indication that Bakhtiari wasn’t concerned about Rodgers leaving Green Bay.

Still, that is noteworthy. There has been talk this offseason that Rodgers hindered Green Bay’s chances of signing free agents because he refused to restructure his contract. Perhaps Rodgers was telling those same free agents that they should look elsewhere if their goal was to team up with him.

While it’s hard to imagine the Packers trading Rodgers, the situation seems like it is getting uglier by the day. Between what Rodgers reportedly told prospective free agents and the way he mocked Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, it seems like the 37-year-old has already made up his mind.

Brett Favre reveals what Aaron Rodgers told him in text message

Brett Favre

It is hard to imagine anyone having a better understanding of what Aaron Rodgers is going through than Brett Favre, and the Hall of Famer said he has spoken with his former teammate about the situation in Green Bay.

Favre spoke with the “Wilde & Tausch” show on 100.5 ESPN Madison on Wednesday morning about the drama surrounding Rodgers and the Packers. Favre said the difference between Rodgers’ situation and Favre’s situation in 2008 was that Green Bay was willing to trade Favre. The 51-year-old also shared a recent text message exchange he had with Rodgers in which he joked that the reigning NFL MVP might wind up with the New Orleans Saints.

Even if the Packers do give in and trade Rodgers, they are reportedly unwilling to send him to an NFC team. That could be why Rodgers does not envision himself playing for the Saints.

Favre was also asked if he believes Rodgers and the Packers can work through their differences. He said he doesn’t believe Rodgers will return to Green Bay this season.

Rodgers is upset that the Packers traded up in the first round to draft quarterback Jordan Love last year. Favre, of course, was upset when Green Bay wanted to replace him with Rodgers. The two may have had their differences years ago, but their relationship seems to have improved. They certainly have plenty in common.

Favre said a few months ago that he did not buy the talk of Rodgers leaving the Packers, but the circumstances were a lot different then. At this point, it sounds like there is only one move the Packers can make that would begin to satisfy Rodgers.

Photo: Arnie Papp/Flickr via CC-by-SA 2.0

Report: Aaron Rodgers mocked Packers GM by comparing him to Jerry Krause

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers does not approve of the job Brian Gutekunst has done as general manager of the Green Bay Packers, and that is apparently something the star quarterback has expressed privately to his teammates.

Sources told Bob McGinn of The Athletic that Rodgers has mocked Gutekunst in group chats with his teammates by referring to the GM as Jerry Krause, who was the GM of the Chicago Bulls when they won six NBA titles.

Krause has widely been blamed for breaking up the Bulls dynasty. He butted heads with Michael Jordan over personnel moves and alienated Phil Jackson. Some of the issues with Krause were highlighted in “The Last Dance” documentary series last year, though Krause is not alive to share his side of the story.

McGinn added that the Packers are aware of the way Rodgers feels about Gutekunst but are “taking the high road.” Team officials continue to insist that they are committed to working things out with Rodgers.

Rodgers obviously blames Gutekunst for Green Bay’s decision to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of last year’s draft. One report claimed Rodgers will not return to the Packers unless Gutekunst is fired. Gutekunst has since addressed the report with a response you can read here.

Aaron Rodgers’ fiancee Shailene Woodley criticized for attending Kentucky Derby

Shailene Woodley

Aaron Rodgers and his fiancee Shailene Woodley have made very few public appearances together since they began dating, but they decided to both attend the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Many athletes and celebrities were at the event, but few faced as much criticism as Woodley.

Woodley prides herself on being an activist. She was arrested in 2016 for protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. She’s also known for doing things like gathering her own water from mountain springs and making her own toothpaste and hygiene products. A lot of people with similar values do not support the Kentucky Derby, as they believe it promotes animal cruelty.

As Outkick’s Joe Kinsey noted, many of those people voiced their opinions on social media after Rodgers posted the following photo of him and Woodley at Churchill Downs:

Here’s a small sampling of the backlash Woodley received on Twitter:

There were many, many more, but a lot of them are too vulgar to feature here.

Woodley is an actor, so she is obviously used to criticism. The difference now is she is also being clocked by sports fans. Rodgers recently revealed what he expects his next big challenge to be now that he is engaged. Perhaps Woodley has found hers.

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA 3.0

Terry Bradshaw doubles down on Aaron Rodgers criticism

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw made it known this week that he does not approve of Aaron Rodgers trying to force his way out of Green Bay, which is an opinion that is probably widely shared. What Bradshaw said about Rodgers’ game, however, is even more surprising.

During a Monday appearance on WFAN’s “Moose & Maggie Show,” Bradshaw said the fact that Rodgers is so upset about the Packers drafting a quarterback in the first round last year “shows me how weak he is.” Bradshaw said he embraced competition from younger teammates during his Hall of Fame career and that management should “let (Rodgers) cry” and go retire.

Bradshaw has no intention of backing down from his Rodgers criticism. The Pittsburgh Steelers legend was asked on “The Herd w/ Colin Cowherd” on Tuesday if he believes NFL teams have to pamper quarterbacks these days with the way the league is structured. Bradshaw said teams should not do that and took the opportunity to criticize Rodgers’ footwork.

“Look, he’s an incredible player, but I can sit here right now and tell you he has probably the worst footwork I’ve ever seen for a starting quarterback. … He’s amazingly accurate. He protects the football and puts up monster numbers, but his footwork is all over the place,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t know if that’s because he got hit a lot and is out of position and doesn’t trust his linemen. He very seldom steps into a throw. It’s pretty impressive actually.”

Bradshaw went on to say that Rodgers should honor his contract with Green Bay.

“Aaron Rodgers is coddled maybe too much. He has no right to want to get the GM fired. What right does he have? … I’m supporting Green Bay here. Make him come back. Make him come back to you — don’t go to him, make him come back to you and answer for it. Or he can retire and go into ‘Jeopardy!’ or whatever he wants to do.”

You can hear Bradshaw’s full comments below:

Rodgers has been unhappy with several decisions the Packers have made. He feels the team should have consulted him before trading up to draft Jordan Love last year, but that isn’t the only issue. He apparently was also furious over one little-known player being released last year.

We know of at least one team that is interested in making an aggressive offer for Rodgers. Bradshaw believes the Packers should ignore any inquiries and hold their ground.

Photo: Elizabeth Fraser/United States Army/Arlington National Cemetery via Wikimedia