Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers can’t agree on much of anything these days, including whether the quarterback was promised a trade or not.
Reporting for the last two weeks has indicated that the Packers told Rodgers that he would be traded, then didn’t do so. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio also hears that Rodgers believes he was promised a trade before the Packers changed their mind.
However, the Packers view this differently. Florio reports that a Packers source calls this “unequivocally false.” Not only that, but the Packers weren’t even aware that Rodgers believed he’d be traded.
It certainly makes things more confusing. A miscommunication is possible, but it’s hard to believe Rodgers’ camp wouldn’t be following up on such a promise. If the Packers never made such a promise, it’s also not clear how Rodgers came to that belief in the first place.
It’s also hard to believe the Packers could be so clueless if things like this were actually happening behind the scenes. Regardless, this doesn’t really bode well for the two sides sorting things out anytime soon.
There are likely several reasons that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, but at least one of them may not be fixable. That’s because it seems personal.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano spoke about the situation between Rodgers and the Packers on “Get Up!” Friday morning. He noted how Rodgers seems to disagree with the way the Packers are operating, but nothing has changed in the 16 years that the 37-year-old has been with the franchise. That’s why the reporter believes the biggest issue is that Rodgers simply doesn’t like general manager Brian Gutekunst.
“The Packers have a way of doing things. Yes, it’s possible that Brian Gutekunst didn’t effectively communicate to Aaron Rodgers that this is the Packers’ way of doing things and it applies to you just as it has applied to everyone else who has ever been here,” Graziano said. “But Rodgers has been there 16 years. It’s not like he’s new, either.
“I think there’s a personality issue between the two. … You do wonder if that’s a hurdle that can be cleared. Can they make it right with money? Can they convince Rodgers that Green Bay is the best place for him to be if he wants to win another Super Bowl? All of those things are possible, but if you can’t overcome a personal issue you have with the guy you work for, that might be too much.”
It is obvious that Rodgers was set off by the Packers trading up in the first round to draft quarterback Jordan Love last year. Perhaps Gutekunst was the driving force behind that decision, and it sounds like the GM kept Rodgers totally in the dark about it.
Rodgers reportedly won’t consider returning to Green Bay if Gutekunst is still there. Many people think he’ll eventually move past that, but one teammate explained why Packers fans should not expect a happy ending.
Aaron Rodgers has yet to give Green Bay Packers fans any glimmer of hope that the issues between him and the franchise can be resolved, but head coach Matt LaFleur made his feelings known on Friday.
LaFleur was asked by reporters if he has any update on the Rodgers situation. While he didn’t offer much, LaFleur essentially professed his love for the reigning NFL MVP.
“We still obviously feel the same way. We want him back in the worst way,” the coach said, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. “I know he knows that. And we’ll continue to work at it each and every day.”
That is the same sentiment that was shared by Packers CEO Mark Murphy earlier this month, when he said the team is committed to Rodgers and is trying to address his concerns. Rodgers has not publicly revealed why he is unhappy, but all indications are he still wants out of Green Bay.
The Packers obviously feel Jordan Love can be their quarterback of the future, which is why they traded up to draft him in the first round last year. In doing so, however, they may have run Rodgers out of town. Rodgers could wind up leaving the team over a personal issue he has with someone else in the organization.
The situation between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers made a challenging job even more so for NFL schedule makers this year, and we now have confirmation that the league is banking on Rodgers remaining in Green Bay and playing in 2021.
NFL vice president of broadcast planning and scheduling Mike North spoke about this season’s schedule during an appearance on the “Ross Tucker Podcast” this week. He said schedule makers “kind of hit pause on the process” when it was reported on the first day of the draft that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay.
“We asked 10 experts and we got 10 different answers. We’re hoping (he stays in Green Bay). None of us know for sure,” North said.
The Packers are scheduled to play five games on national TV this year. North noted that four of those games are earlier in the year, when there would likely be intrigue from fans who want to know how Jordan Love looks. The fifth game is later in the season and could always be flexed out if Rodgers is not with the Packers.
You can hear more of North’s remarks below:
The Packers continue to insist they will not trade Rodgers. There have been numerous reports that there is one change they could make that might please the star quarterback, but they don’t appear to be willing to make that move, either.
Many fans are hoping Rodgers and the Packers work things out before the start of the season. Based on the way they structured the schedule, it goes without saying that the NFL wants the same.