The insider notes that Rodgers has been telling his Packers teammates that he wasn’t expecting to be back with the team in 2021. Said conversations started early in the 2020 campaign with the reigning NFL MVP warning impending free agents of his status. All of this coincided with Green Bay trading up for fellow quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: On @BobMcGinn’s “Krause” report and Aaron Rodgers’ warning #Packers prospective free agents for quite some time he wasn’t expecting to be back in Green Bay in 2021. pic.twitter.com/pXdYHffCiY— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 5, 2021
By now, it’s well known that Aaron Rodgers has requested a trade from the Packers. There’s a better chance that he sits out the 2021 season or retires altogether rather than playing another snap in a Green Bay uniform.
Rodgers’ unhappiness stems from both the decision to draft Love as his heir-apparent and other moves now-embattled general manager Brian Gutekunst has made. Whether the comments Rodgers made to his teammates played a role in NFL free agency remains to be seen. What we do know is that star center Corey Linsley departed to sign with the Los Angeles Chargers back in March.
“Knowing Aaron, and I think I know him fairly well, if he has a grudge, whether it be against the organization or a player or an arch-rival, or family, friends, he ain’t budging,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said in his podcast. “I don’t see him coming back and saying — if this is not resolved, however, whatever the issue is — if it’s not resolved, or even if it’s resolved but he feels like they have one up on him, he ain’t gonna play. Knowing Aaron, he would sit. Now, he would forego a lot of money, but he’s also got a lot money.”
Remember, it was all the way back in 2005 that Favre took exception to the Packers selecting Rodgers in the first round. After holding down his starting job for three seasons, Favre was ultimately replaced by Rodgers. Just recently, the retired quarterback rekindled his relationship with the Packers’ franchise. They were on the outs for several years. It’s interesting how this has come full circle.
Immediately after reports broke that Rodgers wanted to be traded, Gutekunst released a statement indicating that the Packers are committed to the future first ballot Hall of Famer.
“As we’ve stated since the season ended, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. Aaron has been a vital part of our success and we look forward to competing for another championship with him leading our team,” the general manager said.
That’s all fine and dandy. But the threat of sitting out the 2021 season or retiring to be the full-time host on “Jeopardy” could obviously change the dynamics here. If Rodgers fully believes the relationship can’t be repaired, he will more than likely be dealt in the coming weeks.
As for potential fits, the San Francisco 49ers had put in a call to Green Bay about Aaron Rodgers. As late as last Wednesday night, the Northern California native believed he was headed home. After the selection of Trey Lance with the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, that’s no longer a real possibility.
Right now, the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos are seen as the betting favorites to land Rodgers. In fact, Denver is prepared to be aggressive in trade talks with Green Bay despite already having Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater on the roster.
Rodgers, 37, is coming off his third NFL MVP performance in a season that saw him throw for nearly 4,300 yards with an astounding 48 touchdowns against just five interceptions.