Aaron Rodgers is clearly done with the Green Bay Packers — at least, those are the vibes the quarterback’s been tossing out there this NFL offseason. But as the reigning league MVP and a future Hall of Famer, the iconic franchise knows it can’t just trade its disgruntled superstar in hopes of getting back fair value. Plus, why would the Packers want to do that? It’s not as if Rodgers is in decline, so why fold, give him what he wants and actually do more harm to itself? That’s bad business.
Unfortunately, as of early-June, it seems as if Rodgers is holding all the leverage. The quarterback doesn’t appear to be interested in joining his team for OTAs this week. He doesn’t appear to be excited for Training Camp next month. And he sure as hell doesn’t seem pressed to get back into the team facility prior to next NFL season. It’s as if he’s telling the Packers, “trade me, or I’ll just go host Jeopardy! and enjoy life with my fiance (actress Shailene Woodley).” It’s not a bad stance to take.
It’s unfathomable to imagine Aaron Rodgers’ taking next season off, though. There’s too much to lose for him in the long run. And because of that, longtime NFL writer Peter King has a proposal that would resolve the drama that’s been going on between the quarterback and the franchise, and would actually give each side a timeframe as to when and how a split would happen next NFL offseason.
Here’s what King’s idea looks like, which he mentioned in his weekly FMIA column.
The idea: The Packers commit to trade Rodgers, pacifying the angry quarterback—but the deal would not happen till next spring. Rodgers, in turn, agrees to give the Packers one more season in exchange for being allowed to transition to a new team before the 2022 draft.
Packers president Mark Murphy, who’s got to be Henry Kissinger here (look it up, kids), must be searching for an exit strategy. If I were in Murphy’s chair, I’d undertake another secret mission to meet with Rodgers and agent David Dunn, just the three of them, and propose one more year of Green Bay employment with the knowledge that Rodgers and Dunn could give the Pack a list of teams the QB would be willing to play for in 2022.
On the surface, this suggestion from King seems great. It satisfies Aaron Rodgers — albeit a year from now — and it protects the Green Bay Packers in the short-term from being rushed into finding a trade partner that delivers fair value. But it takes two to tango, and with Rodgers showing zero willingness at the moment to even talk to the Packers’ brass, this might be wishful thinking.
The Packers should have no desire to trade the face of its franchise, especially when that player is under contract for a few more years. Rodgers might be upset with the organization, and is reportedly trying to get the team’s GM fired, but Green Bay shouldn’t be so willing to trade the guy. After all, he’s still the reigning MVP.
What makes Peter King so confident that both sides will not only come together, but then both agree to doing, essentially, a one-year farewell tour? It’s hard to imagine that happening. And it seems like it’s only asking for more dysfunction.
Imagine Green Bay starts out the season 1-6 and out of the playoff hunt. Instead of Rodgers telling the fanbase to R-E-L-A-X as he did in past years, wouldn’t he just holdout for the rest of the season, pay a bunch of fines and then be in the same position next offseason as he’s in right now with the Packers?
Or what if the Green Bay wins the Super Bowl? That puts a lot of pressure on Aaron Rodgers to stick around, because winning should heal all wounds. But what if he still feels disrespected and upset with Packers’ management? Things would be even more awkward when he demands out again after winning a championship.
This Rodgers-Packers drama seems to have gotten to a point of no return. The quarterback seems destined to play by his own rules — even if that means sitting out next season or retiring — so thinking he and the franchise can just agree on a potential transition plan might be unrealistic.