Packers need to stand their ground with Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers and their MVP quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, are at odds. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where Rodgers has told people on the team that he “does not want to return” to the Packers, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
This is bringing back the Brett Favre drama from 2008 all over again. Granted, Favre wasn’t coming off of an MVP season, but it still feels eerily similar. Both situations started because Green Bay used a first-round pick on the current quarterback’s eventual replacement.
I can understand Rodgers’ side of things. He wants a commitment from the Packers long-term, even though he still has three years left on his deal. I’m guessing he wants an extension that would outlast Jordan Love’s contract, essentially guaranteeing he is the guy for years to come and won’t have to worry about losing his job.
What I don’t understand from Rodgers is why he thinks the Packers will do anything. Rodgers has literally no leverage in this situation whatsoever.
Another flaw in Rodgers’ “demand” is that if he wants to win now, how would he accomplish that anywhere else? He isn’t going to end up somewhere in a better position to win now than with Green Bay. He’ll end up on a team with fewer offensive weapons that will have almost no draft capital for the next few years, assuming it would take multiple first-round picks to get Rodgers from the Packers.
The Packers have no incentive to trade Rodgers. In fact, it would be more expensive to trade him before June 1 than to keep him. According to Ken Ingalls, trading Rodgers before June 1 would cost them $1 million more to trade him than keep him.
Adding to that, is there really anyone in the league outside of Patrick Mahomes worth trading Rodgers for? With the first round of the draft being over, there isn’t any top-end value the Packers can get for him either. And with their cap situation being what it is, they are all in this year. Future picks aren’t going to win them a Super Bowl right now.
With the Packers having all the power in this situation, and with nothing really to gain by trading him, they should just dig their heels in and ride this out while trying to repair their relationship with Rodgers. If things get really ugly and Rodgers decides not to come back, the Packers still have Jordan Love, who they apparently feel really good about still.
If you think about it, this really just feels like Rodgers wanted the Packers to take a public beating over his contract situation. If he really wanted out, he should and would have asked to be traded well before the draft so the Packers would be able to get something done. Instead, it was Draft Day when this bomb was dropped. This was all planned very strategically.
Andy Herman, from Packer Report and Pack-A-Day Podcast, laid out what seems to be a pretty realistic list of scenarios that will happen between Rodgers and the Packers.
I think Green Bay needs to weather the storm and call Rodgers’ bluff. I think Rodgers made his point and the Packers will eventually extend him. If not, then I still think he’s on the team for the 2021 season then the Packers trade him and the Jordan Love era begins.
Hopefully, things are smoothed over and relationships will heal with the longtime Packers quarterback, who is loved by his fans. But if it ends badly, we could see another Favre saga occur and his legacy as a Green Bay Packer take a little bit of a hit.
Either way, I don’t see the Packers front office blinking in this situation. With the power they have over the situation, I think that’s the right call to make.