Summer Of The Disgruntled QB II

From the team that brought you Summer of the Disgruntled QB comes the sequel every fan of the Bears and Vikings has been waiting for, Summer of the Disgruntled QB II. It may be 13 years later, but don’t worry, many of your favorite characters are returning. And to make things even better, the roles of the exasperated general manager, the earnest head coach, and the angry quarterback will be played by more attractive people this time. So get your protest signs ready and wash your finest pair of denim cutoff shorts because Summer of the Disgruntled QB II is coming soon. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect:

1) Plenty of unnecessary groveling. General manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur have already flown multiple times to California to meet with Rodgers, and both men spent their post-draft press conferences fawning over the quarterback the way a teenage boy fawns over the girl of his dreams who just broke up with him. Sure Gutekunst should’ve given Rodgers a heads up before drafting Jordan Love a year ago, but he’s also the same guy who gave the face of the franchise a $134M extension in 2018 even though the QB was coming off a serious collarbone injury and still had two years left on his deal. He’s also the guy who spent the past three months restructuring contracts in an effort to keep a 13-3 team together and give actress Shailene Woodley’s boy toy the best chance possible to win that elusive second Super Bowl. As for LaFleur, he’s defended Rodgers at every turn. He takes the blame when the QB throws an interception. He took the blame when the QB didn’t run for a touchdown on third down even though there was nothing but green in front of him. Heck, I’m surprised he hasn’t taken the blame for the QB’s ridiculous overuse of hair gel at the 2005 draft. In return, Rodgers threw him under the bus for kicking a field goal late in the NFC championship game. Look, Gutekunst and LaFleur certainly shouldn’t bad-mouth their most important asset as this messy drama unfolds, but they don’t have to bend a knee either.

2) A very stubborn protagonist. Gutekunst, LaFleur, and team president Mark Murphy will likely try to wait out Rodgers and hope he returns to the fold once training camp begins and fines start piling up, but that seems like wishful thinking. Remember, Rodgers is the king of holding grudges. He never forgave Mike McCarthy for not drafting him first overall in the 2005 draft, even though as the offensive coordinator for the 49ers, he wasn’t the one making the decision. And even if he was, who stays upset about that for 12 years? The answer is the same guy who reportedly hasn’t spoken to his parents in years. I have no idea what caused the falling out, but it takes a very special kind of person to cut ties to his own mother and father. The point is, what Gutekunst did at the draft last April might not seem like that big of a deal to most people, but Rodgers isn’t most people – either on the field or off the field. The only way he’ll return to the Packers is if he gets everything he wants – more commitment and less Gutekunst – and even that might not be enough. I’m sure he’ll miss football once training camp begins in late July, but it’s not like he’s going to sit in his empty home and watch Ellen and Maury. He’ll spend quality time with his lovely fiance’, and who knows, he could be the brand new host of Jeopardy by the time the season starts in September.

3) No quick resolution. Rodgers might want to play elsewhere, but from the Packers’ perspective, there’s no reason to make a trade – yet. The time to strike a deal was before last week’s draft, but that wasn’t going to happen for a couple of reasons. First, Gutekunst didn’t have enough time. While it’s true he’s known about Rodgers’ unhappiness for months; it wasn’t until a few hours before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was to step to the podium that it became public knowledge. Second, and more importantly, why would Gutekunst trade one of the best players in the league four months before opening week? An awful lot can happen in four months. There’s no reason to blow up the 2021 season before you absolutely have to, and there’s no question that trading Rodgers would blow up the season. Even if Love is the real deal, it’s important to remember that Rodgers went 6-10 in his first season as a starter, and he had a lot more experience than Love. Sure, trading him before the draft would’ve meant adding a few talented rookies to the roster, but no amount of talented rookies would make up in the short run for not having Rodgers. If the Packers do trade Rodgers, it’ll happen either during the season if he holds out or after the season if he reluctantly reports at some point. Of those two scenarios, the first is more likely.

What’s so difficult to believe about this unfolding drama is that most of the characters were around in 2008. They all remember how there were no winners. The team struggled on the field, and the disgruntled QB made himself public enemy No. 1 with a fan base that had worshipped him for years. Nevertheless, here we are again. The only thing I can guarantee will be different is that Rodgers won’t go on FOX and trash Gutekunst. He’s too smart. He’ll go on CNN.

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POLL: Will Aaron Rodgers be the Packers' starting QB in week 1?

Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

13 thoughts on “Summer Of The Disgruntled QB II

  1. Rob Demovsky and Jason Wilde were on the local Green Bay station last night. Demovsky has spoken with players and he said the odds of Rodgers returning are less than 5%. Demovsky said this has blown up the whole organization, said it’ll harm free agency, inferred that Davante is gone after next year.

    Wilde was slightly more optimistic and thought as time goes on Rodgers may contemplate returning for the players sake. That’s my thoughts too. Rodgers is done, done, done with the front office. Only the players can get him to return. Wilde said this started with Jordy being let go. It’s been one thing after another where the F/O has treated him like a long snapper.

    Even with the Love trade up, it doesn’t appear that was straw that broke the camel’s back. He had moved on from that. It’s when he takes them to an NFC championship while winning the MVP and they refused to extend his guaranteed money for an EXTRA FREAKING YEAR. He has one guaranteed year left and just wanted an extra one and Gutekunst said no. No doubt that was the final straw. Of course, their offering him the moon now but sounds like Rodgers has already checked out.

    Gutekunst considered drafting Kizer and Drew Lock. Appears he’s been pushing Rodgers out the door since he got the GM job. All the homers that think Love is a lock to be a star, consider the QB acumen of Gutekunst’s pass QB considerations. Every beat reporter up here will tell you Love is no where near ready to take an NFL snap. He had no training camp, and walked around in jeans on the sidelines all year. Rodgers knows this and he also knows they’re cap strapped and can’t afford even a semi-decent vet QB. They’ll go 0-17 or 1-16 or some other horrendous record. Gute/Murphy’s jobs will definitely be on the line after that fiasco. Murphy/Gute think the two consecutive championships are due to their genius. Rodgers said, well see about that. How many FA’s you think Gute’s going to sign after Davante books and they’re 1-16 ?

    One thing people are missing is the absolute brilliance of Rodgers timing in all of this. A couple hours before the draft while Gute is lining up the draft board, his phone is ringing off the hook with Rodgers offers. Gute denies that but Jason Wilde will tell you they’ve had many calls. Media is swarming like locusts. Turned the entire team on it’s head, gave Murphy/Gutekunst a nitro glycerin enema. No one deserves it more than these two idiots. Who drives a HOF QB out of town with four good years left in him ? The Bears called Andy Freaking Dalton before they drafted Justin Fields for Chrissakes.

    I think Rodgers reached the point where……………….you want your golden 1st rounder so bad, be my guest. Here ya’ go, I’m out. Why do you think Rodgers has been hosting Jeopardy ? Jeopardy pays between $12-$20 million per-year. If Rodgers is paid top end at $20 large, he owes the Packers $23 million I believe. So, he eats $3 mill. That’s his light bill. Big deal.

    Gutekunst and Murphy may have set this franchise back for years with their idiocy. They asked Gutekunst about Rodgers wanting him out. He said he hadn’t heard that from Aaron directly or publicly. He’s right, it was reported Rodgers told Murphy that. Rodgers had this planned, the timing, the story drops. This isn’t a guy trying some negotiating ploys. He’s burning bridges with the Front office.

    Murphy won’t fire Gutekunst because he thinks it sets a precedent of a player running the front office show. The precedent he’s really setting though is he’s allowing a GM to ruin a SB caliber team without consequence.

  2. The Packers gave Rodgers $100 million in guaranteed money less than three years ago. People tend to forget about that pretty quickly.

    Like I keep saying, Rodgers is far from blameless in this mess, but Murphy and Gutekunst deserve more of the blame. They’ve handled this like rank amateurs. That said, I remember a coach or GM (forget who) once said that he wouldn’t want a player on his team who didn’t want to be there. At this point, I think 12 returning for another season wouldn’t be good for anybody.

  3. It’s hard to pick a side without knowing what Rodgers really wants. If he asked for an extension that was more about commitment than money, then he has every right to be pissed if Gutekunst said no. He deserves a raise and the right to feel wanted for the next two seasons. But what if he demanded a huge extension that would tie him to the team for three or four more years? The Packers just gave him a $134 million extension and who in their right mind would commit to a 38-year-old QB for more than a couple of years? I don’t think Brady signed a deal longer than a year or two with New England after he turned 35.

  4. The only mistake I see is that the Packers negotiated a contract with Rodgers less than 3 years ago when they didn’t need to. Now after he’s up his game …he wants another renegotiated contract?
    Either make him retire or play or trade him.

  5. I have been a fan of the Packers for almost 50 years. I’ve lived through the David Whitehurst and Randy Wright days. I truly don’t want any part of that level of QB play. However, Rodgers has gotten too big for his pants. I say F#@# the idiot… who seems to believe he’s above the team. I’ve no tolerance for anything like this. I suppose he believes he is some famous dude who can do his freak and everyone else will just stand around and allow him to do whatever. He’s a Judus and I have zero respect for him. Think about Love and how he feels about this. Rodgers went through this but now thinks he can force his way out the door. Trade him and move on.

  6. I think it basically boils down to Rodgers just wanted them to show their appreciation for everything he’s done for the franchise. I think the money aspect isn’t as important now as “Hey Aaron, we really appreciate you buying into the program and playing so well lets add an extra year.” I think that’s all he wanted. Love would still have a full season to show what he’s got before the 5th yr option kicks in.

    Local talk radio had John Kuhn on and he said it’s still possible to resolve this. Pete Bukowski thinks the odds are against it. Bukowski said something interesting. When Wolf was here he talked to Favre all the time. Kept communication open. Ted never did and Gutekunst learned under Ted.

    They also said the rumor was Aaron wanted Eliot Wolf for GM.

    From the Packer perspective there’s no rush on this. Let him cool down, keep lines of communication open and keep the revised contract on the table. Make it well known that the front office is ready to accommodate. Even after June when the cap hit lessens there’s still no rush. Rodgers has to payback $23 million to sit. Packers would be better off trying to keep Jeopardy from hiring him than my way or the highway.

    Rodgers is a competitor. His best friends are guys like Bakh and Davante. June rolls around, training camp, getting to be close to preseason and now Aaron has cooled down, maybe getting itchy to lace them up again. Bakh and Davante are like “c’mon man, let’s play some ball.” No way would I trade him before the season. If we’re ten games into the season and he’s sitting home with the remote I can still trade him. No rush from the Packer perspective.

    The pressure on Rodgers is he’s missing out on a bundle of money and playing ball. The pressure on the Packers is they’ll suck and the fans may start screaming for the GM’s head.

    Most of the local talking heads and reporters are taking management’s side in this. The majority of whom have always been *** kissing sychophants towards Packer brass anyhow and need a fainting couch because Rodgers took a stand on principal.

    Anyhow, if traded to Oakland, Chuckie will send us Derek Carr to start the one year Derek Carr era in Green Bay before Love gets shoved out there. Should be great fun.

  7. This was inevitable. You can count on one hand the number of great QBs who finish their careers with one team. It almost always gets messy at the end.

  8. If Wilde says this started when they let Jordy go, I tend to believe him. He’s Rodgers closest confidant of the beat reports. I saw every game when Jordy played for the Raiders. He was a shadow of his former self. He signed a two year deal and only lasted one.
    So Rodgers gets a new contract, gets a new coach, gets to call his own plays, and now wants input on personal moves like Jordy. He also wants to approve or disapprove of draft picks like Love. At some point you have to draw a line in the sand and say no more. And that’s exactly what Gutekunst has done. It’s hard to sympathize with anyone on a guaranteed 100 million dollar contract. This is going to turn on him pretty quickly. If he cares at all about his legacy which I doubt.
    Any one who hold grudges for decades and doesn’t speak to his parents for just as long has some deep seeded emotional issues and needs to get help. Is it because he’s a closeted homosexual and fears coming out? Olivia Munn thinks so and she lived with him for almost 3 years.
    Rodgers thinks he can play as long as Brady and therefore wants a contract up to his mid 40’s. This would be unwise. Rodgers isn’t Brady. First Brady signs team friendly deals and wins SB’s. While Rodgers has to be the highest paid player and is content winning MVP awards so long as he thinks he’s getting back at his GM.
    Don’t be fooled by Gutekunst and Murphy and their conciliatory demeanor. That’s pure PR. They’ve had it with him. You play for me or not at all. We’ll see who blinks first. I’m guessing it’s Rodgers. He wants to be part of Hollywood so bad. In order for that to happen you have to stay relevant in the media. Rodgers does that by playing football. No one talks about you if your home sulking because you didn’t get your way.

  9. AJ Hawk said the “Rodgers wanted Gutekunst fired” story is garbage. He was on McAfee’s show today. Who knows what’s going on ? Like I say, Rodgers is pissed and obviously can hold a grudge like no other. AJ said he can’t believe the front office let it get to this point. AJ said they’re definitely scrambling and all over this.

    That’s why I have no doubt that Gutekunst/Murphy think they’re the primary reason the Packers are successful and not Rodgers. What’s amazing is Murphy played in the NFL, he knows it’s all about the QB. Hawk said repairing this would be very difficult. However, he did say an extension, etc. could really help.

    It also appears that Rodgers saying he was sorry it leaked may carry some validity. Talking radio heads said Shanahan at SF confirmed he talked to LaFleur the night before the draft about Aaron and MLF shut down the conversation. Rodgers texted Schlereth after Schlereth said a trade was in the works and Rodgers asked “What have you heard ? Who’s your source ?”

    The plot thickens.

  10. Micheal, great commentary as usual. And NP40, thank you for your in depth comments — very interesting. As far as I’m concerned, give Rodgers the damn stadium if he wants it. We have a couple of more decent shots at winning a super bowl with him chucking the ball. If he’s gone, it could easily be at least another 30 or 40 years. Just ask the Bears. Or the Packers from 1968 to 1997. The idea that we will magically find another hall of fame QB is delusional.

  11. I say trade him to Denver, the Broncos were on his short list and it’s the AFC. He’ll instantly make the Broncos better but will never win the division where Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs rule supreme. If the little Diva can’t beat 43 year old Tom Brady, and he had two swings at it last year, he’s isn’t beating Patrick Mahomes.

    Which means the best Denver can hope is a wildcard playoff berth. Does anyone really think he can go on the road and beat Josh Allen in Buffalo? Or Lamar Jackson in Baltimore? Or even Baker Mayfield in Cleveland? And then at some point face Mahomes a third time? Based on his losing record in the playoffs the last decade I say no. Let him languish in the AFC west.

    And then there’s this. Packer fans have long since made excuses for Aaron Rodgers playoff losses. It coaching, it’s the defense, it’s the refs. But it’s never his fault. He’ll get no such luxury in Denver where they’ll demand results. Look dude, you cost us 3 number one draft picks. You better win a SB, they’ll be no excuses. Favre’s act grew stale in New York rather quickly and they couldn’t wait to release him after only one season. Rodgers would be in for a rude awakening as well.

  12. If a team has to beg a player making $35M to play for them, it’s probably best to move on. Sure this season will probably be bad without 12, but either Love will get much-needed experience or the Packers will be in prime position to draft a real franchise quarterback next year.

    1. Yeah, I’m torn between trading him and letting him retire. I’d love to force his hand and make him sit the next 3 years. That’s what he deserves. Then again, Drew Lock and a couple of #1 picks and possibly the TE Fant is tempting. Lock could start this year since by all indications Love isn’t ready. Then keep the best of the two in 2022.

      Look, losing Rodgers isn’t the end of the world. I just don’t see him ever making it back to the SB. Certainly not in the AFC which is the only place he’ll be traded. He’s best shot is staying right where he is. But this isn’t about winning championships. For Rodgers this is about getting revenge. It just shows how petty and small he really is.

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