What Are Aaron’s Options?
As far as Aaron Rodgers is concerned, nobody knows what to expect when the Packers open training camp on Tuesday. The star quarterback and the team have been engaged in a private yet somehow very public spat for the past 88 days. And while we might not get a resolution in the next 24 hours, we’ll at least get some clarity. It’s impossible to know exactly how things will play out, but here – in no particular order – are the most likely scenarios:
—Rodgers will report to training camp with the rest of the veterans on Tuesday. While still unhappy and still wanting out of Green Bay, he’ll address the topic right away and vow to never speak about it again. He’ll then go about his business in a professional manner. This would be the ideal scenario for the Packers. Is it likely? Based on what we think we know, probably not – unless the team promised to trade Rodgers after the season if that’s what he wants.
—Rodgers will report to training camp with the rest of the veterans on Tuesday, but he does so solely to avoid being fined $50,000 a day. Still unhappy and still wanting out of Green Bay, he’ll use his access to the media to air his gripes on a regular basis. And while he’ll show up to practice every day, he’ll let it be known through his body language and/or comments at press conferences that he’d rather be anyplace else. This would be the absolute worst scenario for the Packers and the one that would most likely force a trade. But is Rodgers really capable of this?
—Rodgers will report to training camp with the rest of the veterans on Tuesday after the team agrees to re-work his contract in a way that both increases his salary and guarantees he’ll be the starting quarterback for at least another two seasons. This could happen, but it seems rather unlikely. The Packers have reportedly already made numerous offers to Rodgers, and none has been deemed satisfactory. If there were a way to settle this standoff, you’d think embattled team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst would’ve figured it out by now.
—Rodgers won’t report to training camp with the rest of the veterans on Tuesday, but he’ll show up within a week or two after making his point and perhaps getting some monetary concessions from the Packers. Numerous other players have taken this exact route in the past, but it just doesn’t feel likely after all that’s gone down the past few months. At the very least, Rodgers probably wants to make Murphy and Gutekunst squirm as much as humanly possible.
—Rodgers won’t report to training camp with the rest of the veterans on Tuesday and stays away for most of the summer. If he’s willing to absorb fines of $50,000 a day, this makes the most sense. He’s never hidden his dislike for living in the dorms, participating in joint practices, and playing in preseason games, and he could avoid all of these things by not reporting until the first week in September. And while this scenario probably won’t get him traded, it might be his best option if he’s convinced his only choices are to play for the Packers or sit out the entire season.
—-Rodgers will “retire” in an effort to force a trade. I suppose this is a possibility, but in all honesty, he’d probably be doing the Packers a huge favor. By “retiring,” he’d lessen distractions to a degree, potentially save the Packers a lot of money, and make it much easier to transition to Jordan Love. Besides making a dramatic statement, I’m not sure what this really accomplishes for Rodgers, aside from creating a big splash with the entire football world watching.
My personal opinion hasn’t changed since early May. I expect Rodgers to play for the Packers this season, and I expect Murphy and Gutekunst to give him pretty much everything he wants. But, of course, that remains to be seen.
If I had to guess what will happen, I’d guess that 12 will make Murphekunst humiliate themselves for a few more months before he returns to the team with everything he wanted. The #Packers will then have a disappointing season and this enitre ugly mess will look even uglier.
— Michael Rodney (@PackersNotes) May 4, 2021
Regardless of what happens this week, at least something will happen. After months of reading stories from NFL “insiders,” listening to talking heads with clear agendas, and simply not knowing what to think, that in itself is good news.