The ongoing rift between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers suggests that the 37-year-old quarterback will not be returning to the team by the start of the regular season.
As trade talks and rumors continue to circulate throughout the league, it appears that Green Bay is already asking teams inquiring about the reigning NFL MVP to include a quarterback in their trade proposals.
Teams floating around in the Rodgers trade talks include the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders. In April, the Broncos traded for former Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a player far from the caliber of Rodgers’ production that could keep a trade to Denver from happening.
An offer from the Raiders including starting quarterback Derek Carr could be the highest likelihood in a trade situation, though LV general manager Mike Mayock insisted that the team wants to keep their QB. Carr finished the 2020-2021 season with 27 TDs, 9 INTs, and 4,103 total passing yards.
Reports on Wednesday indicated that the Packers would be signing veteran QB Blake Bortles to a one-year deal, with former Indianapolis Colts backup Kurt Benkert signed on Saturday. The team also hopes to continue prepping former first-round quarterback Jordan Love for a shot at the starting role, should Rodgers pack his bags for a new destination.
Coach Matt LaFleur recently made comments on the QB controversy, reiterating his support for Rodgers to stay in Wisconsin.
“We still obviously feel the same way,” LaFleur said during an interview with NFL.com. “We want him back in the worst way. I know he knows that. We’ll continue to work at it each and every day.”
Despite a rough start to the LaFleur-Rodgers tandem in Green Bay after sideline disputes and distrust in the young head coach’s decision-making, the two have produced a highly successful 26-6 run the past two seasons, with a 2-2 postseason record.
The team’s OTAs start on May 24, meaning Green Bay will be on red alert in the coming weeks to package the QB out of town.
Rodgers’ main qualm with the team is rooted in the front office disregarding the need for skill players, especially on the WR depth chart. The team signed Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones in a move that was aimed to satisfy Rodgers’ demand for more help on offense.
Confidence between the front office and Aaron took another step in the wrong direction when general manager Brian Gutekunst drafted defensive back Eric Stokes out of Georgia with Green Bay’s first pick in the 2021 NFL draft rather than making a move to trade up or draft a receiver in the first two rounds.
Green Bay selected wide receiver Amari Rodgers out of Clemson in the third round.
If Rodgers chooses to stay in Green Bay, it would be hard to imagine that the runner-up NFC team could go into the new season and beat teams such as the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Cowboys team with a returning Dak Prescott utilizing the same roster as last season.
The Green Bay Packers have lost consecutive NFC Championship games, and now hopes of a third straight appearance is fading by the day.