GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are just about the place they were at the NFL draft virtually a month in the past.
Rodgers’ interview Monday with Kenny Mayne on ESPN revealed little aside from to substantiate the 2020 MVP quarterback’s need to move on (“Anything is on the table right now,” he said) and enmity for the team’s entrance office.
“It is about the folks that make the thing go,” Rodgers said. “It’s about character, it’s about tradition, it is about doing things the best method. A lot of this was put into movement final 12 months, and the wrench was just type of thrown into it once I received MVP and played the greatest way I played final year.”
Translation: Everything involved in the number of Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft left Rodgers feeling wholly unappreciated by his high bosses (general supervisor Brian Gutekunst and President/CEO Mark Murphy) and certain they have been pushing him out the door.
My backside line is identical as it has been for practically a month, too. I get that Rodgers was incensed by the Love choose. Any of us would have felt the same. But now that the Packers have publicly and privately begged him to return and reportedly provided the contractual assurances they balked at early within the offseason, why nonetheless blow the entire thing up?
And simply as a month ago, the subsequent date that matters on this melodrama isn’t June 1, after which the Packers can trade Rodgers with more favorable salary-cap ramifications this 12 months. Even if the Packers end up trading him, there’s no hurry to do it in June unless someone makes a ridiculous offer.
The next date that matters isn’t the start of the Packers’ three-day necessary minicamp June eight, either. Rodgers will incur about $88,000 in fines for skipping those three days of apply, but at this point it appears a given he’ll take that hit, along with the $500,000 exercise bonus he’s forfeiting by skipping OTAs.
No, the following key date is the start of training camp, which will be July 27. That’s when we’ll begin getting a sense for a way serious Rodgers really is about not enjoying for the Packers once more. The fines for camp are $50,000 a day, with the nice for missing a preseason sport escalating to a regular-season paycheck. In Rodgers’ case, each preseason game he skips as a holdout would cost him about $860,000.
Keep in mind, too, the CBA the players signed last yr mandates those fines. The Packers can’t rescind them as inducement to show up.
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Is Rodgers willing to take those monetary hits? And after that, is he keen to skip regular-season paychecks?
For most of the last month, I’ve been 60-40 that Rodgers won’t be the Packers’ quarterback after they open the common season. But that’s a wild guess. It’s just as easy to query whether he’d actually keep away when it’s time to play soccer for actual, and with the prospect to chase a Super Bowl as well. Does his hostility for the Packers’ front workplace run that deep? We’ll see.
If that’s the decision Rodgers has to make in two months, Murphy and Gutekunst could have their own determination. If Rodgers sits out camp, then what’s best for the team? Continue waiting him out and recouping signing-bonus money if he doesn’t return? If he does return, assume that his discontent won’t filter via the locker room? Or in some unspecified time in the future in camp decide to make the best trade possible while Rodgers’ worth at age 37 is as excessive as it’s going to be?
The downside with a trade is, it will be hard for the Packers to get sufficient worth in return. Top-five quarterbacks are the rarest asset within the NFL. They’re hard to put a value on.
I’ve asked three front-office executives to valuate Rodgers’ trade worth, and two first-round picks was the place to begin, an excellent player doubtless, and maybe one other excessive decide (second-rounder?) also could be in play.
If the Packers have been to get multiple first-rounders for Rodgers, they’d likely be picks within the latter half of Round 1 as a end result of his new staff is going to win. Picks that late in the first spherical aren’t practically as useful as those within the prime 10. So if you’re talking about utilizing those picks on players, there’s not a lot of worth there, whether or not it’s two or three of them.
But should you view them as commerce capital to move into the highest five, they appear higher. If the Packers weren’t sold on Love in a 12 months or two, they’d have ammunition to maneuver up for a quarterback in the ’22 or even ’23 drafts.
No doubt the Packers ought to do everything they will to convince Rodgers to return willingly. With him, they’re a bona fide Super Bowl contender the subsequent couple years. Without him, they’re not. It’s that straightforward.
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But if Rodgers really is prepared to blow up the entire thing regardless of the Packers’ concessions, then possibly the best thing for the staff come August or September will be to get the most effective deal potential whereas it could. Though that’s not the finish result to seek, it no much less than may go away open the team’s quarterback choices within the subsequent couple drafts.
Regardless, the query at present is identical as it was when news of Rodgers’ discontent broke on the draft. That is, how far will he go to get out?
The purpose I’ve been 60-40 he won’t be again is I’m undecided he’ll ever be appeased. If the Murphy/Gutekunst/Matt LaFleur journeys to California plus the sort of contract assurance Rodgers was in search of at the start of the offseason aren’t enough now, when will they be?
As for firing Gutekunst, if that’s what Rodgers desires, that’s a non-starter for Murphy. No player can dictate who’s the GM. That would ship the worst message of all to the locker room. And say what you’ll about Gutekunst’s errors on this matter, he has put together a roster round Rodgers that contended for a Super Bowl final season and figures to this yr as well.
But perhaps the truth of the massive fines in training camp and lacking football when it matters will convince Rodgers it’s OK to work for a GM he can’t stand. Many of us have had prime bosses we didn’t like, but that didn’t stop us from showing up and playing to win. Then once more, who among us has the clout of an MVP quarterback averaging $30 million-plus a year?
Rodgers’ interview with Mayne cleared up precisely nothing. It’s the onerous deadline of the start of training camp that can reveal the place he and the Packers stand.