It was the story of the summer – and it looks set to drag into 2022, as well. Having spent the entirety of his career at Lambeau Field and guided the Packers to their first Super Bowl success this century in 2010, Aaron Rodgers decided it was time for a change prior to the beginning of the 2021 season.
In the end, the Packers held firm and the man who was voted the league’s MVP for the third time last season found himself in green and gold once more – much to the delight of millions of Packers fans. But with the quarterback clearly still agitating for a move, will he be lining up alongside teammates such as Davante Adams next year? Here’s a closer look at how the story unfolded and what the next chapter is likely to hold.
Trouble in paradise
With Rodgers at the helm, the Packers have always been among the favorites to top their division and make it through the play-offs to the Super Bowl. Indeed, gamblers who favor NFL matches for betting are often drawn towards Green Bay, simply by virtue of Rodgers’ unshakeable will to win and incredible skill levels to back it up.
The arrangement had been a mutually beneficial one for both parties – until the 2020 draft. Rodgers had been hoping the Packers would use their first pick to bring in a new receiver to get on the end of his unerring arm, but instead they went for quarterback Jordan Love. Presumably the youngster was brought in to learn from and eventually replace Rodgers, but the fact that he was given no warning about the decision did not sit well.
Relations soured further when Rodgers publicly commented on how much he valued his teammate Jake Kumerow, only for the receiver to be cut from the roster two days later. Perhaps the most serious blow was struck in the NFC Championship game this January, however, when the Packers’ management didn’t trust Rodgers to throw the touchdown they needed to win and kicked a field goal instead. They lost to Tampa by the narrowest of margins.
What lies ahead?
While that disastrous episode meant it looked likely Rodgers would be leaving Lambeau Field this summer, such an outcome did not come to pass. Even after missing all of the team’s preseason training – including its mandatory three-day mini-camp – Rodgers did not manage to force a move to another franchise.
However, he hasn’t allowed that frustration to encroach on his gameplay. Although he hasn’t featured among the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL for yards passed in 2021, he’s outperformed his teammate Love by some considerable distance. His pass completion rate is impressive and he’s still thrown over 2,000 yards, demonstrating that despite his 37 years, he’s still in the prime of his career.
Recent reports suggest that Rodgers may have a gentleman’s agreement in place for him to up sticks once the 2021 season is done and dusted. Then again, sources said the same thing of his desire to leave last year – and we all now how that turned out. So if the deal is only verbal rather than written, is it even worth the breath wasted on it? Only time will tell.
It seems clear to any outside observer that Rodgers still wants to leave the Packers come the end of the season. Given that his stock will never be higher and they have a ready-made replacement in Love, it might be in Green Bay’s interest to acquiesce – but they have form for holding firm, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens come the off-season.
Adam Jones does not exist. Article updated to reflect this.
Good article Andrew! Of course the outside observers that believe Rodgers wants to leave the Packers after this season are, the other teams in the division, and of course the sports media. In fact I can hear the knuckles cracking and feel the anxiety welling up in the sports writer world waiting for this story to unfold. None of us really know what’s going to happen this off season. Rodgers himself may not know what will happen. Rodgers DOES know that Love isn’t ready for prime time, and so does the brass. The question is; how does the brass handle this situation knowing the cap is bloated and it will get worse with several contracts to premium players coming up? There are several ways to manipulate the cap, (as we have seen); and I will be surprised if both Rodgers and Adams are on this team next year. Maybe, neither. I do believe this team will look a lot different next year, no matter what happens.
The answer to “What happens next?” is the team will not be as good as they have been for the last almost 30 years. No matter when Rodgers leaves. Unless Love can play…but a lot of people think at this point he cannot. On a positive note at least they aren’t the Lions. What happened to Dave the Lions fan anyway? I really miss him.
I agree Ferris, even if Rodger stays (highly doubtful).
There is going to be major personnel changes on the team due to the salary cap.
Next years team is going to look different, i have no doubt in my mind.
I think the only way Rodgers stays, is if the Packers have next to zero confidence in Love.
You can’t trade Rodgers if you don’t have faith in the QB you chased after.
” Given that his stock will never be higher and they have a ready-made replacement in Love” – Andrew
I had to read that 3 times to make sure i was reading that right. Both comments are dead wrong.
Rodgers stock was highest after the 2020 season when he asked to be traded…no doubt in my mind.
Ready-made replacement?…is this the same QB i watched against K.C. not being able to handle pressure?
But hey…we’re all entitled to our opinion.
Except for Tommi….making things up….isn’t an opinion.
Which reminds me. It’s mental awareness week…help is available.
I’m all about tradition….but when can the suffering end of having to watch the Lions on Thanksgiving every year.
Quote from Dan Campbell – Lions coach who is 0-9-1
“”We’re gonna kick you in the teeth, and when you punch us back we’re gonna smile at you, and when you knock us down we’re going to get up, and on the way, we’re going to bite a kneecap off. We’re going to stand up, and it’s going to take two more shots to knock us down”
LOL. Good one PF4L! I remember that presser he had, it’s a classic. Is that the new version of the “Lions roar”?
Who’s Adam Jones?
We know Rodgers wants out because that’s what he told us all offseason. I’ve rewatched the Chiefs game. As well as Jordan Love’s garbage time against the Saints. Here’s what the tape tells me. Love dropped back to pass 39 times. While LaFleur ran the ball only 20 times with Dillion and Jones averaging 5 yards a carry. Abandoning a successful running game doesn’t help your young QB. LaFleur admitted as much after the game. Love was under pressure for at least half the time. He was constantly harassed yet sacked only once. When he had time to make his reads the 23 yr old QB played well. Unlike Tim Boyle or Kurt Benkert, Jordan Love can play at this level. How well is yet to be determined. With Erin, it all comes down to money. If he wants to stay, he’ll have to take a lot less. And it will have to be on the Packers terms, not his. If Rodgers were to take half of what he’s making now, much like Brady in Tampa, he could return. His ego is such where that will never happen. His level of play this year no longer demands he be paid the highest at his position. But he’s on the books now for 46 million next year. I look for the Packers to make a token offer, based on his play this year, which Rodgers will refuse. Then management can tell all the remaining Aaron Rodgers fans we tired. Then ship him to Denver or Pittsburgh. Bringing Rodgers back this year was the right call. Had we not been snake bit with injuries, this was a SB team. Rodgers isn’t the player he was last year but still has trade value. I would expect Aaron Rodgers to play for his new team much like he’s played this year. Good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to win a SB. Which is what we got year after year since 2010. If you do go with 23 year old Jordan Love there’s no reason to keep anyone older than 28. That means more than just Rodgers will be gone. At some point you have to reset the roster. That time is now.
Tom M November 27, 2021
Then management can tell all the remaining Aaron Rodgers fans we tired.
After you failed to pass your last GED exams, did you tell your partner, you tired?
Failing your exams isn’t a sin Barney, as long as you tired real hard.
Chin up Princess, keep chugging along.
STAY IN SCHOOL KIDS!
“But he’s on the books now for 46 million next year.” – Barney
He’s on the books for 46 million…because that’s how the Packers structured it.
You can bring up Brady all you want until your tears dry up…he is one person out of thousands, he is the anomaly.
News Flash….Franchise QB’s….are expensive.
If the Packers didn’t think he was worth it, he would have been traded.
Tell us when you’re done crying about Rodgers.
On 2nd thought…surprise us, we want to be shocked.
The last 2 seasons, as a starting QB including the playoffs…
Rodgers is 23-6.
If he’s playing to his age as you claim, that’s pretty damn good
Where i’m from….that’s elite
The last 3 seasons as a starting QB…
Rodgers is 37-10…..
Keep finding fault Tommi, knock yourself out :)
Have a good long cry.
Princess…remember when you described Rodgers as oft-injured?
Seems to me he hasn’t missed a game because of injury since the 2017 season.
What is it like to constantly make things up, defying reality.
We don’t need your stupid made up story’s to satisfy your obsessive hateful narratives.
Matter of fact….seems the consensus is….we don’t need you here at all.