In May of 2020, reporter Andrew Sciliano asked a question to Aaron Rodgers a his legacy. Rodgers responded, “finishing his career as a Green Bay Packer was very important to him.” He then said whether he actually did retire a Packer was, “out of his control.” Since May of 2020 the Packer’s front office outwardly seems to have relinquished that “control” to Rodgers. The key word in that last sentence is “seems”.
Rodgers himself has lauded the increased communication between him and Gutekunst. The hiring of Tom Clements has been acknowledged as being “influenced” by Rodgers input by coach Matt LaFleur. LaFleur has a history of hiring assistants that he trusts via prior relationships. He admitted he had no history with Clements. For LaFleur to hire a QB coach not in his tree of trust is nothing but an attempt to keep Rodgers a Packer. Most fans will remember Rodgers vocal annoyance to Mike McCarthy when he replaced Alex Van Pelt in 2018. That lack of communication led to a rift between Rodgers and McCarthy that one could argue was the beginning of the end for McCarthy’s tenure with the Packers.
Since last season, the Packers have made concessions; they have said all the right things. They want Rodgers to lead the Packers. He is the “guy who makes it all work.” All of the words, the hiring moves, the signing of Randall Cobb, all communicate they want Rodgers back. The one statement we have not heard from the Packers is they want Rodgers to retire a Packer. The Packers have leaked information that they are willing to make him the highest paid player in the NFL, but they have been very quiet about the length of the contract.
If Rodgers was looking for a guaranteed long term deal, no one but his agent and the Packer’s negotiating team know if that has or will be offered. If Rodgers truly is spending time mulling the possibility of life in another NFL city, his past comments would make a fan believe the only reason could be the Packers not being comfortable with his long term plans to remain in the NFL. Or, maybe retiring a Packer is not that important to him after all. Only Rodgers truly knows what is factoring into his decision. One thing is clear, if the Packers commit to Rodgers for three or more years, they are going to have to sacrifice the potential of Jordan Love. Love has proved nothing but still has potential. This NFL draft is missing the quarterbacks that pundits predict will be a decent NFL starter. The Packers might be able to draw more interest in a draft trade for Love this year then they will in years to come. If the Packers could trade Love to jump up in round one to get a potential game changer like Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis, could that be enough to get the Packers to a Super Bowl?
The speculation is always fun, but the Packers moves are all in Rodgers’ hands now. We will soon know the importance of legacy to Aaron Rodgers, and to the Packer front office.