Report: Aaron Rodgers is not believed to play for the Packers in 2021
Updated: May 2, 2021
On Saturday morning, May 1st, Benjamin Allbright — a Broncos Insider — released a thread on Twitter that detailed the whole situation regarding the all-time great, Aaron Rodgers.
NFL quarterbacks have been taking a stand against their respective organizations like no other time in history. Among many other things, once viewed as loyal and steadfast quarterbacks to their franchise spoke strongly against their organization and some have refused to return. Whether it be disagreements with personnel, coaching, or play calling, recent quarterbacks are not shy to throw their team under the bus, which what they feel is only reciprocating the feeling.
In late February and early March, many notable networks — along with Russel Wilson — reported that Wilson was unhappy with the Seahawks and how they've handled the roster. Along other reporters, CBS NFL Insider, Jason la Canfora outlined that Wilson was frustrated with getting sacked so much. Wilson later went on the Rich Eisen show and said he wanted "more involved" in the organization's decisions.
On January 7th, Pro Football Talk published a report declaring Deshaun Watson talked with his teammates about seeking a trade. Later in the month, ESPN NFL insider, Adam Schefter, revealed that there was a growing sense around the league that Watson has played his last snap with the Texans. It was also noted that Watson wanted to have a deciding factor in the coach hiring process, and didn't receive it. He and his agent, David Mulugheta, requested a trade to the Texans and have been in an emotional and tense standoff since.
Hours before the draft on April 29th, Schefter, on ESPN's NFL Live, reported that Aaron Rodgers doesn't plan on returning and is strongly "disgruntled" with the front office. Although I have a hard time understanding his "disgruntled" emotions since he arguably has the best offense in football, I can see why he could be frustrated with some of the decisions the Packers have made. One of those decisions being the obvious: trading up in the 2020 draft to select QB Jordan Love, a presumed replacement for Rodgers.
However, the catalog of Tweets Benjamin Allbright released on May 1st (today) revealed much, much more.
While Allbright carefully chooses the word "believe", it is telling to the fact that many people around the league think Rodgers won't play for the Packers in the upcoming season.
Allbright, earlier in the thread, went on to detail that Rodgers has begun telling his teammates that he doesn't plan on returning. This rings the same bell from the Deshaun Watson situation, which hasn't had any movement since January (Watson's allegations may have altered the speed of the trade process, though).
According to Schefter and now Benjamin Allbright, no team has offered the Packers an official offer as the front office is fully committed to keeping Rodgers, despite a recently declared false report that suggested a deal was close to being finalized.
Considering the new information at hand regarding the former Jeopardy guest host, Aaron Rodgers, which new organization is he thinking about attending?
Allbright described Rodgers' discontent with the Packers as he would "welcome trades to several teams". He also went on to drop a nugget of insider information regarding the 49ers:
Not only does this information reveal Rodgers' acceptance to move on as fast as possible and leave his team behind with no second guesses, it also shows that he obviously wants to join the 49ers the most. This is predictable considering Rodgers was a west-coast native and grew up rooting for the 49ers, along with the fact that the 49ers have one of the most robust rosters in the league. This isn't happening anymore, though, since the 49ers moved on and drafted Trey Lance. Rodgers will have to look elsewhere.
It's important to note, though, that this move would have to be made after June 1st. June 1st is when cap room opens up significantly for teams around the league, with contracts, fees, and "dead money", being decreased or spread over through the upcoming league years, instead of the current one.
Rodgers signed a 4-year, $134 million contract in 2018, including a dead-cap hit of just over $38 million. In order to avoid destroying cap space, the Packers would most likely trade Rodgers after June 1st.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Rodgers' wish list consists of the 49ers, Broncos, and Raiders (in no particular order). All of these teams have a strong QB position that they committed to, except the Broncos. Their QB room currently consists of Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Jeff Driskel. That isn't pretty. Allbright said the Broncos would be believed to explore options at QB, specifically ones that would dramatically elevate the team.
Broncos would make sense disregarding the difficult division and subpar roster, because his Fiancee, Shailene Woodley, lives in Colorado.
Nothing is for certain, but Benjamin Allbright's reports, among with others, continue to reveal an aspect of evolution for the NFL as of late: players are willing to do whatever offers them the most success, whether it be throwing their team into a dumpster or not.