Latest Report On Aaron Rodgers

Fix this, Green Bay. No matter the cost.

Jim Rome
May 03, 2021 - 9:23 am
Aaron Rodgers

USA Today

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This past weekend was one hell of a sports weekend. The NFL Draft, the Kentucky Derby, a UFC card, the return of LeBron James, Jayson Tatum going for 60..., I could keep going.  But the biggest story of the weekend continued to be Aaron Rodgers and his future with the Packers.

If you thought that was just a one-day flash in the pan on Thursday before the draft, just SOME weird quirky story that pops up, and then goes away, you were wrong. Way, way wrong.

It wasn’t a one off.  And it didn’t just come out of nowhere. That story is now more than a year in the making and it’s not going away anytime soon. AND Early Saturday morning, Charles Robinson dropped another bombshell regarding Rodgers and his situation with Green Bay, quote:

“The reigning league MVP remains adamant that he won’t return to the team under the current stewardship of general manager Brian Gutekunst, a source in Rodgers’ camp said”

To quote one of the all-time great Olympians and one of the all-time worst singers: Uh-oh!

Uh to the oh.

And from a Packer perspective, it only gets worse. Because that wasn’t even the full sentence. I mean, you could’ve just dropped that clause and called it day, but here comes the rest of the sentence about how pissed Rodgers is:  

“And that he’s willing to weigh hardline options at his disposal — from refusing to show up for offseason activities to holding out of training camp and possibly retirement.” 

In other words, although no one is saying it, either on or off the record, it sounds like it’s either me or him. And if that is the case, how the hell are you taking the GM over the MVP.

I’m trying to think of something more asinine than that, but nothing is coming to mind. I mean, sure, Aaron was the best player in the league last year, and is one of the best players ever, but Gutes, like Gutes is the greatest executive in the history of the world; that’s some Krumbs Krause type of bullcrap there: you know, the whole players don’t win championships, organizations do. I mean sure, players are important, just not nearly as important as the guy who helps pick them and then pisses them off: that’s the dude who is most responsible for the Lombardi, not the guy under center.

I’d ask how the hell the Packers ever let it get to this point, but I know the answer; they value the gm more than they do their MVP, hall of fame q.b.: that’s how it got to this point. And what point is that: the hall of fame Q.B. hates that same gm so much he’s thinking about retiring just after winning the MVP rather than show up and work with this dude in the building. 

And if that really is the situation, there is absolutely nothing about this that is good for the Packers. Unless, of course, the Packers really want to see what they have in Jordan Love.

You wanted the guy, you traded up to get him, and now you have to play him

And yet at the same time, the Packers have been trying to say they can’t imagine life without Rodgers. Matt LaFleur was the latest when he said:

"I can't fathom [him] not being in Green Bay. That's where my mind's at. I don't only love the player, but I love the person. I love working with him on a daily basis; I think we all do -- from the players in that locker room to the coaching staff. Again, I don't even want to let my mind go there."

So which one is it? You can’t imagine life without Aaron Rodgers? Or you can’t wait to find out what life is like without the guy: because you’re saying one thing, but your actions represent just the opposite. 

But throughout this, one of the things that keeps coming up is people waiting to hear directly from Rodgers himself about the latest reports. And there was a chance to hear from him on Saturday when he was at the Kentucky Derby.

Rodgers and Mike Tirico bumped into each other at Churchill Downs and while he didn’t want to go on camera, this is how Tirico summarized the conversation. 

So that confirms that there is an issue. There is a “fissure. There is a chasm between management and the reigning NFL MVP.

How big is the gap between both sides? That’s hard to know at the moment. It’s not as if words like fissure and chasm provided any clarity.  Me being a wordsmith, I have to remind you, there is a difference between a fissure and a chasm.  Like. Is this more of a cleft, or a gorge, or a canyon, or even an abyss?  Let me just use some words we can all understand to describe this situation: completely jacked up.  It was messed up a year ago when they took love without telling Rodgers.  And it’s worse now than it was then.  Much worse.

And as bad it was when they drafted his replacement and didn’t have the courtesy of communicating with him what and why they were doing it, the situation was still salvageable. When Rodgers went out and won the MVP, the organization just had to own it, swallow hard and admit to themselves, all right, we were wrong; dude still has plenty left. Hell he was the best player in the entire league last year. Let’s own that, acknowledge that, and the fact that it’s not Love’s time yet, and take care of Rodgers.   He freaking earned it. And according to Robinson, if the team did that, and re-committed to him with a new contract and a guaranteed money, because there’s currently no more of that on his deal, that would have fixed everything. 

But, according to Robinson, the Packers weren’t really into that. They weren’t initially going to do anything beyond a restructure that would guarantee his contract for 2021.

No one wonder this dude is ready go to nuclear: no wonder he doesn’t want to be there: because they couldn’t have made it any more clear to him they don’t want to him there: they drafted his replacement, and even after he went out and had an MVP year, they reportedly wouldn’t commit to him with the new deal he obviously deserves. 

And yes, I know that committing to Rodgers for a couple more years would mean that the team has to admit that they were wrong to draft Jordan Love. And they should admit that. Because they were.

And if you want to compare this to the way Carson Palmer forced his way out of Cincinnati back in the day, you can. But know this. That was Cincinnati. This is Green Bay. Green Freaking Bay. The old Bengals had a history of screwing things up; of course, Carson wanted out. He was right to want out; he played for the Bengals; for who, for what. This is different. This is the Packers were talking about: the gold standard. This is one of the Tiffany franchises not just in the NFL, but in all of sports.

You cannot be serious with this. You cannot screw this up. You have Aaron Rodgers. You have the league MVP. He’s taken you to back to back NFC championship games. And you’re going to treat him like this?

Jordan Love hasn’t even thrown a pass in an NFL game. Yet you’re willing to burn a bridge with one of your best players ever for him. 

So what happens now? What’s next? As Robinson reports, Packers team president Mark Murphy knows about Aaron’s feelings about the GM and “the ball is in Mark’s court” according to the source.

This is Tom Brady in New England all over again: sure, Brady was free to go where he wanted, and Rodgers is still under contract, but if Rodgers really does hate Gutekunst enough to retire, then he does have a hammer.  So what do what Tampa Bay did for Brady: in other words do the right thing: give him what he earned, give him what he needs, and fix the situation.  And if that means firing your gm, you do that too, because you’re league MVP and Hall of Famer is a helluva more important to your organization than your easy to replace GM.  You probably still have a chance to fix it, so do it. Do it now.