On the day of the first night of the NFL Draft, news broke that Aaron Rodgers was unhappy with the Green Bay Packers organization and did not want to return. The news tarnished what should have been a celebratory weekend for the Packers and, especially, their new players. Nine players finally saw their dreams realized as the Packers made them official NFL players. As far as drafts go, the Packers had a very good one, drafting players in every position of need that they had. All of that, though, was overshadowed by the Aaron Rodgers drama.
Over the course of the weekend, many rumors circulated as “reports” that presented many scenarios that may or may not have played out between Aaron Rodgers and Packers’ management. First, of course, was the rumor that Rodgers was so infuriated with the Packers’ trading up to draft Jordan Love that he wants to leave. Next came a report that the Packers promised to trade Rodgers this offseason, but then changed their minds.
Finally, yesterday, a report came out that stated that Aaron Rodgers wants more input in the Packers’ roster decisions. According to sources, which at this point may or may not be real, Rodgers has been upset with management for years. Apparently, he was disgruntled when Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and others were let go when their price tags became too high. The “death knell,” according to the “source,” was when the Packers released PRACTICE SQUAD wide receiver Jake Kumerow the day after Aaron Rodgers publicly praised him in a press conference.
No Player Is Above The Organization
There is a story told about Jim Ringo, the best offensive lineman the Packers had in the early days of Vince Lombardi’s tenure with the Packers. He was an All-Pro, the only All-Pro, in fact. As he got older, he wanted more money, but he also had a desire to play closer to his home in Philadelphia. When he came to the Packers asking for more money or a trade, the Packers traded him. He was one of their more popular players, he was vital to the storied sweep that helped make Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor legends.
However, he was not above the organization. No player is above the organization.
Of course, Jim Ringo was no Aaron Rodgers. Surely, there have been communication errors on the side of management in regards to their star quarterback. However, each member of the Packers’ leadership team, Mark Murphy, Brian Gutekunst, and Matt LaFleur, have all come out publicly and expressed their desire to bring Rodgers back next season. There has been no such statement from Aaron Rodgers. For a person who has, many times, bemoaned people speaking for him, he sure is allowing many people to speak for him now.
The Packers have made Aaron Rodgers one of the highest-paid players in NFL history. They have surrounded him with the best offensive line in football, the best wide receiver in football, a top-five running back, a tight end that caught 11 touchdowns, and a head coach who will do anything to keep him.
At this point, this whole situation is unfair to Rodgers’ teammates. If, and that is a big if, because Rodgers has not said anything, he wants more money and more say in roster moves, his teammates will suffer. Davante Adams and the rest of the receiving core (minus Amari Rodgers) are all free agents after this season. If Rodgers gets even more money, the Packers will not be able to afford them, especially Adams.
How Long Does Rodgers Really Have Left?
Aaron Rodgers is in his late 30s, but he just won the NFL MVP. Tom Brady is well into his 40s and just won the Super Bowl. However, a quarterback can fall off quickly with no warning. The man Aaron Rodgers replaced, Brett Favre, had an MVP-caliber season in his first season with the Vikings. The next season, though, he fell off dramatically and retired after the season ended. Peyton Manning threw 55 touchdown passes for the Broncos, but then the next year could not throw the ball longer than eight yards down the field. Drew Brees fell off dramatically this season and ended his career a shadow of his former self.
Has Rodgers shown any signs of slowing down? Not necessarily. However, he is closer to the end of his career than he is to the beginning. The Packers have the best situation for him in terms of weapons. If he does not want to be a part of it, then it is time to trade him. Even without him, the Packers have a good enough roster to win the NFC North and compete for a Super Bowl.
Thanks for the memories, 12. We’ll forget about this one eventually.