While the Packers have won two of the last three Super Bowls, the organization has been in a freefall for a couple of years. The team is in an unusual position where every move they make, even the most minor, causes a firestorm of controversy. Their decision to trade away the best player in the league (and one of the best players in the history of the league) to the Patriots for a second-round pick is already being met with anger by many, but the Packers may have just delivered a more profound injury to their fans in their other recent trade. In a shocking move, the Packers have agreed to trade their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, to the Arizona Cardinals for the draft pick the Patriots used to acquire Jimmy
If you’ve ever been a football fan, you know that Aaron Rodgers is one of the very best quarterbacks in the game. A ‘gamer’, he is an intelligent strategist, and has consistently managed to lead his teams to second-half comebacks. But what would happen if the Green Bay Packers were faced with the option of moving on from Rodgers or watching him walk away for free in the offseason? A recent tweet would indicate that Rodgers may be considering that option.When Aaron Rodgers speaks, everyone listens. After all, few NFL players can hold a crowd’s attention like the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback. While Rodgers usually lets his game do the talking, he had three words on the golf course that should convince Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst to make the most painful decision in franchise history.
And if Green Bay goes down this road, it’s only fair to blame all parties involved for getting to this point.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reacts before a playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams at Lambo Field. | Dylan Buell/Getty Images
As if losing the NFC Championship wasn’t painful enough, Packers fans have spent the past few months wondering if the team would make the playoffs in 2021. It has nothing to do with a lack of talent. It’s more about the fact that the current MVP is nowhere to be found in Green Bay.
Rodgers, unhappy with the front office, has taken a completely different approach to the preparation process as he enters his 17th season. The year in the league is going. In fact, he completely ignored the team’s offseason program. Rogers did not participate in the volunteer activities of the organized team. Since he had never missed it before, his failure to return to work clearly raised doubts about his ability to attend the mandatory mini-camp.
Much to the chagrin of Packers fans, Rodgers decided not to go either.
Meanwhile, he remained in the public eye, occasionally working as a Jeopardy! presenter and participating in a highly anticipated golf competition with Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson and Bryson Deschambault.
Since his offseason has largely consisted of travel, time with his new fiancée and everything else not related to football, Rodgers has not indicated that he plans to return to work soon.
Rogers’ grim message must convince the Packers to make the most painful decision in franchise history
During the Brady-Mickelson game, Rodgers was asked if he would play for the Packers this season. For those who were hoping to see #12 for the 14th time. Standing in the starting lineup for the second time in a row, his grim response didn’t exactly inspire confidence for what was to come.
I don’t know, Rogers said. We’ll see. We’ll see, won’t we?
Not exactly the words Packers fans wanted to hear, right? After all, it’s never good when a team’s best player doesn’t even know if he’ll be on the field this season.
At this point, Green Bay needs to seriously address a distraction that seems to linger in training camp. With Rodgers still holding on to his wait-and-see attitude, it’s time for Gutekunst to change course and finally consider the idea of trading the team’s old starting quarterback.
Would it hurt to get rid of the current MVP?
But it makes no sense to keep a player who doesn’t seem interested in putting the Packers jersey back on. And it doesn’t help that sophomore quarterback Jordan Love is sticking with Rodgers in the past. As much as it hurts to say goodbye to the all-time great, Gutekunst needs to open the phone lines and find a trade partner willing to pay a fair price for the 37-year-old version of Rodgers.
This will be more painful than Brett Favre’s departure, but given that Gutekunst offered in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to get Love , and Rodgers has a contract through 2023, shouldn’t he feel comfortable building a team around a former Utah State player?
If the Packers sell Rodgers at some point, who should bear the greatest responsibility for that outcome?
In this case, it is fair to blame both parties equally.
From an organizational standpoint, the Packers deserve criticism for several reasons. First: Why didn’t they use their top picks to surround their quarterback with top talent? Remember, the franchise never invested in first round picks, tight ends or running backs during the Rodgers era. Given that the team has rarely spent much money in free agency, it’s clear that Green Bay hasn’t done its best to surround its best player with its best backers.
The way in which the company management handled the selection of Love is also open to criticism.
Should the Packers have asked Rodgers for permission to go out with his potential successor?
Not at all.
Should they have at least informed him of their intention to take the quarterback in the first round?
Without a doubt.
Given Rodgers’ value and contributions to the organization, the Packers should have at least informed him of the long-term plans at the most important position in the sport. After the team used another top-32 pick for a player who can’t help them right away, it makes sense that Rodgers has serious issues with the way things are run in Green Bay.
At the same time, the triple MVP must take some responsibility for what happens. He has kept everyone in line for months and refused to take a clear position, at least in public. That doesn’t look good for someone who should be the undisputed leader of the team. Right now, Rodgers seems like a serious distraction that will hang over the heads of teammates and coaches until he wants to play football this season.
Maybe a change of scenery is the best solution to keep everyone happy. And if Gutekunst wants to send his own message, he should take Rodgers’ three-word answer as a sign that it’s time to end the power struggle between the organization and the disgruntled quarterback.
COMPARED TO: Derek Carr gave the Packers another reason to worry about the future of thefranchise.
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