January 24, 2021 was the day Tom Brady and his Super Bowl-bound Buccaneers marched into Green Bay to claim the NFC Championship. Aaron Rodgers and his Packers trailed the Buccs 31-23 with just over 2 minutes remaining and a 4th and goal ahead of them.
Aaron Rodgers Situation
You don’t have to be an NFL Head Coach to understand that you have one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game on your team. You also don’t need to be an expert to understand that kicking a field goal pulls you within five, whereas a touchdown and successful two-point conversion ties the game.
Packers’ Head Coach Matt LaFleur pulled the trigger and sent out his longtime reliable kicker, Mason Crosby. The world will never understand that decision, including Aaron Rodgers. The Buccs went on to convert a risky third down on a pass play and seal their fate in becoming Super Bowl Champions. Perhaps, that was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Rodgers a No-Show at Minicamp
Earlier today, longtime Packers quarterback and future Hall-of-Famer failed to report to the team’s mandatory minicamp. This is the strongest message Rodgers has publicly put on display to show his dissatisfaction with the organization.
In his only recent interview with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, the quarterback declined to talk about if he was demanding a trade, but wasn’t hesitant in letting the public be aware that he’s fed up with the Packers.
Rodgers said, “My situation has never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan. I love Jordan. He’s a great kid. It’s a lot of fun to work together. I love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. Incredible, incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy, and maybe forgetting it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way.”
By skipping minicamp, this is the first time Rodgers failed to meet a mandatory requirement in his career. If he continues down that path and misses all of camp then Rodgers is in danger of being fined upwards of $2 million.
Packers President Mark Murphy engaged and welcomed all questions in a Q&A with fans recently and acknowledged the Rodgers situation has divided their fan base, but are hopeful in coming to an eventual agreement.
Murphy wrote, “As I wrote here last month, we remain committed to resolving things with Aaron and want him to be our quarterback in 2021 and beyond. We are working to resolve the situation and realize that the less both sides say publicly, the better.”
The only benefit the Packers seek out of Rodgers missing minicamp is the opportunity it presents their young quarterback, Jordan Love. He will be taking first-team repetitions and be working directly with top wide receivers Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
While the Packers are able to excuse Rodgers if he reported tardy, they don’t have any flexibility if the quarterback refuses to report without reason. Any player with an unexcused absence from a preseason training camp with their team is responsible for being fined $50,000 per day.
It doesn’t come as a surprise the longtime Packer wants out of Green Bay. Success in the regular season doesn’t mean too much if it ultimately ends up losing in the playoffs. Somewhere else Rodgers is capable of bringing home a Super Bowl trophy, he’s certainly proved it before.