AP Photo/Morry Gash
The Green Bay Packers are reportedly set on keeping Aaron Rodgers in 2022 and hopeful he wants to stay with the team moving forward.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler appeared Sunday on SportsCenter and updated the ongoing situation.
“I’m told the Packers brass has been adamant, both publicly and privately, that they want Aaron Rodgers back and that they’re all on the same page,” Fowler said. “GM Brian Gutekunst has expressed that to Rodgers. Head coach Matt LeFleur has expressed that to Rodgers. They’ve been out full front and in public about that, but also I’ve been told they’ve had some meetings with Rodgers, but it’s been, you know, not too intense yet.
“They’ve kind of recapped the season, maybe talk about the direction of the team, some of the pieces they like. But, nothing out of the ordinary that they wouldn’t do in a normal year. And so, it’s my sense that the Packers are going to give Rodgers space a little bit, kind of like they did last year. You know, they wanted to let him kind of shake out his future, shape his future. They know that he has options because this is a guy with one year left, one true year at $46 million in salary cap hit in 2022. So, if he stays, they most likely have to redo his contract. And asking around, even dating back to last offseason when things were crazy, not once did I ever hear that the Packers had hard plans to trade Aaron Rodgers. So, they’re trying to keep a united front and the same message right now that they did last year.”
Rodgers and the Packers came to a mutual understanding they would reassess his future as part of a restructured contract agreement signed at the beginning of training camp. The reigning MVP held out the entire offseason training program in hopes of forcing his way out of Green Bay amid a falling out with Packers management, specifically general manager Brian Gutekunst.
The relationship between the two sides seemingly repaired itself over the course of the 2021 season, with Rodgers again putting up MVP-caliber numbers before an upset loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round.
This offseason is essentially make-or-break in regards to Rodgers’ future with the franchise. While he can technically become a free agent in 2023, his $46.7 million cap hold is untenable. The Packers, who are $46.4 million over the projected cap for 2022, will need Rodgers to sign an extension that significantly lowers his cap number if they have any hope of retaining free agents—most notably wide receiver Davante Adams.
If Rodgers wants out, the Packers will have little choice but to acquiesce to his trade demand. Trading him would save them $26.9 million on their 2022 cap, giving them significant flexibility to rebuild the roster around Jordan Love.
Rodgers has said he will not allow the decision regarding his future linger, making it likely he finalizes his plans for 2022 in the coming weeks.