The future of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers remains an unknown, but the clock is ticking as a July 27 report date for training camp inches closer. Saturday morning on ESPN’s SportsCenter, senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler shared an update regarding whether or not Rodgers’ will show up when the Packers kick things off.
“Asking around the league and some people who talked to coaches and people in the Green Bay building, there’s no uniform feeling as to whether Rodgers will report,” Fowler said. “Some are hopeful that he’ll show up and others believe that it’s just going to bleed well into August and maybe even Week 1. And so, nobody truly knows what’s going to happen right now except Aaron Rodgers.
“The only clearcut answer we have is that the Packers have made clear, publicly and privately, that they’re not dealing Aaron Rodgers. I’ve talked to multiple teams that are monitoring the situation — would maybe place a call if Rodgers was available, and I’m told simply that he is not. And so, the Packers are going to wait this out and the ball is in Rodgers’ court right now.”
July 2 came and went, with Rodgers ultimately not opting out. As Fowler previously mentioned July 1, though, there is somewhat of a loophole with how Rodgers could still not play the 2021 season in Green Bay.
“Now, if he does so as a voluntary opt out, he would get paid nothing this year and his $14.7 million salary would toll until 2022,” Fowler told SportsCenter co-host Jay Harris then. “He does have a bit of a financial loophole here, Jay, because in March he earned his $6.8 million roster bonus. And since that is technically already paid out, he could argue that he shouldn’t have to give it up — they’re not going to take it back right now — that he could maybe just keep that 6.8 million, sit for a year if he wanted.
“Now, I talked to a league source who said, ‘Look, Rodgers is the utmost competitor at the end of the day. So it would be really hard for him to walk away right now, and this would all but kill his trade value in the short term but it’s the ultimate trump card for the Packers as well because it would limit all of their options.'”
Rodgers has been at odds with the Packers, highlighted by an April 29 report that he did not want to return for his 17th year in Green Bay. May 24 on SportsCenter with now-former host Kenny Mayne, Rodgers opened up about his situation.
“With my situation, look — it’s never been about the draft pick or picking Jordan,” he said of Jordan Love, whom the Packers selected with a first-round pick at No. 26 overall in 2020. “I love Jordan. He’s a great kid. A lot of fun to work together. I love the coaching staff. Love my teammates. Love the fanbase in Green Bay. It’s incredible, an incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that 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.
“And a lot of this was put in motion last year. The wrench was kind of just thrown into it when I won MVP and played the way I played last year. So this is just kind of — this fell out of our lap. But look, man — it is about the people, and that’s the most important thing. Green Bay has always been about the people, from Curley Lambeau being owner and founder to the ’60s of (Vince) Lombari and Bart Starr and all those incredible names, to the ’90s teams with coach (Mike) Holmgren and (Brett) Favre the Minister of Defense (Reggie White) to the run that we’ve been on. It’s about the people.”