Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are about to enter an unfamiliar territory, one that has been largely avoided by NFL teams in recent years.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have had a rough start to their season. The Last Dance approach comes with obstacles for Aaron Rodgers, Packers as they try to turn things around.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – Welcome to the National Basketball Association.
That was one long-time NFL personnel executive’s response to ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s report on Monday that the Green Bay Packers made compromises to convince quarterback Aaron Rodgers to stay with the club for at least one more season.
While this has the feel of “The Last Dance,” it’s far from certain that it will conclude in the same way as Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls did: with Rodgers returning the Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay.
It is, however, evidence that an NFL player, at least one as talented as Rodgers, can now plan the path of his career with much more precision than the league has ever seen.
“It’s insane, and it screams ‘I’m larger than the team,’” the people executive said. “I assume it’ll be a one-year contract and then he’ll be traded.”
The drama of the 2021 offseason has done harm to both Rodgers and his club, perhaps irreversibly.
Packers president Mark Murphy said Monday, just before Schefter’s story of a potential deal, “I believe it’s sort of a plague on both houses, us and Aaron.”
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At least among some Packers supporters, Rodgers’ attitude to this summer has damaged his reputation. “Aaron, Go Pack,” read one yard sign in Green Bay this spring.
Rodgers’ choice to miss anything over the summer may have ramifications on the field.
Rodgers didn’t need any more 7-on-7 games or passes to wide receivers who were unprotected. But remember how involved Rodgers was in improving the scheme with coach Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett last offseason? This year, there was none of it.
“You’re either becoming better or getting worse,” as the old saying goes. No one stays the same for long, and it’s a safe assumption that rival defensive coordinators have devised countermeasures to the Packers’ most effective offensive last season.
Even if Rodgers’ expectations were so unreasonable that he wanted a voice in who the next defensive coordinator would be this season, he obviously felt insulted — whether warranted or not. In May, he gave an interview for Kenny Mayne’s last SportsCenter program, and that was the essence of his remarks.
The Packers, too, are not without flaws. Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst should never have let their three-time MVP to come to this point. The club needed to show him the gratitude and respect he thought he earned, whether it was giving him a heads-up before trading up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round last year or giving him at least the appearance of influence.
Aaron Rodgers’ choice to forgo the offseason may have consequences for the Packers on the field. Icon Sportswire/Robin Alam
Murphy will not reveal what Rodgers has informed the team he wants.
On Monday, Murphy said, “I’m not going to go into particular specifics.”
There’s no reason to believe the Packers won’t be a Super Bowl contender again if Rodgers is completely committed.
But image being a non-star player in the Packers’ locker room if one of the concessions the Packers gave Rodgers was the opportunity to have more say over the roster — there’s a rumor he wants the club to bring back receiver Randall Cobb in a trade. You must not only satisfy the coaches and scouts, but also Rodgers.
Catering to one person sends a mixed message to the other 52 participants. Sure, it’s a big-boy league, but why add to the already-heavy load?
If things are as they are today, a one-year extension has certain advantages. Even if the Packers don’t win the Super Bowl in Rodgers’ last season, they’ll have bought Love another year of growth. He seems to need it, based on all evidence. And if the Packers deal Rodgers in the spring of 2022 — likely to a losing team — they’ll get premium draft choices in exchange as well as a more experienced Love, who will be entering his third season.
According to Adam Schefter, the Packers are ready to make sacrifices in order to keep Aaron Rodgers for another season.
Whether or whether this is true, the Packers created the impression that they would go to any length for Rodgers.
On Monday, Gutekunst informed Packers shareholders, “We have been working hard with Aaron and his counsel to resolve the concerns he has raised this offseason.” “We’re still hoping for a good outcome.”
Rodgers’ silence or cryptic messages, on the other hand, simply muddled the waters more. A photo of Jordan and Scottie Pippen was one of Rodgers’ most recent postings, which was followed by a similar one from receiver Davante Adams. No one knew whether this meant Rodgers and Adams had already had their “Last Dance” or if it will happen this season.
On Monday, Murphy smiled as he remarked, “I really did like ‘The Last Dance.’” “I gained a lot of knowledge. There was a lot going on in the room. I believe [Rodgers and Adams] were simply having a good time. Aaron should be able to earn as many rings as Michael. That would be a fantastic way to finish his career.”
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