Aaron Rodgers has said little throughout what has easily been the most turbulent offseason of his NFL career, but the reigning MVP provided an indication of his timetable Saturday.
During the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, the Packers quarterback said he plans to “get back to working out and figure things out in a couple weeks” (h/t USA Today’s Ben Kenney). This cryptic comment is certainly not out of the ordinary from Rodgers, who has played it close to the vest throughout this process — which turned into a holdout when he skipped Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp last month. The Packers, however, are set to open training camp in just more than two weeks (July 27).
Rodgers’ comment follows a report that indicated this stalemate was not on track to be resolved until at least training camp. While Rodgers’ loose timeline lines up with Packers camp, his holdout is not believed to be about money. He will face fines of $50,000 for each camp day missed. The 37-year-old superstar has long been entrenched in his desire to leave the Packers, which has stemmed from an issue with team management.
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has been resolute against trading Rodgers, and ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler noted recently the trade market for the 16-year veteran is nonexistent (Twitter link). This does not mean no interest has spawned, as the Broncos have been linked to the future Hall of Famer since his desire to leave Green Bay emerged in late April, but that the Packers have not given any indication a trade is realistic.
In addition to skipping the Packers’ offseason program, Rodgers has not linked up with Green Bay pass catchers on his own. That gave presumptive successor Jordan Love plenty of extra reps during OTAs and minicamp. The 2020 first-round pick, whose arrival began this turmoil between Rodgers and the Packers, took roughly 90% of the team’s offseason team reps.
It will be interesting if Rodgers reports to Packers camp, given the acrimony between he and Gutekunst and team president Mark Murphy. Gutekunst, Murphy and Matt LaFleur attempted to resolve this situation for months, prior to Rodgers’ exit hopes becoming public, but no solution came. The Packers have the leverage of holding Rodgers’ rights, while the three-time MVP can withhold his services and essentially drop the team off the Super Bowl contender radar. Either way, this saga will gain clarity later this month.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.