Aaron Rodgers

49ers HC Confirms Team’s Past Interest In QB Aaron Rodgers

The 49ers were consistently connected to Aaron Rodgers during the early parts of the quarterback’s standoff with the Packers. Today, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged that his team had reached out to the Packers about a potential trade.

“I thought it’d be a quick no,” Shanahan told (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk). “Which was exactly what I thought it would be. But you hear enough stuff and I think everyone knew what was going on at that time that it didn’t seem like it [wasn’t] worth the call, but I know how we would’ve felt if it was going to happen and we didn’t call. So, you call, you get a quick answer which what was what you’re expecting and then you move on.”

We previously heard that the 49ers were on Rodgers’ wish list, and the Packers even accused the 49ers of tampering after the team reached out directly to the QB. In other words, it’s not a huge surprise that the 49ers had approached the Packers about a trade, but Shanahan’s confirmation is a nice touch.

Ultimately, the 49ers decided to go in a different direction, as they went all in on a trade for third-overall pick Trey Lance. Jimmy Garoppolo remains the starter in San Francisco, but the team will eventually hand over the reigns to the North Dakota State product.

Shanahan will get a front row seat to ‘what could have been’ this weekend, as the 49ers take on Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday evening.

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NFC North Notes: Rodgers, Darrisaw, Lions

Aaron Rodgers surfaced in an NFL news cycle or two this offseason, but the reigning MVP reported to Packers training camp on time. The 37-year-old quarterback did air some grievances about his situation, and he shed more light on his complicated offseason recently. As late as the weekend before camp, Rodgers evidently was quite close to retiring. A report early during his offseason quest to leave Green Bay indicated retirement was on the table. The 17th-year veteran confirmed as such.

I mean, I felt going into the weekend before camp that I was 50/50,” Rodgers said on retirement during an appearance on the Dan LeBatard and Friends podcast (via CBS Sports). “I don’t care if people don’t believe that. That’s true. There were some things that got me to 50/50 for sure, and you know I spent a couple of days in silence and meditation and contemplation and really felt like that I should come back. There’s a lot of opportunities for growth and exciting things in Green Bay and that felt like the right thing to do.”

While Rodgers and Packers management are still not on great terms, with the sides set to huddle up after the season to determine the QB’s future, he will play a 14th season as the team’s starting QB. Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • The Vikings continue to wait on first-round pick Christian Darrisaw. The rookie left tackle is on the mend from his second core muscle surgery this year, and Mike Zimmer indicated the team was surprised this operation became necessary. “They tell me one thing and it ends up being something else,” Zimmer said, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson (on Twitter). “It was taken care of in January. We didn’t expect this.” The eighth-year Minnesota HC did say he expected Darrisaw to be ready by Week 1, but the Virginia Tech product has not practiced fully during camp and may take time to move into the starting lineup. Veteran backup/spot starter Rashod Hill has worked as the Vikings’ top left tackle in Darrisaw’s absence.
  • A car accident changed the Lions‘ depth chart recently. Last week, Detroit waived cornerback Alex Brown. More details emerged on why soon after. Brown was hit with four charges for his role in the accident, according to the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers, who tweets the 24-year-old defender was allegedly intoxicated while driving on the wrong side of a highway around 2am Aug. 15. This crash left two injured, including Lions teammate Charlie Taumoepeau, per Rogers (via Twitter). A 23-year-old tight end, Taumoepeau suffered a neck injury that required hospitalization. The Lions cut Brown immediately; Taumoepeau reverted to Detroit’s injured reserve after being waived with an injury designation.
  • Third-year player Kabion Ento has completed a successful conversion from wide receiver to cornerback with the Packers, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Although the 6-foot-1, 187-pound defender has yet to play in a regular-season game, the Packers have been patient with the ex-Colorado wideout. They stashed Ento on their practice squad in 2019, kept him on IR in 2020 — after a foot fracture sidelined him — and retained him via reserve/futures deal. Ento only caught 20 career passes with the Buffaloes and is now vying to land one of the Packers’ backup cornerback jobs.

Details On Aaron Rodgers’ Reworked Contract

The recent compromise between the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers included a decision to void the player’s contract for the 2023 season. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter) provided some new details on the terms of that agreement.

The timing of the voided contract in 2023 makes Rodgers “untaggable after 2022,” meaning he’ll hit free agency after two more seasons in Green Bay. There’s no new money in the deal, and the reworked contract will provide the organization with an extra $10MM in cap space in 2021. If the organization trades him at some point before next June, they’d be left with a whopping $26.8MM in dead money.

Further, if Rodgers makes the unexpected decision to retire after this season, the Packers will no longer have the ability to take back $11.5MM in prorated signing bonus money. This was negotiated into the reworked contract, and it makes it much easier for the quarterback to simply walk about if he desires. As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com notes, this also provides Rodgers with some leverage, as we could threaten retirement and see if the organization trades or releases him.

Finally, as Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports notes (on Twitter), the reworked contract all but assures that Rodgers won’t be in Green Bay in 2022. The reporter opines that “something truly momentous” would need to happen for the quarterback to stick around beyond the 2021 campaign.

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Latest On Packers, Aaron Rodgers

This week, Aaron Rodgers seemed to have worked out an exit strategy. However, according to Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, that’s not necessarily the case.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Gutekunst emphasized that Rodgers still has three years left on his deal. Although the two sides “may alter that,” the GM says it’s not a “one-year contract,” (Twitter link via SI.com’s Albert Breer).

That seems to contradict earlier word of the arrangement. Initially, it was believed that Rodgers’ 2023 was voided with a handshake agreement to “revisit” things next spring. Gutekunst seems willing to talk it out in 2022, but he’s also not committing to a divorce. In other words, Rodgers’ holdout is over, but the drama is here to stay.

I felt like if you can’t commit to me past 2021 and I’m not part of your recruiting process in free agency, if I’m not a part of the future, then instead of letting me be a lame-duck quarterback, if you want to make a change and move forward, then go ahead and do it,” Rodgers said this week (via ESPN.com).

I’m not a victim here,” he added. “I made a ton of money here, and I’ve been really fortunate to play a long time and to play here. At the same time I’m still competitive and I still feel like I can play, I proved it last year.”

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Aaron Rodgers Reports To Packers

Aaron Rodgers is in the building. Hours after reaching agreement on a revised contract, Rodgers arrived for Tuesday morning’s practice in Green Bay (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). 

[RELATED: Rodgers Wants Packers To Sign Cobb]

Rodgers touched down in Wisconsin on Monday night. Now, it’s official — Rodgers’ holdout is over. The two sides reached an unexpected compromise that will include the voiding of Rodgers’ 2023 season. Next year, the two sides will revisit their situation, which should mean an extension for the reigning MVP or a parting of ways.

The new deal doesn’t come with any new money, which is consistent with what we’ve heard all along — Rodgers’ holdout was less about dollars and more about loyalty. Meanwhile, his 2021 has been restructured to give the Packers additional cap room. Some of that cash could go towards a reunion with longtime pal Randall Cobb.

So, for the time being, 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love will continue to hold the clipboard. Of course, that won’t stop the speculation as Rodgers begins his “Last Dance.”

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Aaron Rodgers Wants Packers To Reacquire Randall Cobb?

Add another tributary to this stream of Monday Packers news. Aaron Rodgers is on the cusp of rejoining the team, and he may well want one of his former pass catchers back as well.

Rodgers wants Randall Cobb back in Green Bay, according to veteran broadcaster Trey Wingo and CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones (Twitter links). With the Packers willing to go to great lengths to appease the reigning MVP, the prospect of a Cobb return via trade certainly does not sound crazy.

The Texans have Cobb signed to a three-year, $27MM contract, but since-canned GM Bill O’Brien authorized that deal. And Houston acquired slot Anthony Miller from Chicago over the weekend, adding another new piece to the team’s skill-position corps. Cobb’s through-2022 contract includes a base salary of $8.25MM in 2021. Cobb will turn 31 next month, which does making him somewhat ill-fitting amid a Texans rebuild.

Green Bay, however, used a Day 2 draft pick on a wide receiver for the first time in six years in April, selecting Clemson’s Amari Rodgers in the third round. The Packers signed the 5-foot-9 target over the weekend. The ex-Trevor Lawrence weapon is expected to work in the slot as a pro, which would create an interesting overlap with Cobb’s skill set. The Packers also return Davante Adams complements Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard, with Devin Funchess attempting to return after having played one game over the past two seasons. Cobb also left Green Bay before Matt LaFleur installed his system, providing another hiccup here.

Cobb played eight seasons with the Packers, totaling 41 receiving touchdowns and more than 5,500 yards. After giving Cobb a $10MM-per-year extension in 2015, the Packers let him walk in 2019. Cobb signed with the Cowboys and outproduced the contingent the Packers hoped would fill the void, amassing 828 receiving yards in that season. While Valdes-Scantling and Lazard made bigger contributions in 2020 — a season in which an injury limited Cobb to 10 games — the Packers are clearly loading up for what may well be one last run with their franchise centerpiece. Given the news emerging Monday, it would certainly not shock to see the team part with a late-round pick to further satisfy their 17th-year quarterback.

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Packers, Aaron Rodgers Nearing Agreement To Play 2021 Season, Potentially Part Ways In 2022

It appears an unprecedented agreement is on the horizon. Just a couple of hours ago we heard that Aaron Rodgers was telling those close to him that he planned to play for the Packers in 2021, and now we know why.

The two sides are “close to an agreement” that would ensure Rodgers plays this season for the team, but would “help set up” his “departure from Green Bay after this season,” sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Packers have offered “concessions” to Rodgers to get him to agree to play, but the new agreement will not include any additional money, Schefter tweets.

In return, Rodgers will “abandon plans he had to skip training camp and instead return for it.” The 2023 year, the last one on Rodgers’ current contract, would void as a result of this agreement, Schefter tweets. The Packers would then “agree to review” Rodgers’ “situation at the end of this season” (Twitter link).

Schefter additionally reported that Rodgers’ contract will be adjusted to keep him with the same income but increase Green Bay’s cap space, and that “mechanisms will be put in place to address Rodgers’ issues with the team.” It sounds like this is setting up an incredible ‘Last Dance’-esque situation, where Rodgers is playing for the Packers but everybody acknowledges his days are numbered.

Under this agreement, Rodgers would become a free agent after the 2022 season with the year getting voided. However, Schefter writes in a full piece for ESPN.com that Green Bay’s agreement to “review” the situation next offseason “implies that the team will trade Rodgers if he still feels the way he has about the Packers’ culture and decision-making.” Schefter later confirmed in a tweet that the truce will in fact give Rodgers the “freedom to decide where he wants to play in 2022.”

As such, it sounds like Rodgers will be allowed to leave after this season if he still wants to. It’s bizarre and unusual all around, but perhaps also the only fitting conclusion to what has been a wild ride all offseason. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.

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Aaron Rodgers Plans To Play For Packers In 2021?

The Aaron Rodgers saga may be nearing a (temporary) conclusion, and he isn’t retiring. Green Bay’s star quarterback has “indicated to people close to him that he does plan to play” for the Packers this season, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Rapsheet adds that it’s “the expectation.” It’s not quite definitive, but it certainly sounds like Rodgers has made up his mind that he’ll be running it back with the Pack for at least one more year. With Green Bay’s steadfast refusal to trade him, Rodgers only had two real options. Show up soon, or retire. There were reports that he would seriously consider retirement, but they never rang true.

Rodgers is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, and since he’ll turn 38 in December he can’t afford to waste too many years as he chases an elusive second Super Bowl ring. Shortly before Rapoport’s report, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst spoke to the media and said the team was still “hopeful for a positive outcome” with respect to Rodgers, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.

Gutekunst likely knew what was about to hit the news wire. While Packers fans (and head coach Matt LaFleur) will now be able to breathe a bit easier, the drama is far from over.

Rodgers’ status will loom large all season, and things could go south in a hurry if the Packers don’t play as well as they did last year. Either way, this will once again become a big issue next offseason at the very least. This feels like a band-aid solution, and Rodgers very well may demand another trade next year when he’ll only have two seasons left on his contract.

For what it’s worth, Packers president Mark Murphy spoke right after this report broke, and said he still didn’t know whether Rodgers would be at training camp on Wednesday. But for now, don’t expect to see 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love take the field anytime soon. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we have any more clarity on Rodgers’ plans.

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Aaron Rodgers Seeking $90MM Guaranteed Over Two Years

We heard earlier this week that the Packers offered Aaron Rodgers a two-year extension that would have made him the highest-paid player in NFL history. That report, from ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, was light on details, and as our Zachary Links suggested at the time, it’s difficult to know exactly what kind of money Rodgers was really turning down.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk offers a little more context. While Florio does not know the details of the Packers’ reported offer, he does shed some light on what Rodgers is looking for. According to Florio’s sources, Rodgers wants $90MM in guaranteed money over a two-year period. The $45MM average annual value would put him on an even footing with the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, but more importantly, Green Bay would have to structure the deal in such a way that it would have no choice but to keep Rodgers through at least 2022 and perhaps through 2023.

As it currently stands, Rodgers is signed through 2023, but the Packers could theoretically cut him next offseason and save $22.7MM against the cap. They’d be left with $17.2MM in dead money, but that wouldn’t cripple them cap-wise, especially since the cap is set to increase next year. Jordan Love, with multiple years to go on his original rookie deal, would be significantly cheaper.

Although it has been said at various points throughout this saga that Rodgers is not necessarily motivated by money, the money that he’s reportedly seeking would be one way to achieve his goal of leaving Green Bay when he’s ready to leave, and not when the Packers deem Love to be ready to take the reins.

Between Rodgers and Davante Adams, the Packers are dealing with a lot of disgruntled star power. That is not a good place for any team to be in on the cusp of training camp, but especially a team that has a roster capable of contending for a title.

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Latest On Aaron Rodgers, Packers

A big week for Packers news, coming in advance of Monday’s annual franchise shareholders meeting, naturally centers on Aaron Rodgers. The Packers report to training camp Tuesday, and nothing about the reigning MVP’s offseason points to him being on the field.

Rodgers has continued to train as if he will play in 2021, however. Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari shared a photo of he and Rodgers working out this week at Proactive Sports Performance in California (h/t Fox 6’s Lily Zhao). A Proactive Sports Performance representative also said, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, that Rodgers is “working and he’s ready” for the season.

[RELATED: No Packers-Rodgers Resolution Expected Until Training Camp]

Rodgers’ desire not to play for the Packers again has become fairly clear. He missed OTAs for the first time in his career and skipped minicamp. The Packers, however, retain his rights and have budged from their stance against a trade. This staring contest is set to push into camp, and Las Vegas has made some interesting adjustments regarding the Packers and NFC North.

The Westgate SuperBook closed its NFC North betting, and two other Vegas sportsbooks revealed to SI.com’s Bill Huber the expectation is Rodgers will announce his retirement before the Packers report to camp. The 37-year-old quarterback was linked to retirement early in this impasse, and the move would remind of Carson Palmer‘s 2011 retirement — a move the then-31-year-old passer made to force the Bengals’ hand. That play ended up working, though Cincinnati kept Palmer in retirement until the trade deadline that October.

Any Rodgers trade package would surpass what the Bengals collected for Palmer — a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-rounder — but the Packers have held firm for months here. So has Rodgers, who turned down a deal that would have (again) made him the NFL’s highest-paid player. Although it is not known how that proposed extension was to be structured, this standoff is not believed to be financially motivated.

The team is winding down its most turbulent offseason since at least 2008, with Davante Adams‘ ending extension talks this week adding to this drama. While Packers teammates believe Rodgers will be with them this season, per Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed, his holdout stands to intensify Tuesday.

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