Packers Rumors

Jordan Love: I’ve Spoken To Aaron Rodgers, Ready To Start Week 1

The big story of this NFL offseason has been the Aaron Rodgers drama in Green Bay. Depending on how things shake out, the Jordan Love Packers era could start in as early as a few months.

There have been reports that team brass didn’t think Love was particularly close to being ready to start last year, but the Utah State product sounds confident heading into 2021. “A hundred percent,” Love said when asked if he’ll be ready to start come Week 1, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

Obviously, this is a time where I’m getting a lot of extremely valuable reps that I might not have been getting in a normal circumstance. So I’m just going to take it day by day. … But yeah, that’s what I’m here for. I was drafted here to play quarterback, so I’ll definitely be ready Week 1.

Love, of course, was referring to Rodgers’ holdout from the team’s mandatory minicamp. The 26th pick of last year’s draft also interestingly revealed that he’s stayed in touch with Rodgers this offseason. In fact, Demovsky reports that Love said he spoke with Rodgers shortly before arriving in Green Bay for OTAs.

A lot of Rodgers’ beef with the Packers reportedly stems from the process of selecting Love, which he wasn’t in the loop for, but he apparently hasn’t let that effect his relationship with his young potential successor.

Demovsky writes that Love has been hot and cold so far, struggling one day then having stretches of brilliance the next. Despite being in contact Love said he has no idea what Rodgers is going to do, and that he was “surprised” he elected to skip minicamp.

Despite getting drafted in 2020, Love won’t turn 23 until November. At this point, it seems like there’s a good chance he’s thrown into the fire before then.

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Davante Adams Will Not Stage Holdout

Although Davante Adams reported for Packers minicamp this week, he did not participate in any of the three-day event’s on-field work. Adams is not injured, but the All-Pro wideout kept it light while in a contract year, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic tweets.

This approach could be classified in the hold-in genre, but Adams provided assurances this week his contract will not be an issue come training camp. The eighth-year receiver said he will report to Packers camp in the event he does not have a new deal in hand by then, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The 2020 CBA’s punishments for holding out are stiffer than they were under the 2011 agreement. Teams are no longer able to waive fines for players who hold out. Aaron Rodgers may well go through with one anyway, but his top target is not planning to do so. Adams joined the rest of the Packers’ veteran receivers by skipping those, but the rest of this group did go through minicamp with Jordan Love. The upcoming stretch for Adams proves interesting, given Rodgers’ status.

Adams, 28, has become one of the NFL’s premier wideouts, but his contract no longer reflects it. He signed a four-year, $58MM extension in December 2017. The Packers did well to lock Adams down before he had compiled a 1,000-yard season, correctly anticipating the former second-round pick would break out. Adams now has two 1,000-yard campaigns and a 997-yard 2019, when he played just 12 games, and he led the NFL with 98.1 receiving yards per game last season. The Fresno State alum, however, signed his extension before the receiver market climbed in 2018. Excluding Allen Robinson‘s franchise tag, Adams is now the NFL’s 16th-highest-paid receiver.

While Adams has earned a lucrative third contract, it is not yet certain he will aggressively pursue one with the Packers. Rodgers has undoubtedly helped Adams rise to his current place among receivers, and his top weapon said last month a Rodgers-less future in Green Bay would impact his plans with the Packers. Adams stumped for Rodgers again this week. With the reigning MVP not budging in his quest to leave, Adams signing a long-term extension could tie him to Love and/or another non-Rodgers QB1 for the rest of his prime.

Of course, Adams betting on himself in a season without Rodgers would bring some risk as well. Should he opt against an extension, the Packers would still have the franchise tag at their disposal. They have not used the tag since 2010, when they cuffed defensive lineman Ryan Pickett.

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Contract Details: Tannehill, Saints, Ravens

Here are the details from the latest contracts agreed to around the NFL:

  • Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): Tannehill’s restructured deal will pay out a $1.5MM base salary in 2021 and count $11.1MM against the cap, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Those numbers jump back up beginning in 2022, with Tannehill set to earn a $29MM base salary and count $38.6MM against Tennessee’s cap. In 2023, Tannehill is due a $27MM base and will be a $36.6MM cap hit. The Titans used two void years (2024 and ’25) to help create more than $15MM in cap space.
  • Marshon Lattimore, CB (Saints): Four years, $120MM, according to Yates (on Twitter). Like New Orleans’ Taysom Hill deal, this contract is flush with void years and does not reflect true value. Lattimore’s fifth-year option ($10.2MM) will be spread onto the Saints’ 2021 and ’22 salary caps, with $2.841MM on this year’s cap and $7.403MM next year, according to OverTheCap. Lattimore remains under contract through 2021.
  • Gus Edwards, RB (Ravens): Two years, $10MM. Edwards will collect a $3.75MM signing bonus and earn base salaries of $1MM (2021), $3.25MM (’22) and $4.38MM (’23) on this extension, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required).
  • Ja’Wuan James, OT (Ravens): One year, up to $9MM. James will receive a $500K signing bonus but count just $250K toward Baltimore’s cap this year, Zrebiec adds. If James is on the Ravens’ roster on the fifth day of the 2022 league year, he will collect a $500K roster bonus. In that scenario, James’ 2022 base salary will be $2.5MM. He would then count $3.25MM against the Ravens’ 2022 cap. $5MM in incentives round out the deal.
  • De’Vondre Campbell, LB (Packers): One year, $2MM, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein (on Twitter). Campbell will receive a $1.1MM signing bonus and count $1.19MM against Green Bay’s 2021 cap. The Packers tacked on four void years, creating an $808K cap hit in 2022. The deal also contains $500K in playing-time incentives.

Latest On Packers, Aaron Rodgers

While Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy recently made it clear that he wants Aaron Rodgers to stick around Green Bay, the executive isn’t doing much to help his cause. During an event at Lambeau on Thursday, Murphy admitted that his star quarterback is a “complicated fella” (via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter).

[RELATED: Packers’ Aaron Rodgers Begins Holdout]

“I’m often reminded though…of Ted Thompson, as most of you know, just a great general manager, passed away (earlier this year),” Murphy said (via NBC 26 in Green Bay). “(Thompson) often talked about Aaron, that he’s a… and it wasn’t just Aaron, a lot of different players. He would say ‘He’s a complicated fella.’…So I’ll just leave it at that.”

That probably won’t help, Mark. Rodgers officially began his holdout this week as the future Hall of Famer continues to push for a divorce. The reigning MVP wants to take his talents elsewhere, which would leave 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love or Blake Bortles as the No. 1 QB in Green Bay. Murphy, GM Brian Gutekunst, and head coach Matt LaFleur say that won’t happen, leading to the current standoff.

During a recent column on the team website, Murphy noted that Rodgers trade request has divided the fan base, but he also noted that the organization is “committed to resolving things with Aaron.” From a financial perspective, the Packers front office may be on to something. While Rodgers has already passed on $500K of bonuses by missing the team’s voluntary workout (and he could lose another $200+ for skipping minicamp), the real financial toll will come when Rodgers starts missing games. In the unlikely event he stays home all year, the 37-year-old will forfeit his $14.7MM salary, $6.8MM roster bonus, and be forced to refund $23MM of his signing bonus.

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NFL Suspends Packers TE Jace Sternberger

The Packers will not have Jace Sternberger to start their season. The third-year tight end incurred a two-game suspension Thursday for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

This represents a critical setback for the former third-round pick. Sternberger has yet to make much of an impact with the Packers, who have since found a productive receiving tight end in UDFA Robert Tonyan. Green Bay also re-signed Marcedes Lewis this year.

A Texas A&M product, Sternberger missed a chunk of his rookie season after beginning it on IR. He ended up missing 10 games as a rookie. Last season, the 6-foot-4 pass catcher played in 12 contests and caught 12 passes. He was on the field for just 19% of Green Bay’s offensive snaps, however, with Tonyan (61%) and Lewis (41%) playing bigger roles.

Two seasons remain on Sternberger’s rookie contract, but this suspension will not help his chances of carving out a notable role in his third NFL season.

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Packers To Sign QB Jake Dolegala

Five quarterbacks now reside on the Packers’ 90-man roster. After participating in Green Bay’s minicamp on a tryout basis this week, Jake Dolegala signed with the team, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Dolegala joined Jordan Love and recently signed QBs Blake Bortles and Kurt Benkert in Packers workouts this week. Dolegala may end up sticking around through training camp, though this scenario may be contingent on another player’s status.

Aaron Rodgers did not show for Packers minicamp, beginning his long-rumored holdout, and the reigning MVP has shown no signs of budging in his quest to leave Green Bay. Despite substantial fines on tap for training camp absences, Rodgers not turning up in late July is a very real possibility.

The Packers entered their offseason program with only Love as a willing quarterback participant, having not kept previous Rodgers backup Tim Boyle as a restricted free agent. Boyle is now in Detroit. The team’s QB depth chart now looks considerably different.

A four-year starter at Central Connecticut State, Dolegala went to training camp with the Bengals in 2019 and ’20 but has yet to throw a regular-season pass. The 6-foot-7 QB then bounced on and off the Patriots’ practice squad last season. New England parted ways with the 24-year-old passer shortly after the draft.

Defensive lineman Anthony Rush is expected to be waived to make room for Dolegala, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets. Rush played in one game with the Packers last season and has suited up for 14 over the past two years, spending 2019 with the Eagles and part of 2020 with the Seahawks.

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Packers To Sign De’Vondre Campbell

The Packers are set to sign inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky). The deal could become official by the end of the business day on Wednesday, if everything checks out with his physical. 

Green Bay has been on the lookout for ILB support ever since moving on from Christian Kirksey. Campbell, who previously started for the Falcons and Cardinals, overlapped with Packers head coach Matt LaFleur in Atlanta. They’ll reunite in Wisconsin as Campbell tests his veteran experience against Krys Barnes, Kamal Martin, and Ty Summers.

The Packers were also connected to Campbell last offseason, but they chose to sign Kirksey instead. This time around, they held off on signing Campbell until after the May deadline, so this pickup won’t impact their compensatory pick calculation for 2022.

Campbell first entered the league a fourth-round pick in 2016, the year he played for LaFleur. All in all, he’s appeared in 75 career games, including 70 starts. He was also first-string for all 16 games of his games last year with the Cardinals. Campbell’s best work arguably came in 2019, when he notched 129 stops for the Falcons.

Terms of the deal are not yet known, but Campbell likely signed for less than last year’s one-year, $6MM pact with Arizona.

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QB Jake Dolegala Participating At Packers Minicamp As Tryout Player

The Packers are considering adding another quarterback to the mix. Jake Dolegala has been participating at Green Bay minicamp on a tryout basis, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

Aaron Rodgers won’t be attending minicamp as his standoff with the organization continues, so Matt LaFleur and co. apparently wanted to add another arm to the mix. It’s not like the Packers had an empty depth chart; the team already brought in Blake Bortles and Kurt Benkert as free agents to pair with 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love. If Rodgers does return, Dolegala would find himself fifth on the depth chart.

Dolegala was a four-year starter at Central Connecticut, and he ultimately became the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. During his senior season, he completed 61-percent of his passes for 2,221 yards and 16 touchdowns vs. only six interceptions, and that performance earned him a contract from the Bengals as a 2019 undrafted free agent. He ended up sitting on the team’s 53-man roster for the entirety of the 2019 campaign.

The quarterback was cut by the Bengals at the end of the 2020 preseason, and he spent much of the 2020 season bouncing on and off the Patriots practice squad. He was ultimately waived by New England back in April.

Packers’ Aaron Rodgers Begins Holdout

As expected, Aaron Rodgers did not report for the start of Packers’ minicamp on Tuesday. He’s now officially holding out as the saga continues between him and the Brian Gutekunst-led front office. 

Rodgers has already passed on $500K of bonuses by missing the team’s voluntary work. Now, he could potentially lose $93K for each day of the three-day minicamp. However, the Packers are thinking about waiving the fines in an effort to smooth things over with their franchise star.

Still, Rodgers’ stance has not changed. The reigning MVP wants to take his talents elsewhere, which would leave 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love or Blake Bortles as the No. 1 QB in Green Bay. Gutekunst, president Mark Murphy, and head coach Matt LaFleur say that won’t happen. So, with that, Rodgers has officially begun his holdout.

It’d be a shock to see Rodgers extend his holdout through Week 1. But, if he does, it’ll be costly. If he stays home all year, the 37-year-old will forfeit his $14.7MM salary, $6.8MM roster bonus, and be forced to refund $23MM of his signing bonus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.