NFL

Would Aaron Rodgers go away the Inexperienced Bay Packers? What a break up would imply for either side

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers‘ feedback after Sunday’s NFC Championship Recreation loss turned the Green Bay Packers‘ offseason right into a watch social gathering that would final till the 37-year-old quarterback reveals up for the offseason program — if there’s one — or the beginning of coaching camp.

In a single videoconference, he flung open what beforehand had been only a small window of risk that he wouldn’t be again subsequent season with the one workforce he has ever performed for in his 16-year NFL profession.

The cash quote from Rodgers — after he put himself in the category of guys with “uncertain” futures — was this:

“There’s lots of unknowns going into this offseason now. I will need to take a while away, for positive, and clear my head and simply form of see what is going on on with every little thing. But it surely’s fairly powerful proper now, particularly excited about the blokes that will or will not be right here subsequent yr. There’s at all times change. That is the one fixed on this enterprise.”

Whereas coach Matt LaFleur responded to that by saying, “he higher be again right here,” there’s loads to type by way of in terms of Rodgers’ future with the Packers.

Listed below are some solutions to the questions dealing with Rodgers and the Packers, based mostly on season-long observations and conversations with these near the scenario:

Was Rodgers severe?

Gamers all need to management when the tip comes for them, and Rodgers admitted final spring after the Packers drafted Jordan Love within the first spherical that he lost some of that control. So sure, he has severe questions on his future in Inexperienced Bay. When he referred to as his future “a beautiful mystery” last week, he left issues open-ended when it got here to the 2021 season.

He has by no means talked about the phrase retirement, and he hasn’t publicly modified his stance about desirous to play into his 40s. After final yr’s NFC Championship Recreation loss, Rodgers talked about how the window to win another Super Bowl remained open. That by no means got here up on Sunday.

It may have been the frustration over one other convention title recreation loss — his fourth in a row in such video games — however those that have been round Rodgers for any important size of time know he not often, if ever, says something that is not effectively thought out.

Does he need out?

Like Brett Favre, who waffled yearly about retirement towards the tip of his profession, Rodgers desires to be wished. It is human nature. Whereas LaFleur stated he desires to roll with Rodgers so long as potential, Rodgers has motive to wonder if that is greater than a year-to-year scenario.

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Adam Schefter and Pat McAfee get fired up over Dan Orlovsky refusing to consider Aaron Rodgers will go away Inexperienced Bay.

If Rodgers does not need to reside season to season questioning if annually shall be his final in Inexperienced Bay, then maybe he is searching for the Packers to recommit to him.

Sure, he has a contract that runs by way of 2023, however they may make it clear that he is not simply residing yr to yr by restructuring his deal. They might throw extra assured cash at him — he has none left on the $134 million extension he signed in 2018 — to let him know he is their man past simply the 2021 season.

They might additionally assist their salary-cap place with a restructured deal. They might flip base salaries into signing bonus cash, which then might be prorated over future seasons for salary-cap functions.

Are the Packers prepared to maneuver on?

Normal supervisor Brian Gutekunst labored beneath Ted Thompson, who drafted Rodgers after which traded Favre in 2008 when Favre wished to unretire. Gutekunst admitted shortly after he took over in 2018 that he knew a part of his legacy could be tied as to whether he may find the next franchise quarterback who would proceed the decades-long greatness and stability the Packers have loved at that place.

If Gutekunst nonetheless believes Love is that participant, then maybe he would sacrifice the rapid future moderately than sticking with Rodgers for one more season or two. After all, Gutekunst may squash any notion of that by saying not solely is Rodgers the quarterback for subsequent yr however for the foreseeable future so long as his play does not decline. Gutekunst is predicted to talk with reporters by the tip of the week.

Who has the leverage?

Rodgers, particularly after he wins his third MVP in a few weeks. Sure, the Packers technically management him for 3 extra seasons, however he can simply drive their hand by asking for his launch or a commerce. Have a look at what Deshaun Watson has finished with the Houston Texans. Gamers used to have little management within the NFL, however it’s changing into extra of a gamers’ league than ever earlier than by way of leverage.

What may the Packers get in return?

Sources across the league do not consider Rodgers is on the commerce market at this level, but when Rodgers asks for one, the idea is {that a} workforce — or groups — could be prepared to half with a first- and both a second- or third-round choose for Rodgers.

A Watson commerce may assist set the market as effectively, however the expectation is that the Texans would have the ability to land greater than what Rodgers is value on condition that Watson is 12 years youthful.

What are the monetary ramifications?

Given all of the incentives Rodgers reached this season, his cap quantity for subsequent yr jumped to $37.572 million, a rise of about $1.22 million. Which means the Packers would save a bit of greater than $6 million in cap house in the event that they moved on by both buying and selling or releasing Rodgers this spring.

They’d rely $31.556 million in useless cash on their cap. In the event that they made both transfer after June 1, their financial savings could be greater than $23 million. Rodgers has a roster bonus of $6.eight million due on the third day of the league yr this March. That is the one lump-sum fee he is owed on the remainder of his deal. The remainder is in base salaries, weekly bonuses and incentives.

Is Love prepared?

Nothing he has proven, no less than publicly, would counsel that. However that is no shock on condition that he has taken third-string reps going all the way in which again to coaching camp. Reporters are allowed to look at just one interval of particular person or group drills throughout practices. However even throughout these viewing classes, Love has struggled with accuracy — within the drill the place quarterbacks throw to a stationary goal (normally a internet) and to gamers working routes on air (with no defender).

Backup Tim Boyle could be extra suited to play in 2021 than Love. There’s additionally at all times the likelihood that the Packers may commerce Love just like the Patriots did with Jimmy Garoppolo. That will be one strategy to inform Rodgers they’re dedicated to him long run, after which they may strive once more with one other quarterback in a future draft.

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