One way or another, Aaron Rodgers says a decision about his Green Bay Packers future will be coming in the next “couple weeks.”
Rodgers has spent the past week sharpening his golf game between his victory with Bryson DeChambeau over Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson in The Match on Tuesday and his ongoing participation in the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe, but it was inevitable that he would address the elephant in the room about his NFL future at some point while out on the greens.
After all, Rodgers’ status with the Packers is one of the NFL’s biggest unanswered mysteries heading into the start of training camp at the end of the month.
The league’s reigning MVP didn’t exactly have words of reassurance for fans anxious to know whether he will return to Green Bay for 2021, but Rodgers did say his priorities would be back on business once his week was over.
“I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this week,” Rodgers said Saturday at Lake Tahoe, “and then I’m going to get back to working out and figure things out in a couple weeks.”
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Rodgers Turning Heads at Tahoe
There have been more than a few offseason questions and speculations about Rodgers since ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s draft-night report about his rift with the Packers, but not one of them has been about the 37-year-old quarterback’s physical capabilities. He is coming off one of his finest seasons ever as an NFL starter and seems more than capable of pushing his career into his 40s given how he maintains his body.
But let’s be honest: There’s still something fun about seeing Rodgers on the shore-side greens at Lake Tahoe pinpointing an absolute bomb to a stranger on a pontoon boat.
Normally, a player who skipped the entire offseason might get some scrutiny about how physically prepared he is heading into training camp, but Rodgers has long been one of the league’s veterans against spring workouts. He argued against their utility during CBA talks last year and appreciated the offseason freedom players were afforded in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic making most things virtual.
Rodgers also took all that additional time to himself and put it toward giving the Packers some of his best performances in years, so it’s safe to assume even with his unresolved issues with the organization that Rodgers hasn’t let himself spoil ahead of 2021 training camp. Whether the Packers will get to see that for themselves, though, will have to wait a “couple weeks.”
No-Show Remains Possibility for Rodgers
The optimist would take Rodgers smiling on the golf course and talking about figuring things out as a sign that he will be leading the Packers when the 2021 season begins. Facts clearly still support that likelihood, too, given Rodgers is under contract for another three seasons and would face expensive penalties if he did not show up for work ahead of July 28’s first camp practice.
There are also still a few outcomes, though, that could be a little more dramatic.
If Rodgers is in a frame of mind where he is not returning to Green Bay without A or B, retirement could be an option for him to avoid some of the harsher fines that would result from missing time at camp and in-season. He would have to pay back about $11.5 million if he stayed retired for the entire 2021 season, but his overall value makes them withstandable if viewed by him as a legitimate negotiation tactic.
He could also simply hold out for some of camp, even if only for a few practices. It would buy him a little more time to work out the finer details of a potential new arrangement with the Packers, while it would also allow the coaching staff/front office a longer look at Jordan Love functioning as their QB1. Maybe Rodgers isn’t keen on facing more penalties— as missing days of camp incurs mandatory fines — but, again, money doesn’t seem to be the motivating factor in the situation.