Aaron Rodgers, according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, will not attend the mandatory camp for all Green Bay Packers players starting Tuesday:
Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers is not expected to attend Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp that starts Tuesday, per sources. Green Bay could opt to fine him $93,085 for his absences or it could make it an excused absence and waive the fine. But Rodgers is not expected there.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2021
This follows a weekend of public posturing by Packers upper management regarding Rodgers, including this comment by Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy:
The situation we face with Aaron Rodgers has divided our fan base. The emails and letters that I’ve received reflect this fact. As I wrote here last month, we remain committed to resolving things with Aaron and want him to be our quarterback in 2021 and beyond. We are working to resolve the situation and realize that the less both sides say publicly, the better.
One wonders how making a public comment regarding a matter that as part of publicly addressing contains a note about how said matter is best not discussed publicly … maybe it’s Common Core math applied to player personnel matters. But I digress.
It is worth noting how a couple of recent Green Bay personnel decisions heavily reflect on Rodgers’ beef with management and he being on not so much a different page regarding how to best build a championship contending team but different books located in libraries that themselves are located on different continents. First, the Packers re-signed running back Aaron Jones to the tune of four years and $48 million. It’s not that Jones is a banana slug; last season he finished fourth in the league as far as rushing yards are concerned. The problem is committing that amount of money, when you are already hard up against the salary cap, to any running back when the position is seldom one of high-level output sustained over several years. The average career length for an NFL running back is less than three years. Jones is entering his fifth.
The other player move leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth among cheeseheads is one the Packers chose not to make, Veteran wide receiver Julio Jones, who thus far in his career has openly defied Father Time and come out none the worse for wear, was traded over this past weekend by the Atlanta Falcons to the Tennessee Titans. While it would have taken some serious massaging of multiple contracts to make Jones fit underneath the Packers salary cap, the thought of him lining up on one side of the field with Davante Adams, the only top-tier wide receiver presently on the Packers roster, on the other with Rodgers having both to throw to would be more than sufficient to give every NFL defensive coordinator simultaneous migraines and nightmares. Also, it would be quite the peace offering to Rodgers. Alas for Green Bay fans, the Packers never gave an indication of being interested in the least.
Thus, you have the present standoff. The money appears to be of no interest to Rodgers; he has already forfeited half a million dollars by skipping the Packers voluntary get-togethers, so the $93,085 fine he’d incur by not showing for the mandatory minicamp is meaningless. It has become a battle of wills, with Rodgers openly unhappy over how the Packers have managed — or mismanaged, if you prefer — matters by taking him for granted and not supplying him with teammates sufficiently skilled to bring the Packers to the next tier. For their part, the Packers have given the aforementioned lip service to Rodgers and his value, yet seem curiously unmoved about acquiescing to his wishes regarding input on how the team should be built. The end result is that the league’s reigning MVP is from all indications quite willing to sit things out until either the Packers trade him or agree to give him a legitimate seat at the table. Sooner or later someone has to blink.