OPINION: Packers Need to Commit to Rodgers or Move On
While many in the state of Wisconsin are wondering what the future holds for Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers seem to be in position to give him exactly what he seems to want most: Commitment.
Rodgers went viral following the team’s NFC Championship Game loss to Tampa Bay when he wondered about his future, saying” A lot of guys futures that are, you know, uncertain, myself included.”
Make no mistake, Rodgers knows what he is doing.
Two days later on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers played innocent, saying he didn’t think he said anything he hadn’t said before adding “It was more the realization that ultimately my future is not in my control.” In that exact same interview he said “now that’s the case for all of us as players.”
So, why now?
Even while speaking about the fact that the team drafted his eventual replacement, Rodgers has only acknowledged that he would likely finish his career elsewhere. Sunday’s press conference didn’t have the same tune, it didn’t sound like a player who knows his current level of play and contract situation make it basically impossible that the Packers would dump him. We all know Rodgers is well aware of both situations, in his spot with McAfee, Rodgers even alluded to that “Obviously after the season that I had, potentially winning MVP and we made another run, I don’t think that there’s any reason I wouldn’t be back, but there’s not many absolutes, as you guys know in this business.”
Are the Packers going to eat more than $30 million in dead money to trade the league MVP in order to play someone who wasn’t able to beat out Tim Boyle on the depth chart? Of course not. How much more absolute does it get? Rodgers knows that.
NFL Network’s Mike Silver took a shot at translating what Rodgers said, concluding Rodgers was sending a message to the front office, writing “Your way of doing business has to change, or maybe I should be on my way.”
It might be worth dismissing as just another opinion, but Silver has long been known as a national media member who has a good relationship with the quarterback due to connections to the University of California.
Murphy essentially said the Packers would have to be idiots to get rid of Rodgers, but as Schefter said, the Packers might not be in control.
“People think the Packers control him,” Schefter said, ”when, in fact, Aaron Rodgers can flip it rather quickly by basically saying I’m not going to play there or I’m not going to play anymore. Trade me.”
At this point, it doesn’t seem like that’s the way Rodgers wants to go. He has made it clear he wants to remain in Green Bay. Doesn’t it seem likely he wants the same commitment? He did see how Brett Favre's situation was handled and there's no doubt he'll want to avoid the same fait.
Instead of drafting for down-the-road, Rodgers surely wants the team to try to make a push every year he’s there. And perhaps his play this year was good enough that any talk about a succession plan should be dead — trading Jordan Love would solve that issue. That would surely require Murphy to step in as Kevin Clark of The Ringer said he recently spoke to Brian Gutekunst and was told that Rodgers’ play did not change the team’s plan for the future at the position.
Rodgers saw how the Saints treated Drew Brees and watched as the Buccaneers did whatever possible to make Tom Brady comfortable. He wants to be treated like a legend. Murphy either needs to find a way to make it happen or find a way to move on.