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If any other player behaved like this, we’d be crushing him for being a diva.
Untouchable, apparently. In his mind, certainly.
It became clear before this weekend’s draft that Rodgers is done with the Packers, wants no more part of the franchise that has made him one of the most iconic quarterbacks in the game, not to mention given him more money than he’ll ever need.
There isn’t anything about Rodgers that isn’t calculated. So, the fact this information leaked out on the eve of the draft is anything cut coincidence. Rodgers almost certainly authorized, if not orchestrated, his discontent becoming public through your usual channels of news leakage.
A year ago, when the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round, Rodgers’ nose was more than bent out of shape.
Rodgers, in what has become his passive-aggressive modus operandi, must have forgotten that he was drafted by the Packers in 2005 when Brett Favre was still the Green Bay quarterback. He sat and learned behind Favre for three seasons before being given the keys to the kingdom.
Since then, Rodgers has done nothing but excel, becoming one of the greatest players — not just quarterbacks — the game has ever seen. He has compiled a 126-63-1 record as a starter, winning three league MVPs along the way, including 2020.
Rodgers has led the Packers to the postseason 11 times, won one Super Bowl and lost four NFC Championship games.
His discontent with the organization, though, seems ridiculously unfounded, for a few reasons.
First, Love has never been a threat to Rodgers’ throne. By all accounts, Love isn’t close to ready to be an NFL starter.
Second, it’s not as if the Packers have been some slouch franchise that has left Rodgers to do it all on his own. Rodgers has benefitted from not only one of the best offensive lines in the league, but also better skill-position talent than most NFL quarterbacks could ever dream of.
Ask former Jets and current Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold if he’d sign up for the supporting cast Rodgers has had in Green Bay.
There have been reports that Rodgers is unhappy with his financial compensation.
He averages about nearly $33 million a year in salary.
That is not to say the Packers’ management hasn’t had any fault in this. They could have kept Rodgers more informed about the plan to take Love in last year’s draft.
The Packers, too, have not exactly aggressively built around Rodgers with this draft, selecting defensive back Eric Stokes in the first round and center Josh Myers in the second round before drafting receiver Amari Rodgers in the third-round pick.
Reports have stated that everyone from head coach Matt Lafleur, who appeared to go out of his way last season to bond with Rodgers, general manager Brian Gutekunst and team president Mark Murphy have made separate trips to California this offseason to try placating their diva quarterback.
Yet an ESPN report Saturday stated that there’s nothing the Packers can do at this point to convince Rodgers to stay in Green Bay despite the fact that his contract goes through 2023.
Gutekunst made it clear on Thursday night that the team has zero plans to move on without Rodgers, saying, “We’re not going to trade Aaron Rodgers.”
“We’ve been working through this for a little while now, and I just think it may take some time, but he’s a guy that kind of makes this thing go,’’ Gutekunst said. “He gives us the best chance to win, and we’re going to work towards that end.”
It’s time for Rodgers, who’s been pampered like a toddler from royalty, to do some work on his end to make this work.
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