Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy addressed the ongoing drama with reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers amid swirling rumors that the star quarterback wants out.
Murphy addressed the issue in a post on the Packers’ team website and detailed the speculation that took place ahead of the draft and through the event.
“The day started with the report that Aaron Rodgers is upset with the Packers and doesn’t want to return to the team. When a report like that involves the reigning MVP, it is obviously a huge story, and it dominated the sports news for most of the day,” Murphy wrote.
“This is an issue that we have been working on for several months. Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur and I have flown out on a number of occasions to meet with Aaron. We are very much aware of Aaron’s concerns and have been working with him (and his agent Dave Dunn) to resolve them. We remain committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. He is not only a tremendously talented player, but has developed into a true leader for us. The relationship that Aaron has forged with Matt and the other offensive coaches has propelled us to the brink of the Super Bowl in two straight years. We look forward to competing for another Super Bowl championship with Aaron as our leader.”
It appears, however, that the tension between Rodgers and the Packers will continue through the summer.
Rodgers is adamant he will not return to the team under general manager Brian Gutekunst and is willing to stay away from offseason activities, hold out of training camp and possibly even retire, a source told Yahoo Sports on Saturday. Murphy is reportedly aware of Rodgers’ issues with Gutekunst.
According to Yahoo Sports, the main point of contention involves the Packers selecting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft without informing Rodgers. Rodgers reportedly gave the Packers’ front office the opportunity to re-commit to him for the 2021 season and beyond. Green Bay was reportedly initially unwilling to commit to anything beyond a restructure of the quarterback’s contract.
According to the NFL Network on Friday, Rodgers would owe the Packers millions from his signing bonus if he does decide to call it quits. The quarterback would reportedly have to repay $11.5 million this year if he retires and another $11.5 million next year if he chose to stay retired.
Additionally, the NFL Network reported, “unless the situation is repaired to his liking, this is a serious consideration.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reported that Rodgers’ agent, Dave Dunn, helped orchestrate Carston Palmer’s abrupt retirement from the NFL and the Cincinnati Bengals only for him to join the Arizona Cardinals.
Rodgers has not made any public statement specifically stating whether he wants out of Green Bay.
He told ESPN on April 2 that the future is as hazy as ever as he enters the 2021 season.
“So far, it’s definitely been my team. I said last year I didn’t know if that was actually possible to be able to finish there. I still feel that’s kind of where we’re at. I don’t know that a lot of that is in my hands. I guess we’ll just kind of see as we go,” Rodgers said.
When ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne asked Rodgers to just come out and say he wanted to be a Packer for life, Rodgers replied: “Ken, you and I both know that’s not how it works.”
The Packers paid out Rodgers’ $6.8 million roster bonus last month instead of restructuring it to make more cap space as Green Bay moved into the offseason
Rodgers won the 2020 NFL MVP award. He had a league-leading 48 touchdown passes with 4,299 passing yards and only five interceptions. He hasn’t thrown more than eight picks in a season since 2010.