When the NFL and NFLPA announced opt-out and opt-in guidelines for 2021, no one initially thought about how that would apply to Aaron Rodgers’ ongoing standoff with the Green Bay Packers.
It’s likely because he wouldn’t really opt out, would he?
Up until now, Rodgers’ nuclear option was really just to not play while also forfeiting a lot of money. With these announced guidelines, the quarterback now has legitimate leverage against the team and in theory could give the team an ultimatum: either trade him or he opts out.
Should he go that route, and the Packers do not trade him, his 2021 salary would likely toll much like Devin Funchess’ did a year ago so he ultimately wouldn’t have to pay back or lose any money because of the opt out clause. In other words, there’s roughly 20 million reasons for Rodgers to go this route instead of a true holdout.
The kicker is Rodgers has to decide on opting out by next Friday and if decides to do so, he can’t change his mind. Reading between the lines here, this would seem to indicate that if Rodgers is traded this year it most likely would happen in the next seven days.
Would Rodgers actually entertain such a move? No idea, but this scenario should terrify the Packers as it’s the one big leverage play Rodgers has and they’d be foolish to rule out the chance he takes it.
The financial reasons make all the sense in the world for Rodgers to go down this road and it would prevent the drama from dragging into training camp. This also might be the one scenario where the Packers would entertain trade offers. The bad news is how quick this would all have to happen.
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