On Tuesday, ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter sat down with Pro Football Focus’ Cris Collinsworth to discuss ongoing stories in the league, including updates on the Aaron Rodgers saga. In the hour-long conversation, the pair attacked the story from multiple angles, but one of the most important pieces of information that Schefter noted was that Rodgers apparently still wants out of Green Bay, similar in tone to Jay Glazer’s report last month.
Questions developed from there. Can the Green Bay Packers play an angry Rodgers at quarterback this offseason, if they do play hardball? Was Rodgers mad all of last season when he won the league’s Most Valuable Player honors? Can the two sides work around the obstacles on the field that are keeping this staredown going into mid-July?
One aspect of the developing story that Schefter was emphatic about was that Rodgers’ issues do not revolve around money and that increasing his salary is not the primary objective of this holdout. He also stated that while general manager Brian Gutekunst’s name is often mentioned as a point of friction for Rodgers, he doesn’t believe pseudo owner Mark Murphy’s name gets mentioned enough as a reason why Rodgers feels the way he feels, relatively.
On the topic of Rodgers’ unwillingness to speak directly about the direction his career is leaning, Schefter said, “I think Aaron Rodgers has been passive-aggressive about the whole thing...I think he’s got to get some mud on his hands.” With training camp starting this month, coming along with a mandatory $50,000 per day fine that cannot be waived under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, Rodgers’ time to make the decision of retiring or suiting up for the team in 2021 is running out.
Where does the emotion that is driving Rodgers to want out of Green Bay stem from? Schefter’s answer is Tom Brady. “There is Tom Brady envy across the league,” said Schefter, before explaining that Brady’s situation also played into Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s dispute with his franchise this offseason. Describing the modern quarterback in a post-Tompa world, Schefter put himself in the shoes of signal-callers by declaring, “I want to bring in who I want. I want a say. I want the respect and love Tampa has shown Tom Brady. I want a championship and I want to do it my way.”
This is in stark contrast to the Packers’ historically strong front office, in terms of franchise power, and the trend of players that Rodgers had advocated for publically seeming to find themselves released or not re-signed by the organization. Schefter also mentioned that he caught wind of the San Francisco 49ers calling the Packers the day before the draft and that his report on Rodgers wanting out of Green Bay was still being vetted when NFL Live kicked off on draft day.