The talk of the NFL offseason has been about Aaron Rodgers and his reported frustration with the Green Bay Packers organization.
The reigning NFL MVP skipped mandatory minicamp last month, the first time he’s ever done that as a pro, and in his place, former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love took first-team reps during Green Bay’s offseason workouts.
Monday, though, brought hope for Packers fans, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Rodgers is preparing to play for Green Bay this upcoming season.
#Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has indicated to people close to him that he does plan to play for GB this season, sources say. That is the expectation. Many factors at play, but with GM Brian Gutekunst saying he is “hopeful” for a positive outcome, there is a glimmer of optimism.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 26, 2021
Later, Rapoport reported that Rodgers and the Packers are finalizing a reworked deal for the QB that would ensure he plays for Green Bay in 2021, with Rodgers having a significant say over his future in the 2022 and 2023 seasons, when his current contract ends.
It’s a move that will have a wide-ranging impact for the organization. The Packers report to training camp Tuesday.
What it means for Aaron Rodgers
ESPN’s Adam Schefter outlined what some of those terms to a reworked deal involve. They include:
- Rodgers’ contract would be restructured to avoid any loss of income and give the Packers cap room now.
- The final year in Rodgers’ current contract, 2023, would be voided.
- Green Bay will put “mechanisms” in place to address his issues with the organization.
- Rodgers’ situation would be reviewed at the end of the 2021 season.
The details indicate Rodgers would have more flexibility over his future, while also providing some financial flexibility to build around their star quarterback. Schefter reported that could include trying to sign All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams, who’s in the final year of his contract, to an extension.
Rodgers is coming off arguably his best season of his career, as he threw for 4,299 yards, a career-best 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions while completing over 70% of his passes.
What it means for the Green Bay Packers
For Green Bay, the Packers get to retain their future Hall of Fame quarterback and make another run at a Super Bowl. Green Bay reached the NFC Championship each of the past two seasons, losing both times.
“We have been working tirelessly with Aaron and his representatives to resolve the issues he raised this offseason, and we remain hopeful for a positive resolution,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told fans at the Packers’ annual shareholders meeting Monday, per NFL.com.
The restructured deal also offers Green Bay the opportunity to trade Rodgers if things don’t smooth over.
“The Packers’ agreement to ‘review’ the situation after the season implies that the team will trade Rodgers if he still feels the way he has about the Packers’ culture and decision-making,” Schefter wrote.
What it means for Jordan Love
After having the opportunity to earn valuable reps this offseason, what does it all mean for Love, the team’s 2020 first-round pick? Love’s development is obviously a secondary story, especially with Rodgers reportedly coming back to the team in 2021.
Now, the former Aggie must focus his attention on learning as the main backup to Rodgers — he was third string last year and was inactive for all 18 games — and continue to prepare for when his opportunity opens in the future. He made some positive impressions during the Packers’ offseason workouts, when Love was the No. 1 quarterback on the field.
“You can tell he’s just a lot more comfortable out there, even from communicating in the huddle to the command of the huddle to just everything,” Packers running back Aaron Jones told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky back in May. “He’s had a year under his belt, he’s had time to watch and learn, so you can tell it’s a little bit different from what it was before. He’s going to continue to grow, and I’m happy to be here working with him.”
Then, if at season’s end something changes, Love will have another year under his belt and another year learning from one of the game’s best at the position.