Aaron Rodgers is back with the Packers, but things are certainly not perfect between the franchise quarterback and the Green Bay organization.
After an offseason filled with rumors of Rodgers’ unhappiness with the only team he’s ever known — and a declined contract extension — the three-time MVP made his return to training camp last week.
His appearance may have Packers fans ecstatic about the upcoming season, but the relationship between Rodgers and the organization still needs work in order for the two sides to have a future past the upcoming season.
The relationship that seems to be the rockiest is between Rodgers and General Manager Brian Gutekunst.
Last week, during a wide-ranging and lengthy press conference in Rodgers’ first media appearance of training camp, he bluntly spoke on the unwillingness of the Packers front office to involve him in personnel decisions. When asked if he had a relationship with Gutekunst, Rodgers said it was “professional.” He elaborated on Wednesday.
“I think it’s a work in progress. I think relationships aren’t formed in a matter of a couple days,” Rodgers said on Wednesday. “There’s time where the respect grows and the communication follows. I think the greatest relationships that you have with your friends and loved ones involve conversations and flow. You can not talk to a close friend for a few months and pick up right where you left off.”
“There’s no break in communication, there’s no forced conversations where you got to hit this person up because it’s on your to-do list that day. It’s all about wanting to have those conversations and wanting to be in conversation like that. We’ve had a couple conversations, they’ve been positive conversations.”
The relationship will more than likely need to be better than “professional” if Rodgers is to finish his career in Green Bay. In his initial press conference, he alluded to the hesitancy of the front office to involve him in personnel conversations.
“And then, the other part, in February was wanting to be a part of conversations involving free agents, which has never happened in my career. … I’ve tried to pass along information, hasn’t really been used, shall we say? So, I wanted to offer my services as a recruiter.”
“I think we can all understand Green Bay isn’t a huge vacation destination,” Rodgers said. “People are coming here to play with me, to play with our team, and knowing that they can win a championship here, and the fact that I haven’t been used in those discussions is what I wanted to change moving forward. And I felt like based on my years, the way I can still play, that that should be a natural part of the conversation.”
On Wednesday, Rodgers also touched on the position his backup quarterback — Jordan Love — is in, harkening back to his days behind Packers legend Brett Favre.
“I have a lot of respect and love for Jordan, and I understand it’s got to be tough what he went through,” Rodgers said. “I went through it for two years in the offseason, going in ’06 and ’07, I was the guy the entire offseason, going through quarterback school, going through most of the OTAs, taking all the reps, and then here comes Favre coming back — and obviously I’m back on the bench. Thankfully I went through that, and I can understand a little bit about what he’s going through, so I just try to keep that in mind the entire time.”
While Rodgers’ future beyond the season is uncertain, Rodgers and the Packers agreed to rework his contract last week, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
There’s no new money in Aaron Rodgers’ new deal (adjusted upward to account for 18th game check):
$6.8 million roster bonus (from March)
$14,464,706 signing bonus
$1.1M base salary
$500K workout bonus
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 29, 2021
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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