So much has been said and written about Rodgers’ situation – not just in the local media but by all the national pundits and rumors across the country – that you might think that all that was possible has already been said on the subject. .
I have written two articles on the situation in the past ten days, and have dismissed them both as being too redundant or too obvious. I think, however, that too little attention has been paid to certain aspects of the subject. Below are a few ingredients in the blend that seem to have been underreported.
By the way, congratulations to Paul Edwards of TP on his assignment on June 1st. He has provided several new versions of the rift situation, and I totally agree that we are approaching the “precipice” of this drama. Mark June 8 on your calendar.
Jordan the unknown
While Packers fans and watchers may not have a clue of Jordan Love’s prospects in the NFL, the people who matter (the Packers’ coaching staff and front office) who are in a position to know, must draw preliminary conclusions as to whether Love could become an NFL QB franchise. We’ve got three years of film on him as Utah State’s starting QB: that’s 1,125 pass attempts and 170 rushes. Jordan also did all the tests at the NFL Combine, so we know his athleticism. Additionally, the Packers held a virtual reunion with Jordan ahead of the 2020 draft.
By the way, Jordan’s Wonderlic (Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test) score of 27 was the fifth among QBs who took that test in 2020 – ahead of guys like Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa.
If I remember correctly, when the announcement was made that the pack had picked Love with the 26th overall pick, the team’s draft room was ecstatic – I believe Mark Murphy, Brian Gutekunst and maybe even Matt LaFleur all responded happily to the choice. . The choice obviously came after a lot of research, not like a last minute stab in the dark. The front office was high enough on Love that they traded a fourth-round pick to make sure they got it. We shouldn’t ignore how much the entire team’s draft apparatus regarded Jordan.
Aaron Jones’ point of view
A first-hand observer who shared his thoughts on what he just saw from Love is none other than Aaron Jones. Here’s what he said the other day:
“You can tell he’s a lot more comfortable there, even communicating in the caucus at the command of the caucus at all. He’s had a year under his belt, he’s had time to watch and learn, so you can tell it’s a little different than it was before. He will continue to grow and I am happy to be here to work with him.
Interestingly, Jones in 2020 faced a similar situation to Rodgers: With their second-round pick, the Pack selected massive running back AJ Dillon, as Jones’ heir apparent. This Aaron didn’t need to massage his ego or feel the need for revenge from the front office. It’s also worth noting that, like Rodgers, Jones had perhaps his best season with Dillon waiting behind the scenes.
A few days after Jones arrived in Green Bay for the OTAs, here’s how he greeted the press: “It’s home. I love my coaches, my teammates, the community, the system. How’s that for a contrast? What is it like to be a team player?
Either way, preseason games will be the best indication yet of the future of the NFL that awaits 22-year-old Jordan Love. You may recall that Aaron didn’t start a game until he was 24, and although he started every game this season (2008), the team finished at 6-10. Patience, folks, there is plenty of time for Jordan to fully develop, and my hunch is that Blake Bortles might just surprise people in the meantime.
The non-option of retirement
The media continue to suggest that Rodgers may not be making the season, or that he may retire and possibly become the host of “Jeopardy.” Let me say it again: even if Aaron was absent from the 2021 season, the Packers would retain the rights to him for another three years.
If we’ve learned anything about Rodgers, we know that this proud man is motivated to leave a legacy of being among the best to ever play the game. For such a motivated guy, stepping away from the game while he is. still in the prime of life – especially because he feels “disrespectful” – is unthinkable.
Don’t listen to anyone who tries to insist that Rodgers has a lot of influence. Rodgers still has three years on his contract – a contract that was the largest in NFL history at the time (August 30, 2018). The only way out of this legal obligation is to stop gambling, essentially permanently. The Packers hold the trump card. It will not arrive.
In a previous article on this impasse (here), my central theme was ‘legacy’, the point being that Aaron eventually has to make peace with the team or his legacy will be permanently diminished. The longer he waits, the more he will damage his inheritance. Absolutely no one in the media picked up on this theme. In Aaron’s only statement to the press, during Kenny Mayne’s last show on ESPN, Aaron mentioned the team’s legacy. But that’s not the problem. The team has done well for over a century and will continue to do so. The problem is Aaron’s personal legacy, and to this day it has taken a hit. And besides, how does Aaron help the legacy of the team with this show of petulance?
It’s interesting how the different factions aligned. Most of the media side with Aaron in what they seem to see as a union or political issue: owners / management (bad guys) versus employees. His teammates tended to be supportive as well – although not making it to the mini-camp, the team’s top five receivers gave a token display of support, with nothing of long-term significance.
While I haven’t seen any numbers in the polls, isn’t it now clear that the majority of the Packers ‘legions of fans are highly critical of Rodgers’ attitude and behavior. From the start, Aaron lost the PR battle. How else can you view a guy who is about to be paid around $ 240 million in total by the Packers as anything other than self-centered?
Because OTAs are voluntary, I can’t say that Aaron hasn’t officially started his heist, but his absence should be seen as a prelude to a heist. Hardly anyone thinks Aaron will show up at the mandatory mini-camp, which runs June 8-10 – anyway, we’ll know in a week’s time if Rodgers has indeed started to resist. Even if Aaron continues his silence, his actions next Tuesday will speak as loud as words.
Is this how Aaron wants to make team and NFL history? If refusing to show up becomes Aaron’s strategy, he will embark on an orchestrated effort to prevent his team and teammates from having a successful season – and to deny Packers fans a promising and exciting season. Since this is a guy on a lucrative contract, such a choice would constitute an act of mutiny – which is historically a hanging offense.
What did you think of the look of Aaron’s pre-recorded session with Mayne? He was there in a stretched white T-shirt and unruly hair – he looked like he had come back from the fields in a John Steinbeck novel: Aaron Rodgers as Everyman.
But he then continued, days later, posting pictures of himself and his bikini-clad fiancée Shailene “frolicking the waterfalls of Hawaii,” followed by the duo engaging in a Taylor Swift song. Aaron has to choose one or the other image: is he the rigid worker subjected to the oppression of the bosses, or is he a guy who lives in heaven, with no (football) worries in the world, while his more than 80 teammates are at Lambeau, setting the stage for another Lombardi Trophy race. These lenses are not good for the “team leader”.
Participating in OTAs is not essential to get to the Super Bowl. However, they’re important in preparing players for the regular season and for players to bond in the pursuit of that elusive goal – it’s well within the grasp of the Packers this season.
As I said on May 5 (The crux of the matter…): “Forget all the little complaints and perceived insults. The crux of the matter is that Aaron wants rock-solid job security. Of course, pundits and hip-shoot fans urge the team to “give him whatever he wants.” But a business organization like an NFL team simply cannot leave management decisions to the players. Aaron may forget to get rock-solid job security, even though he can come close to it. And as long as he’s playing like he did last season, his job is safe.
Although the story erupted in late April that negotiations over an extended contract for Aaron had failed and that he wanted to be traded (rumored but never confirmed), there has been very little movement in the five weeks since monitoring.
The Packers have been steadfast and resolute, saying only that they want him to return and expect him to return. Throughout the standoff, and for that matter, in his 16 years with the team, the Packers have expressed nothing but praise and gratitude for Aaron – they always stick to the high road. .
Some thought Kenny Mayne’s May 25 interview with Aaron would be heartbreaking, but it wasn’t. Then many estimated that a business announcement would be made from June 2, but that did not happen.
June 8, however, appears to be very important. If Rodgers goes on strike for the team’s mandatory 3-day mini-camp, no matter the fines – it will cause substantial damage to the team’s prospects for 2021. Training will be in jeopardy, the team’s unity will be in jeopardy. The team will be compromised and distractions for the team and its players will continue to be a daily occurrence.
By next Tuesday, the media will have fun playing “Where’s Charlie” and whether Aaron is in Hawaii, California, or in the air en route to Titletown.
If he doesn’t show up, let’s enthusiastically usher in the Jordan Love era in Green Bay.