What happens if Packers don’t trade Aaron Rodgers?

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The cat is out of the bag. Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay.

There’s a poetry, and potentially a significant amount of orchestration, that has gone into Rodgers using the first day of the draft to make his power play. Indeed, it was last year on the first night of the draft that the Packers sent Rodgers four fingers deep in tequila after packaging a first-round pick and a fourth-round sweetener to trade up for Jordan Love.

Rodgers, as we’ve reported, has a wish list. It remains the 49ers, the Broncos, and the Raiders. So what if the Packers continue to refuse to trade him?

Rodgers has leverage. He can do what Deshaun Watson did in Houston, before the legal issues arose. Rodgers can make it known that he’s done, allowing the Packers to come to terms with the reality that they can either trade him and get value or have him never show up again — and get nothing and like it.

It wouldn’t be an inexpensive proposition for Rodgers. He has $23 million in unearned signing bonus money that he’d owe the Packers, and he’d also give up $14.7 million in 2021 salary. Also, his recent roster bonus of $6.8 million surely would be forfeited if he walks away from the game in the event that he doesn’t get traded.

The Packers have other leverage. They have Jordan Love; thus, they wouldn’t be left holding the bag with no quarterback. Also, as Rodgers gets closer to the end of his career, would he really give up one of his remaining seasons to prove a point?

Then there’s the possibility that Rodgers becomes a pariah among Packers fans. Although he has yet to address the situation, he’s likely to act like it’s all overblown and overplayed and overhyped when he does, downplaying the aftermath of the fuse he deliberately ignited. He does not want to be vilified by the Green Bay faithful. Thursday’s events could set him up for a backlash. Quitting on the Packers could make it even worse.

Before any of that becomes relevant, the Packers will have to persist in their refusal to trade him, either during the draft or as a post-June 2 transaction, which would significantly reduce the cap charge. However it plays out, the situation quickly has gone from dormant to full boil.

And even though he’d undoubtedly deny it, Rodgers surely loves every second of it. He’s finally getting his revenge, in a move that carries with equal parts Godfather and #GameofThrones.

53 responses to “What happens if Packers don’t trade Aaron Rodgers?

  1. An untested, extremely green Jordan Love is not leverage. Not at all. Plan B? Yes. Leverage? Nope.

  2. Aaron Rodgers has always been passive-aggressive…this denouement is the icing on the cake.

  3. He ain’t getting traded. He’s a diva, having his hissy fit, forcing the team to pick players from the positions he wants to improve aka WR.

  4. If he goes to the 49’ers you’d have Rodgers, RUSS, Stafford…and some other guy…well, 3 out of 4 ain’t too bad NFC West.

  5. This power move might play better if he won his last game, rather than upchucking all over himself.

  6. He learned from the best.

    I can’t wait for B. Favre to pontificate on the situation on his weekly podcast.

  7. If the Packs leverage is Jordan Love they are smoked. Packers brass will lose their jobs once the whole world is witness to how bad Love is at NFL QB1.

  8. Packer fans still love Favre. I don’t think Rodgers will ever be a pariah. They may hate him when he plays for an opposing team, but that will vanish when he retires – especially if he retires as a Packer.

    No one ever publicly confirmed this rumor, but I think the Lions went through something similar with Barry Sanders. Sanders wanted to play for a team that could compete for the Super Bowl. The Lions refused to trade Sanders, so he retired.

    It’s not out of the question for Rodgers to retire. The ugly part will happen if the Packers demand he repay millions to them. But it reminds me of the Sanders situation because the Packers may prefer he retire (so that no one else succeeds because of him).

  9. Yeah Jordan Love really isn’t leverage but $40+ Million dollars is leverage between bonuses and salary if the Pack really say eff it and walk away

  10. Colts really screwed the league when they let manning have all that power. Now every QB wants it

  11. Unless jeopardy is willing to pay Rodgers 30 million for 6 weeks work,he aint going anywhere.

  12. He could retire but that maybe what they want him to do. So that’s a gamble. Unretiring like Favre probably won’t catch them off guard, so you’re probably right, he has to say he won’t play for the coach (hint they’re not firing him after one year). He wants the 3 NFC west teams not Rams followed by Denver making it essentially SF or bust…they have about 2 hours to make a deal before SF drafts Mac.

  13. This night is for the rookies not that b*$#@ in GB! Who cares about an adult baby who could have ran in TD vs Bucs.

  14. As a Packer fan obviously not pleased with Rodgers. At the same time I was not pleased with Gutey picking Love last year. Offer Rodgers to the Colts for Wentz and two first round picks and see if they bite.

  15. Typical Diva. What is his reasoning for Denver and Las Vegas?
    There is no way he will win at either place short term. The 49er’s ship has sailed.
    So please Aaron just stop the nonsense. Way to turn on the town as they own the Packers.

  16. Send him packing to 49ers …grab that 3rd round pick and don’t look back ! with that pick and the money freed up in salary cap space available for the 2nd round of free agency Green Bay will be set for the next decade or longer.

  17. Just trade him to the 49ers. Packers aren’t going anywhere this season or next anyway. Take the #3 and start retooling.

  18. I guess the string of Super Bowl wins had to end eventually. Well, the world spins on…

  19. Rodgers has not said one word! He has always been professional his dealings and there’s no reason to believe any differently now. He has made his opinion of speculative clickbaiting quite clear. Let’s hear from the man himself. Until then, nothing has changed.

  20. Rogers could hold up reporting until forced to do so. Then, he will obviously have season ending injuries.

  21. If I were him I wouldn’t the Raiders in my wish list because their receiving corp is very average. Denver would be great. Manning 2.0.

  22. Not considered: SF drafts a QB and trades for Rodgers. They don’t necessarily need a WR, TE or OL. So, they agree to acquire Rodgers and then draft Lance.

  23. Rodgers has leverage.

    No he doesn’t he’s under contract and the Packers have his replacement on the roster, if he says he’s not playing, he can’t do anything but retire he has no control of anything.

  24. I’ll wait to see how this plays out. You people have had Rodgers on his way out of Green Bay with breathless anticipation for at least 5 years now and just like with Russel Wilson, you’ve been wrong every time.

    If he goes, he goes, but I’m not buying it from here.

  25. Rodgers doesnt know what Rodgers wants. GB brass had no choice but to draft and develop his backup. Its responsible for them to plan and build.

  26. The Packers have no leverage whatsoever. Rogers has made $240 million over his career. The money he’d have to give back is nothing to him. But if he does retire the Packers get nothing for him and effectively suffer the dead cap hit since there’s no one to spend that money on.

  27. Vikes will take him. Pack can have all 2021 draft picks + Cousins. That is all.

  28. If the Pack keeps him, bet he gets an “injury”…..gets his $$$$.

    Good luck next year GB

  29. heLLpaso says:
    April 29, 2021 at 6:32 pm
    He ain’t getting traded. He’s a diva, having his hissy fit, forcing the team to pick players from the positions he wants to improve aka WR.
    Imagine losing one game short of the Super Bowl. WR… you have one really good one and the rest are sub-par. How do you improve the team? Draft a QB in the 1st round who doesn’t even dress for games on Sunday. Talk about value added. Rodgers had to lead the league in completion percentage/TD passes and QBR just to get them back to the same place they were the season previous. You’d be mad too! Then I’d have to call you a diva. SMH.

  30. The Packers have $44 million in leverage. Who in this salary cap hell is going to be able to offer Rodgers $44 million to replace the the money he loses if he sits out?

    If he sits he loses $21 mil and the Packers STILL hold his rights unless he pays back the $23 mil.

    The guy won ONE SB and costs twice what Brady does, who has leverage?

    If he really wants out, play out his year, get the $44 mil and walk next year.

  31. Well written article. Thoughtful and insightful.

    What will be interesting is if this in any way changes Gutekunsts draft plan. Does he stick to his board? Bring in weapons to placate Rodgers? Stock up on WR and OL to make an earlier than expected transition to Love easier for him?

    Nonetheless I was one of the first on the get lost Favre bandwagon (even bought a “We’ll never forget you Brent” t-shirt). And living 20 minutes east of Berkeley I was a fan of Rodgers before most. But if Rodgers is pulling strings he’s become Favre 2.0 – something he’s seemingly has wanted to avoid bc he doesn’t want to sully his reputation. I hope this is WAAAAAYY overblown.

    I will also choose the Packers over AR all day.

  32. Let him go. Maybe Love is not the answer, maybe he is..maybe some down years coming. Favre/Rodgers was a pretty good 29 year ride.

  33. Gutekunst’s entire approach was a mistake. He’s just not a good GM. He squandered the last draft, and pushed Rodgers out the door.

    He came into the job believing Rodgers was at the end of his line, only to find he still can play at MVP caliber, and showing Rodgers he didn’t think he could do it as long as Tom Brady. This is how he treats the team’s longtime franchise, All-Everything future HoFer – more like a mediocre QB on a bad team rebuild project- a bridge until they can get a decent QB.

  34. Some team has to put their foot down over these whiny QBs. Let his sit out if that’s what he wants. Take one for the league. Free agency is taking more and more of the fun out of the league.

  35. If this blows up Mark Murphy should be the first to go followed by Gutekunst. They have failed him by not hiring the right coaches (Defensive Coordinator – Read Dom Capers was a lemon for over 5 years) nor have they provided more weapons for him on offense. They didn’t need to draft Love last year and each year we hear of A-Rod entering the final season(s) of his career, with no response from management. You don’t lose the reigning MVP and one of the GOATs. It just doesn’t happen.

  36. This has been calculated by Rodgers since the packers chose Love last year, you could see it coming at the nfc championship game post game interview and planned it to this exact day. He’s played the GB. Faithful and could care less what happens other than him getting what he wants. IMO he didn’t want to risk running in that 3rd and 7 because he didn’t want to risk getting hurt and jeopardizing his master revenge plan!

  37. Rodgers has played Gute like a fiddle … Revenge is a dish best served cold – and Gutekunst is getting his payback in spades.

  38. You might as well let him go but at least get something in return, geezz.

  39. Here’s a scenario. Send Aaron Rodgers to New England. That way, at least the Patriots would have a legit gunslinger at quarterback & not some broken down has been like Cam Newton.

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