Lack of owner complicates Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay

USA TODAY Sports

It’s both good, and bad, that the Packers don’t have an owner who can move quickly and decisively to address issues that exist within the organization. As it relates to the Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay, it’s arguably more bad than good that the franchise doesn’t have one person who can make a decision that can’t be questioned within the organization, now or later.

On one hand, Packers fans should be happy that there’s no single person who can give in to whatever whims or impulses he or she may have on a given day. Other teams have owners like that, and it can be problematic when an owner who really doesn’t know as much about football as the people paid to know all about football begins to make football decisions as the reaction to a bad game or a bad month or a bad season.

On the other hand, Packers fans should be chagrined by the reality that the franchise lacks that one person who has the power to take swift and severe action when needed. Because sometimes it is needed.

Currently, it’s needed in Green Bay.

The Packers need someone with the unilateral ability to make a full and final decision regarding the Rodgers situation. Whatever the answer may be — sign Rodgers to a lifetime contract and trade Jordan Love, tell Rodgers he plays for Green Bay or he plays for no one, or fire anyone whose name is on his Ryan Howard list of those who have wronged Rodgers in any way — the Packers would benefit from having one person who can make the decision without concern that someone else may not like it.

In Green Bay, the closest thing they have to that person is CEO Mark Murphy. But Murphy has six other members of an executive committee who, in theory, have power over him. And the executive committee has nearly 40 persons on a board of directors who, in theory, have power over them. And the board has thousands of shareholders who, in theory, have power over them.

Ultimately, the shareholders own the team, even if they don’t really own anything more than a piece of paper that serves as a unique item of memorabilia. The power of true ownership in Green Bay is so diluted that there’s no way to gather it and use it swiftly and suddenly, when (as in this specific situation) it needs to be deployed.

Although an effort eventually could be launched to replace Murphy if/when he handles the situation to the sufficient dissatisfaction of those to whom he answers, those to whom he answers have no practical ability to step in and take the wheel. Yes, this means Murphy has the power to handle the situation. But, no, he won’t use it the way that a traditional owner could or would.

As 49ers CEO Jed York said when the team found itself mired in less than mediocrity, you can’t fire the owner. In Green Bay, you can fire the CEO. Rodgers reportedly wants G.M. Brian Gutekunst to be fired. Perhaps implicit in that message is that Rodgers would actually prefer that the axe fall one level higher, with Murphy getting the boot, too (or instead).

Rodgers is willing to serve up his revenge more frozen than tundra. His current effort to get out of Green Bay could be aimed at part in forcing the front office to make enough missteps to set the stage for a full regime change. Regardless, without one specific person in Green Bay who can issue a decree that will face no resistance now or in the future, it becomes very difficult for the Packers to fix this problem quickly and cleanly.

Thus, while there are many good reasons to not have an owner who can roll out of bed on any given day and start messing up the football operation, the lack of a person who can start writing checks and/or issuing pink slips unfettered makes it harder than it otherwise would be for the Packers to find the cheese on the other side of the Aaron Rodgers maze.

50 responses to “Lack of owner complicates Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay

  1. This all a bunch of hooey. In the end, Rodgers will be made happy in Green Bay. He will get his guarantee, Love will stay as understudy or he wont.

    The biggest risk here is that the front office does not learn that there ARE players that are defacto management…in at least an advisory role. Brady, Manning… Rodgers should be in that club.

  2. Theres no way on God’s green (and gold!) Earth that Green Bay lets Aaron go. Reigning MVP, best physical QB in history. No. Just no.

  3. That is dumb Mark Murphy is like an owner. The difference is the Packers don’t make short-term decisions and no 1 player is bigger than the organization.

  4. Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have all played 16 seasons (thus far).

    Starr left his career, and this planet, universally admired.

    Favre left his career, great as it was, nothing more than a punchline and he digs his hole deeper every time he opens his mouth.

    So, Aaron, which legacy path would you like to follow? Which of your predecessors would Jeopardy even consider hiring? The ambassador or the punchline? Your move.

  5. Rogers can act unilaterally on the other side and he seems dug in, and he strikes me as a person who holds a grudge and is unlikely to blink in this instance. If what Mike writes is so then he has the advantage in a number of respects.

  6. Actually, the “structure” in place in Green Bay changed after Ted Thompson retired. Under Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson, the coach and the director of football operations both reported to the GM who then reported to the President/CEO. The GM had final say on all football decisions. Murphy, who can’t make a decision to save his life, changed the structure to have the GM, coach, and director of football operations all report to him. This was done because Mike McCarthy and Russ Ball didn’t want their “feelings hurt” by having to report the the GM.

  7. Over the weekend, there was a Packer draft blog hosted by the local news. You can make a case that the blog attendance was, for the most part, comprised of Packer team fans (vs. Aaron Rodgers fans or general football fans). Comments during the blog about the Aaron Rodgers situation were overwhelmingly (like 90%-10%) in favor of the Packers vs in favor of Rodgers. Many comments were how fans were tired of Aaron’s passive/aggressive stance on everything.

  8. Should have traded old man Rodgers to San Fran for a king’s ransom when they had the chance.

  9. You can see the fault in both sides here. On one hand, Green Bay was a few years early on the Jordan Love pick. It was a stupid pick all things considered and could have cost them a Super Bowl run. And Love apparently hasn’t looked great in practice so far.

    On the other hand, Rodgers is overreacting a bit to that decision. If you want to be traded, publicly demand a trade and be done with it. Enough passive-aggression and hiding behind media heads trying to remain the good guy in Green Bay.

  10. The salary cap situation makes it very tough for GB to buy their way out of this situation by giving Rodgers a new contract to make him the highest paid QB. And GB wouldn’t mortgage its future like that anyway. While a new contract would be the best option, it sounds like it has been discussed, one has been offered and it isn’t enough.

    If he retires, GB should let him walk with his signing bonus so they don’t get a reputation of being vindictive among current and future players.

    The best feasible option is the trade him after June 1 and move on. GB is going to have to move on at some point anyway, whether Love is there or not.

  11. I’m a GB shareholder – not that this means much of anything.

    But most of the “Directors” are on the Board because of who they know or the money, power and influence they bring to the table. As a decision making entity, it’s unwieldy.

    Mark Murphy is and has been the problem. He couldn’t organize a one car funeral. He allowed Ted Thompson to function much longer than Thompson was able to function. And worst of all, he is/was a lawyer.

    Not to worry. In the end Murphy will bungle this situation.

  12. Too bad Bob Harlan got old. Must be a better choice than Murphy out there.

  13. Players are well compensated for their work.
    If unhappy, retire and try to get the same salary in the real world.

  14. the Packers don’t make short-term decisions and no 1 player is bigger than the organization.
    —–
    And they seem intent on proving that above all else. Everyone talks about Rodgers being passive aggressive but the same can definitely be said of our front office. Forget the Love pick, or the refusal to draft offensive help in the first round, etc. How many times in the last 5 years have we seen a story where Rodgers was high on a player, then the front office let’s that player go shortly there after? They seem determined to keep him in his place at all costs. Maybe there’s more to the story than we know and that’s necessary for some reason, but from the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem like the Packer brass really likes AR.

  15. No. Aaron Rogers me first pre occupation complicates things in Green Bay, actually in any team sport anywhere.

    He belongs as host of Jeaoprady. But. He will not last long. Other game shows will pay their hosts more and the drama will re emerge.

    Aaron is not getting Mahomes and Prescott money. Drama is the consequence.

  16. The Packers should have shown Rodgers who was boss by drafting a QB in every round.

  17. green bay has had 1st ballot hofers at qb for 30 seasons, during which the league was heavily afc powered & only walked away with 2 titles…

  18. “The Packers need someone with the unilateral ability to make a full and final decision regarding the Rodgers situation.”
    —————–

    They already have, you just need to actually listen. They’ve said many times, he’s not going anywhere. PERIOD.

    And if the only way to get him to perform at a MVP level is to draft a 1st-rd QB, then they need to draft a 1st-rd qb every year.

  19. We need to get the fake stock owners together and figure this out pronto.

  20. The Packers should trade him, but not because he wants to be traded.

    They should trade him because he’s 37-years-old with limited useful years left; he’s a pain in the butt; he could still fetch strong trade compensation; his value will never be higher; and he doesn’t have the mental makeup of a champion, even if he is great at throwing a football.

  21. Perhaps it’s time the NFL mandates there be an ownership group in GB.I know a lot of people will say but the way it is “Is History” The NFL mandated a name change in Washington and their name was part of history.

  22. Ah, what a couple weeks a difference makes. We have been told hundreds of times on this board how much Rodgers loves Green Bay, even though it’s been demonstrated over and over again that Aaron only loves himself. He’s a Cali guy. He’s never been a Wisconsin kid. He will leave the same way that Favre left…with the fans bad mouthing him for the rest of his life.

  23. Rodgers problem is that he feels the need to be in the spotlight 24/7, and when someone else (meaning another NFL player) is getting all of the attention then rest assured we’ll see a story pop up about Aaron. Here’s an example of his need to be the center of attention. Case in point – Before Tom Brady was featured winning money at the Kentucky Derby several years ago did you ever hear of Aaron Rodgers going there? No you did not… Now suddenly he’s giving interviews from Churchill Downs… Get rid of the guy

  24. Relevant history:
    GB wouldn’t let Mike Holmgren be coach+GM…Holmgren walks. GB loses SB XXXII, and Seattle becomes a power-house.

    Winners aren’t always humble. A true billionaire/owner can handle that.

  25. collectordude says:
    May 3, 2021 at 10:59 am
    Players are well compensated for their work.
    If unhappy, retire and try to get the same salary in the real world.

    ———————————

    This makes zero sense. The life of Rodgers and other star pro athletes have nothing to do with the life of the average person. He happens to be highly skilled in a specialized vocation that earns him lots of money. So what?

    If he walks away from the NFL today he’s still in a vastly different employment situation than any average person. He will never have to deal with employment in the “real world”.

  26. The analysis in this article shows that Mark Murphy has the ultimate authority to make a decision. Also, he does not have to worry about any immediate substantive repercussions of the decision. The board is not going to tell him what to do, and is not going to fire him for whatever decision he makes.

  27. A simple phone call to Aaron before they drafted Love would have gone a long way. This isn’t catering a diva…it is just good personnel management & communication practices. Gute dropped the ball on that one, and it has led to this mess. Had he clued Aaron in, this would not be as much of an issue.

  28. They do have a person who can make swift major decisions. Mark Murphy. That’s what he was hired to do.

  29. How about you have all those shareholders holding all that worthless “stock” vote. 1 share of stock… one vote. It would be really useful seeing how right now they all are just hanging it on the wall and playing pretend.

  30. This is not hard to figure out. If the CEO (who is the functioning ‘bottom line’ of operation decision makers) cannot make sound decisions, then he needs to be replaced by the 40+ people over him. He is chosen as CEO to make these very decisions on behalf of all committees and authorities over him. I do believe that the Packer organization’s luster gets duller each passing day with this saga.

  31. Aaron Rodgers should be let go. Time to turn the page. Let him walk or watch him pad his numbers and lose in the playoffs someplace else. The FG in last years playoff game showed that the coach doesn’t trust him in the clutch.

    Big numbers, good for fantasy but not when it counts. Since Lamar has more been in league he has same playoff wins as AR.

  32. I honestly don’t get the downvotes on my post above. If Aaron acts like Brett did at the end of Brett’s career, Aaron will be remembered as Brett is remembered… not fondly. And that’s not just here, that’s pretty much everywhere.

    Meanwhile, Bart Starr was, and is, universally admired and respected, even by the fanbases whose teams he helped beat. Not only with his play but more importantly, with his leadership and character.

  33. They need to deal Rodgers, but they are so reluctant in doing so because they are terrified that Jordan Love isn’t the heir apparent and if they deal Aaron to either Denver or the Raiders, he instantly makes them a Super Bowl contender (more Denver than Vegas). Ask Belichick and Kraft how they REALLY felt seeing the GOAT win another ring away from the Patriots. That’s how the Packers will feel if Aaron was dealt and won another SB. That’s what’s keeping the Packers from pulling the trigger on moving away from Rodgers.

  34. “Actually, the “structure” in place in Green Bay changed after Ted Thompson retired. Under Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson, the coach and the director of football operations both reported to the GM who then reported to the President/CEO. The GM had final say on all football decisions. Murphy, who can’t make a decision to save his life, changed the structure to have the GM, coach, and director of football operations all report to him. This was done because Mike McCarthy and Russ Ball didn’t want their “feelings hurt” by having to report the the GM.”

    This is correct except for the last sentence. The change had nothing to do MM’s or Ball’s feelings. Rather, it was revised to better reflect modern best practices and to have one person to gather information and then make the best decisions.

  35. It seems everyone is forgetting prior to last year’s run to MVP the couple years before that many were talking of Rodgers being done. Two years ago, Rodgers was throwing WR screens into the dirt 3 yards short of the receiver. The Love pick was prudent when Rodgers recent past, less last year is taken into account. I doubt Rodgers had any issues with an heir apparent being drafted for a great QB in decline when it was him being drafted to supplant Favre but now, since it’s him, it’s the worst affront any team could ever manage to any player, ever!

  36. Nothing will happen until after June 1st. Just talk of what should and should not be done will be going on until that date! This will escalate June 2nd by trading him or firing Gute and or Murphy or giving Arod a new large contract that guarantees he’s playing in GB for next 5 years or until he decides to retire. Rodgers is Green Bay’s best chance to going to the Super Bowl this year and years after!

  37. Brady,Manning and Brees all let go by their teams so why do some act as if it can’t happen to Rodgers I mean what’s he done since winning the SB Brady has 4 more and Peyton got another ring in Denver and some of you try to put him above these 2 qbs when he hasn’t even been to another SB maybe it’s time for him to move on….

  38. Excellent Ryan Howard reference! It relationships and paranoia, #12 appears to fit that pattern. Gotta give him credit, however. Ryan Howard’s job performance in The Office was a joke, while #12 is a three time MVP and one time SP Champion. There is that.

  39. Not a packer fan, but as a fan of another team in the NFCN they should give Aaron his contract. If he is traded for multiple 1st round picks, the packers can reload ala Hershel Walker deal.

  40. This seems like a situation where his trade value might even not be that high. Come to Las Vegas, aeron!

  41. Great analysis by Florio. One of the reasons I love this site — except for the times I disagree with him.

  42. Rodgers thinks the ladies saying how great he is makes him great at football.

  43. Why don’t they offer Aaron 20 million dollars worth of stock in the team? They sell it to everyone else so it must be worth something?

  44. The Packers have a lot of Owners.

    Just google “Packers Owner” and you will see their images. ha ha ha ha

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