Eleven days ago, the status of Aaron Rodgers became the biggest story in the NFL. It still is, even if the story has reached the no-news-is-no-news stage. Which returns the entire saga to the category of “beautiful mystery.”
But there will be news, eventually. Rodgers will show up for OTAs, or he won’t. That will be news.
If he skips OTAs, he’ll show up for the mandatory minicamp, or he won’t. If he doesn’t show up, that definitely will be news.
If he doesn’t show for the mandatory minicamp, the countdown will begin to a potential training-camp holdout. In the interim, the Packers will conduct their annual shareholders meeting. Rodgers, if he has boycotted all of the on-field offseason program, definitely will be the main topic of conversation.
Then comes training camp, at which time the fissure/chasm between player and team will be resolved, or it won’t. The Packers have had more than three months to craft a solution that Rodgers will find acceptable, and it hasn’t happened yet. Some would say that the Packers at this point are willing to dig in and dare Rodgers to risk having his picture attached to dartboards throughout Wisconsin.
The possibility of a post-June 1 trade will hover, but the Packers have shown no inclination to move Rodgers, opting for a play-for-us-or-play-for-no-one posture. The Packers could change their mind at any time, or they could continue to hold firm, daring Rodgers to retire — and to pay back nearly $30 million.
It’s also possible that the Packers and Rodgers will find a middle ground, unlikely as that currently may seem. It would entail, presumably, the kind of contract that would bind the Packers to Rodgers for two or three years, and that in turn would make Jordan Love sufficiently irrelevant to perhaps even trigger a trade.
The fact that it’s currently quiet hardly means that it’s over. In the coming weeks, more information will emerge. At some point in the next four months, it will become clear whether Rodgers will, or won’t, play for the Packers in 2021. For now, no one really knows what will happen.