As the Aaron Rodgers saga continues, a persistent contention lingers in league circles. The Packers regard it as hogwash.
There’s a belief that Rodgers was under the impression that the Packers had agreed to trade him, at some point during the offseason. The claim that Rodgers was told he’d be traded was first mentioned, as best I can tell, by Trey Wingo during the flood of nuggets that began two weeks ago today, the first day of the draft.
Recently, PFT has heard the same thing: Rodgers, as the story goes, believes the Packers told him they’d trade him, and that the Packers have since reversed course.
Per a team source, the Packers regard the notion that Rodgers was told he’d be traded as “unequivocally false.”
Taking it a step farther, the Packers weren’t even aware that Rodgers believed he’d be traded before the reporting on this specific point emerged. If, as some believe, some sort of misunderstanding arose during the communications between player and team, at some point someone from Rodgers’ camp would have said to the Packers, “Wait, we thought you said you were trading him?” That, we’re told, hasn’t happened.
While a verbal commitment (if one was made) to trade Rodgers would not be enforceable, it would further explain his reported discontent with the team. Not only did they trade up to draft his eventual replacement without telling him but they also (if a trade commitment was made) reneged on their word to let him continue his career elsewhere.
Again, it’s possible Rodgers believes that such a promise was made, and it’s possible that no such promise was actually made. Even then, it’s logical to think that the Packers would have heard about this at some point before it was reported on April 29.
The Packers nevertheless continue to hold all the cards. If they choose not to trade him, Rodgers has two choices: Play for the Packers or play for no one. The former includes playing football and being paid $14.7 million in additional salary this year. The latter entails sitting out, losing the salary, paying back $23 million in unearned signing bonus money, and giving up the $6.8 million roster bonus earned earlier this offseason.
Unless the Packers suddenly decide to trade Rodgers, we’ll soon find out whether Rodgers will select Door No. 1 or Door No. 2.