An answer to the question of whether Aaron Rodgers will play for the Packers could come next week. Or not.
Ultimately, whether he skips or attends the mandatory minicamp that launches on Tuesday means nothing to whether he shows up for or boycotts training camp. He can show up for the minicamp while still preserving his full rights under the labor deal to not report for camp.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott did that in 2019. He showed up for mandatory minicamp, despite his desire for a new contract. It caused everyone to assume that he’d be present for training camp. He wasn’t, and he stayed away until he got what he wanted.
Rodgers could do the same thing. He could show up for the mandatory minicamp, see how he feels while attending and participating, and then decide after the mandatory minicamp whether he’ll show up for training camp. His decision could be influenced by anything the powers-that-be say or do while he’s there, from filling his wallet to kissing his ass to anything in between.
It also would keep the Cheeseheads from inching toward Defcon 1, reacting negatively to Rodgers’ absence and worrying for six weeks that he won’t be there for the start of camp.
Regardless of how it plays out, it’s a possibility that needs to be on the radar screen. Rodgers could show up for mandatory minicamp and then not show up for training camp.
The problem remains that, for Rodgers, this currently isn’t about a new contract (unless he’d get a new contract that makes the team’s contract with Jordan Love irrelevant). It’s about a new team. With each passing day, other teams will become more locked in with the rosters they have, and in turn less willing to suddenly scrap their plans for 2021 and pivot to Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have every reason to remain dug in, and there’s no reason to think their plans will change.
Come next week, we’ll learn a little bit more about Rodgers’ plans. However, nothing that happens next week will tie his hands for training camp.