It’s still unclear what Aaron Rodgers wants. It’s becoming increasingly unclear what Packers CEO Mark Murphy is trying to accomplish.
Whatever is going on, this timeless quote from Jim Halpert keeps coming to mind: “Michael and Jan seem to be playing their own separate game, and it’s called ‘Let’s See How Uncomfortable We Can Make Our Guests,’ and, they’re both winning.”
The guests, obviously, are the folks who regard Havarti as haberdashery. They’re caught in the middle of the awkward dance that continues to unfold as the clock ticks toward Week One.
For now, we’ll assume that Murphy isn’t accidentally stirring the pot when he writes that the Rodgers situation is dividing the fan base and says, quoting the late Ted Thompson, that Rodgers is a “complicated fella.” We’ll assume that Murphy’s words are deliberate, strategic.
So what’s the goal? The obvious objective would be to get fans to line up behind the laundry, as fans typically do. At a deeper level, Murphy could be trolling Rodgers, hoping to prompt him to depart from his own strategy and respond emotionally. At an even deeper level, Murphy could be trying to bait Rodgers into not showing up for training camp. Or to not showing up at all this year.
That would allow the Packers to pick up more than $30 million in cash and cap space. That would allow them to develop Jordan Love. That would allow them to trade Rodgers after the season. That would allow them to continue to squat on Rodgers indefinitely, if they want. They’d get back another $11.5 million next year, and they’d never have to worry about him matching his one Super Bowl appearance in Green Bay with a Super Bowl appearance in Denver or Las Vegas or somewhere else.
There’s a chance that’s precisely what Murphy wants. If Rodgers never plays again, Murphy never looks bad. And if Jordan Love never turns into a potential franchise quarterback, well, that wasn’t Murphy’s call, was it?