Over the weekend, when Inexperienced Bay Packers president Mark Murphy addressed fan questions in his month-to-month trade on the workforce web site, there was some public messaging that resonated loudly within the workforce’s deadlock with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Probably the most headline-grabby assertion from Murphy about his star quarterback — which got here in considerably unprompted vogue — was that the scenario with Rodgers has divided the fan base. It was an fascinating, albeit unscientific level of reflection. However additional into his trade with followers, Murphy shared two much more vital items of data. First, the Packers aren’t budging on maintaining Rodgers within the fold “in 2021 and past.” And second, Murphy made a degree of giving basic supervisor Brian Gutekunst his full backing, to the purpose that he even appeared to credit score the GM for fielding a number of the Professional Bowl gamers that have been drafted by Gutekunst’s predecessor, Ted Thompson.
Make no mistake, there was a message in all of this. One which makes the franchise’s stance clear simply days earlier than Tuesday kickoff of obligatory minicamp: Inexperienced Bay’s decision-makers are dug in in relation to Rodgers. He’s not going anyplace.
Tuesday, Rodgers will get his probability to reply. And that response will lack any ambiguity.
Both Rodgers reveals up in time for this week’s practices, which might successfully finish any pursuit of a commerce, or he skips the camp solely, which might ratchet up strain to resolve the deadlock heading into the break earlier than coaching camp opens in late July. On condition that Rodgers has skipped organized workforce actions this offseason and that Murphy simply addressed the alleged fan divide over the problem, it might be a much bigger shock for Rodgers to attend than to bypass the camp.
However his lack of attendance would even be his greatest assertion but within the saga, which has been simmering because the finish of the season however solely featured one public assertion of obscure unhappiness by the quarterback in Might. Skipping obligatory camp for the primary time in his 16-year profession — and probably incurring a $93,085 fantastic within the course of — could be his most dedicated assertion of the offseason. One that claims (with each his physique and his cash) to the Packers: I’m simply as dug in as you’re.
What it actually means within the bigger image is debatable. The Packers have already endured all this for greater than a month, and the character of the questions on Rodgers received’t actually change if he’s not in minicamp. The workforce’s leaders have already admitted that there’s a downside they usually consider they’re working to repair it. That philosophy doesn’t have to vary this week, even when it means the league’s MVP isn’t round to work along with his teammates.
As a substitute, what the Packers can do — and certain will do if Rodgers is absent — is similar factor they’ve been doing since organized workforce actions have began. They’ll speak about second-year quarterback Jordan Love and spotlight no matter progress he’s making with the first-team offense. They’ll deflect questions on Rodgers by saying they’re working to repair the issue. They usually’ll rinse and repeat what Murphy already stated publicly final weekend, that Rodgers is the deliberate starter for 2021 and that Gutekunst has the help of the franchise.
Realistically, the individual whose stance will get most amplified or altered this week is Rodgers himself. Particularly if he declines to attend minicamp. First, he’ll have showcased his resolve in probably the most resounding means he can in an offseason: by merely not spending any time within the workforce’s offseason infrastructure. That’s a loud assertion, particularly from the league’s MVP. Second, it can set the stage for the workforce’s break earlier than coaching camp, turning the rest of the offseason into an anxiety-ridden contemplation about whether or not Rodgers will sit out of coaching camp, too.
Maybe probably the most fascinating wrinkle is what finally ends up taking place on the sphere this week if Rodgers isn’t in attendance. If Love showcases important strides operating the Packers offense — and with reporters truly witnessing it moderately than listening to about it — then there’s an opportunity the Packers might go into the break earlier than coaching camp both extra emboldened to carry onto Rodgers, or extra prepared to think about buying and selling him. Conversely, if Love spends minicamp illustrating that he’s not near taking up for Rodgers, it’s going to create a number of strain factors on each Murphy and Gutekunst. Not solely will the media and fan base know the Packers will not be able to lose Rodgers, however the teaching workers will each realize it after which should stroll a tightrope answering for it.
If that feels like quite a bit driving on one minicamp, it’s as a result of it’s. For the Packers, their entrance workplace, their second-year quarterback and their teaching workers. A technique or one other, that is going to be a memorable week in Inexperienced Bay. Both one which repairs the franchise within the coming months, or breaks it solely.
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