Aaron Rodgers Skips a Packers Camp. Now What?

Aaron Rodgers Skips a Packers Camp. Now What?

- in Football

Aaron Rodgers has been the starting quarterback and the primary face of the Green Bay Packers for 13 years. But over the past year or so, his cozy link to the team and its city has looked threatened.

On Tuesday, Rodgers, 37, failed to appear for a mandatory minicamp, upping the ante on his dispute with the team about his future in Green Bay. He faces a fine in the $100,000 range for his decision.

It’s the latest in the ongoing fracas between Rodgers, the N.F.L.’s reigning most valuable player, and the Packers, one of the league’s most storied franchises and his N.F.L. home since the team drafted him in 2005.

Here’s what has happened to produce the stalemate and how it could end.

The Packers hire Matt LaFleur as head coach. The consensus is that this will provide a fresh start for Rodgers in Green Bay, since he reportedly clashed often with the former coach, Mike McCarthy. Rodgers had been seen mouthing criticism of McCarthy’s sometimes timid calls on the sideline.

Heading into the 2020 draft, Rodgers — in charge of directing and executing Green Bay’s passing game — decides that the Packers are in need of receivers. On draft day, when the team traded up to the 26th pick in the first round, he later tells a reporter, he “perked up” only to see his team select … a quarterback, Jordan Love of Utah State.

By all accounts, Rodgers is not happy.

“I was definitely surprised,” he told NFL Media last July. Noting that he had recently become a tequila aficionado, Rodgers adds, “I went to the pantry, I poured myself about four fingers, and I knew it was going to be one of those nights where people start calling.”

“I wasn’t elated by the pick,” he says, leaving no doubt.

Rodgers has been known to quietly dispute team decisions over the years, including the choice of wide receivers and the coaching staff’s play-calling. There is a sense that he feels that the team should have won more than just one Super Bowl during his tenure.

(A warning: Much of Rodgers’s discontent has been reported through unnamed sources. He has seldom spoken publicly of any dissatisfaction on the record.)

The Buccaneers go on to win the Super Bowl as Rodgers looks back on yet another stellar season in which he won his third M.V.P. Award and led the league in passing touchdowns and passer rating. As the third-stringer, Love is never active on a game day.

At least one date is booked: On July 6, he will team with the golfer Bryson DeChambeau to take on Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in a made-for-TV match.

Beyond that, who knows? The next date to watch after that will be July 27, when the Packers officially begin training camp.

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