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Aaron Rodgers’ rift with the Packers has yet another layer of drama.
In the beginning of last season, Rodgers spoke with prospective Green Bay free agents to warn them he’d likely not be a Packer come the 2021 season, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Additionally, Garafolo said on Wednesday that Packers free agents knew about Rodgers’ intention to leave the team at the time.
So far, the Broncos are rumored to be frontrunners to land Rodgers, if his divorce with Green Bay is ever finalized.
The alleged conversations between Rodgers and free agents would’ve taken place in the wake of Green Bay acquiring Rodgers’ eventual replacement, Utah State product Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft. The move is widely believed to have caused initial tensions between Rodgers and the Packers. Earlier this week, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst discussed his decision to trade up and select Love, and admitted he could have communicated the situation better.
Regardless of what went down behind the scenes, tackle David Bakhtiari and running back Aaron Jones both signed extensions with the Packers. Bakhtiari, who’s very close with Rodgers, agreed to a four-year extension in November, worth up to $105.5 million in new money. Jones reached an agreement with the Packers in March on a four-year deal for $48 million with a $13 million signing bonus.
The new report came on the same day The Athletic reported that Rodgers mocked Packers GM Gutekunst in team group chats, calling him Jerry Krause. Krause is the late former Chicago Bulls GM and villain in Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” documentary, which saw Jordan and company clash with Krause for dismantling the Bulls’ 1990s dynasty.
Green Bay — which has maintained they don’t plan on trading their star quarterback — offered Rodgers a new deal that would make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, according to The Athletic. However, sources told the outlet that the crippling relationship between Rodgers and Green Bay has little to do with money. The disgruntled QB apparently grew frustrated with his lack of involvement in personnel decisions.
Rodgers has not publicly addressed the situation. Though, while at the 2021 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Rodgers said he was “disappointed that news has come out of this rift with the Packers.” He was photographed at the event with Bakhtiari and his fiancee, among others. Rodgers attended the event with new fiancée, actress Shailene Woodley.
At this point, the marriage between Rodgers and Green Bay seems broken beyond repair. He is currently under contract with the Packers through 2023, but it remains to be seen if he will finish that contract out.
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