Aaron Rodgers reportedly skipped organized team activities (OTAs) amid his drama with the Green Bay Packers.
Packers players began to make their way to Lambeau Field to get ready for the start of the 2021 season. But as Rodgers and the Packers continue their beef, ESPN reported Monday the NFL MVP was not there.
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ESPN reported that it didn’t come as a surprise since Rodgers didn’t show up for the virtual part of OTAs or an in-person session last week. Rodgers has been at OTAs in previous years for Green Bay.
Rodgers’ rift with the Packers reportedly dates back to the 2020 NFL Draft, when the team selected Jordan Love in the first round without consulting him. It was only reportedly exacerbated by the release of wide receiver Jake Kumerow.
It’s also been reported that Rodgers will be willing to sit out offseason activities or even retire if Brian Gutekunst remains as the team’s general manager.
Rodgers has not made any public decree one way or the other on whether he wants to be traded, stay with the Packers or do anything else. The Packers’ front office has been adamant about keeping Rodgers.
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He appeared at the Kentucky Derby earlier this month and declined to do an on-camera interview with NBC Sports broadcaster Mike Tirico. Rodgers and Tirico did chat off camera, and the broadcaster said at the time he would “characterize Aaron as disappointed that news has come out of this rift with the Packers” and said Rodgers expressed how much he loves Green Bay, the fans and the franchise.
Tirico offered more insight into the Rodgers saga in a recent interview on “The Adam Schefter Podcast.” Tirico said Rodgers and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who was also mentioned in trade rumors during the offseason, are looking at Tom Brady’s success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers late in his career and are becoming more interested in doing something similar.
“I think they saw Tom Brady go somewhere and the people around him were placed there to maximize success, and said, ‘Look, that can be me.’ In both situations, that’s been some of the issue around both teams,” the longtime NFL broadcaster said.
“The people around Aaron Rodgers… maybe they wanted to be in that mode. And maybe it hit home because it happened in their backyard.”
Tirico opined that he didn’t think it was a money thing between Rodgers and the Packers.
“I don’t think the way things have played out over the last few years with the organization… let’s draft, develop and do things without splashy free agents… it’s been done one way for about 30 years… Is it the best way to win with a star quarterback and not put things together and make a run for it?
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“That might not be the best situation for Aaron Rodgers at this point in his career. I think those are the seeds that have bubbled and developed over the past how many months.”