Aaron Rodgers Rumors: Packers Cutting Jake Kumerow Was 'Death Knell' in Relationship

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2021

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Is Jake Kumerow the reason Aaron Rodgers is seeking a divorce with the Green Bay Packers?  

In September, the Packers cut the wide receiver despite Rodgers saying the day prior that he considered Kumerow a lock to make the roster.    

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Rodgers "wanted to be more involved in some of the personnel decisions," and "it does seem like the one thing that drove Rodgers nuts was when the organization released Jake Kumerow just a day after he praised him publicly. Described as a little bit of a 'death knell' in the relationship."

Kumerow, 29, caught 20 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns in his two seasons with the Packers. Last year he caught one pass for 22 yards and a score with the Buffalo Bills.

There are conflicting reports as to what has been the primary source of discontent for Rodgers with the Packers.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported on Friday that the veteran quarterback "remains adamant that he won’t return to the team under the current stewardship of general manager Brian Gutekunst, a source in Rodgers’ camp said, and that he’s willing to weigh hardline options at his disposal—from refusing to show up for offseason activities to holding out of training camp and possibly retirement."

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But Peter King of Pro Football Talk reported Monday that he's "heard that Rodgers has not demanded the ouster of Gutekunst," which Gutekunst essentially said himself. 

“You never want to see those things or read those things," he told King regarding the rumors that Rodgers wanted him out. "He’s never said that to me and he never said that publicly."

Gutekunst added that he believes the relationship between the reigning MVP and the organization isn't broken, and that he took just one call over the weekend from a team inquiring about the availability of Rodgers in a trade. 

“I had no [trade] discussions with any team," he said. "I received one call from a team Thursday night, after all the news came out. I said no. That was the end of the conversation.”

It seems likely that Rodgers wasn't thrilled when the Packers used a first-round pick in 2020 on quarterback Jordan Love, given the other needs on the roster. It's also possible that Rodgers—who is under contract through 2023, albeit with a potential out for the Packers after this upcoming season—wants a contract extension that would keep him among the top players at the position. 

His average annual value on his current contract is $33.5 million, which is tied for fifth in the NFL. But Patrick Mahomes ($45 million AAV) and Dak Prescott ($40 million AAV) signed contracts recently that far exceed Rodgers' current deal. 

So it's perhaps a cumulative effect that has Rodgers unhappy with the Packers, with the Kumerow release one factor in his broader issues with the front office and organization.