Packers Rumors: Aaron Rodgers Told Free Agents Last Season That He's Leaving GB

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 01: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on from the sideline in the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on November 01, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers' exit plan may have started well before this offseason.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday that Rodgers told some of the Packers' impending free agents as early as the start of last season he didn't expect to stick around in Green Bay.

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: On @BobMcGinn’s “Krause” report and Aaron Rodgers’ warning #Packers prospective free agents for quite some time he wasn’t expecting to be back in Green Bay in 2021. pic.twitter.com/pXdYHffCiY

This is merely the latest entry in the NFL's biggest ongoing drama.

When the Packers traded up to select Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft, many wondered how much longer Rodgers would remain with the team. But few envisioned things unraveling this quickly after Green Bay won 13 games and the veteran quarterback was crowned MVP.

Shortly before the 2021 draft, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Rodgers was "so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team."

As Garafolo explained, it's now open season for everybody to air the Packers' dirty laundry.

Bob McGinn of The Athletic reported Rodgers "appears to have a lengthy list of grievances" against general manager Brian Gutekunst. The nine-time Pro Bowler has reportedly been critical of Gutekunst in group chats with teammates and compared him to former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause.

While Krause helped the Bulls win six titles in eight years, he was not well-liked among many players, including Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported last Saturday that Rodgers indicated he doesn't intend to play for the Packers again if Gutekunst continues to be the GM.

However, Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap explained how the 37-year-old would have to forfeit $23 million from his original $57.5 million signing bonus if he were to walk away altogether. He'd also risk a $50,000 fine for every day he held out of training camp.

As much as Rodgers might want out, the ball is squarely in the Packers' court right now. The only real leverage he has is to make the situation so messy the team has little recourse but to trade him.