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Aaron Rodgers Rumors: Packers 'Had Some Early Talks' with QB Ahead of July 2 Deadline

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2021

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

The Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers have reportedly had some discussions amid Rodgers' unhappiness with the organization.

According to ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler during a Thursday morning appearance on SportsCenter, the talks between the Packers and Rodgers are "early" and there has been "nothing substantial" yet.

Rodgers has until Friday to opt out of the 2021 NFL season if he so chooses, although there hasn't yet been any indication that he plans to do so.

While Rodgers could opt out and avoid having to pay back his $11.5 million signing bonus and $6.8 million roster bonus, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported it likely won't happen since Rodgers won't be ready to completely give up on playing in 2021 by that point.

Rodgers has spent his entire 16-year NFL career with the Packers, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in April that Rodgers had told some within the Packers organization that he no longer wanted to play in Green Bay.

Last month during an appearance on SportsCenter (h/t ESPN's Rob Demovsky), Rodgers gave some insight regarding why he has issues with the Packers, noting that it wasn't simply because they took quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft:

"With my situation, look it's never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan. I love Jordan; he's a great kid. [We've had] a lot of fun to work together. Love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fanbase in Green Bay. An incredible 16 years. It's just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It's about character, it's about culture, it's about doing things the right way."

Rodgers did not attend the Packers' mandatory minicamp, and it remains unclear if he will be present at training camp. If not, Rodgers will be subject to daily fines.

The 37-year-old veteran, who is coming off his third career MVP award, signed a four-year, $134 million contract extension in 2018 to keep him under contract through 2023.

Fowler reported that while Rodgers' contract is an "albatross" preventing the Packers from moving forward with other decisions, such as signing wide receiver Davante Adams to an extension, Green Bay is willing to give Rodgers "probably whatever he wants right now."

It remains to be seen if the issues between Rodgers and the Packers can be fixed through financial means, but Green Bay would be wise to try every angle possible given that Rodgers threw a career-high 48 touchdown passes last season and has led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game in each of the past two years.

Until and unless Rodgers does report to the team, the Packers are moving forward with the inexperienced Love as their starting quarterback, which is undoubtedly a huge step down from the future Hall of Famer.

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