Packers' Aaron Rodgers Reportedly Not on NFL List to Opt Out amid Trade Rumors

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 6, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) evades a tackle as he looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of the NFC championship NFL football game in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
AP Photo/Mike Roemer

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' name is not on the opt-out list under the NFL's transactions Tuesday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Players have the choice to opt out of the 2021 season because of COVID-19, per NFL.com. That option first came into play in 2020.

Players who are considered "higher risk" for COVID-19 will once again receive a $350,000 stipend, but this year, the $150,000 stipend is not available for voluntary opt-outs. 

The negotiated deadline between the NFL and NFLPA to opt out of the 2021 season was July 2 at 4 p.m. ET.

Florio wrote about the opt-out option for players June 25:

"The letter agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association from Tuesday of this week does indeed grant broad powers to all players to opt out of the 2021 season, regardless of whether they opted out in 2020 or whether they have been diagnosed with a higher-risk condition since October 1, 2020. Although such players would be entitled to no stipend for 2021, any player who executed his most recent contract before October 1, 2020 can indeed opt out voluntarily, no questions asked as to motivation or qualification or possible ulterior motive."

As far as what this means for Rodgers, the 37-year-old is reportedly unhappy with the Packers, to the point where he's told some in the organization that he does not want to return to the team in 2021, per Schefter on April 29.

Rodgers did shed some light on where he stands with the Packers in an interview on SportsCenter with Kenny Mayne on May 24:

ESPN @espn

Aaron Rodgers spoke with <a href="https://twitter.com/Kenny_Mayne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Kenny_Mayne</a> about where he stands with the Packers: <a href="https://t.co/VeSBspFVLL">pic.twitter.com/VeSBspFVLL</a>

He did not report to the team's mandatory minicamp or its voluntary workouts this spring, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com. Numerous trade rumors have emerged surrounding the star, with the Denver Broncos among the teams who have reportedly been interested.

Florio noted that there would be a financial benefit to opting out, though.

"The benefit to doing so comes from the fact that he would not forfeit $11.5 million in unearned signing bonus money for 2021 if he opts out. Also, he presumably would still receive the payments on the $6.8 million roster bonus that he earned in March, and that is due to be paid out in weekly installments during the season.
"That’s $18.3 million that he’ll keep by opting out. If he doesn’t opt out but holds out, he loses that $18.3 million—and would be fined roughly $2 million on top of it for skipping training camp."

However, that will not apply to Rodgers with the deadline passing.

The next date to watch is July 28, which is when the Packers are scheduled to begin training camp. Veterans are supposed to report the day prior.

The Packers' regular season begins Sept. 12 at the Superdome against the New Orleans Saints. Rodgers, who won his third NFL MVP award last year, would be entering his 17th season.