Aaron Rodgers Rumors: Packers Have 'Some Encouragement'; Won't Trade MVP QB

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 12, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes during the first half of the NFC championship NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps

The glacial freeze between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers appears to be thawing.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler appeared Monday on Get Up, saying the Packers are "hopeful" the reigning MVP reports to the team and have no plans to trade him.

"The Packers are hopeful. After asking around, I sense some encouragement out there from the Packers. I asked a source whether Rodgers' comments breed optimism. They said, 'I really hope so,'" Fowler said.

"So, this is a team that is waiting this out. There's no clear-cut clarity here. They are just simply hoping for the best. They are not going to trade him. Now, I did ask around to some execs around the league asking if this situation has lost the locker room with his teammates. They said, 'no.' They believe it has not because they understand his business, they're keeping it separate." 

Rodgers requested a trade earlier this offseason, citing a falling out with management. The issue has been simmering for more than a year, dating back to the Packers' decision to use a first-round pick on Jordan Love in 2020.

Rodgers said he plans on figuring out his plans for this season in "a couple weeks" during an interview on NBC Sports last week. He's given no indication on whether he plans to report to the Packers and has largely eschewed giving hard-line answers about his displeasure. Perhaps the best window we got into Rodgers' thinking was a May interview with Kenny Mayne on SportsCenter, in which he essentially laid the blame on general manager Brian Gutekunst.

"I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization," Rodgers said. "History is important, legacy of so many people who've come before you. But the people, that's the most important thing. People make an organization, people make a business and sometimes that gets forgotten. Culture is built brick by brick, the foundation of it by the people, not by the organization, not by the building, not by the corporation. It's built by the people."

Bob McGinn of The Athletic reported in May that Rodgers regularly referred to Gutekunst as "Jerry Krause" in team group texts. Krause, the late Chicago Bulls general manager, was regularly blamed by Michael Jordan and others as the main reason the 1990s Bulls—who won six NBA championships—broke up after the 1997-98 season.

It's unclear if Rodgers' feelings have changed over the last couple of months, but we're going to find out soon.