Aaron Rodgers reportedly is so serious about wanting out of Green Bay that he's willing to give up $23 million.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Rodgers would have to repay the Packers $11.5 million each of the next two years if he retires and stays retired. Rodgers reportedly is so steadfast in his desire to leave his only NFL franchise that he's willing to foot the bill.
The reigning NFL MVP has indicated he has no plans to play for the Packers again amid a falling out with the organization. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has been steadfast in saying the organization has no plans to trade Rodgers.
"We're not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," Gutekunst told reporters Thursday.
Rodgers' issues with the organization seemingly stem from what he perceives as a lack of respect, dating back to when the Packers traded up to draft Jordan Love in Round 1 last year. The franchise did not inform Rodgers of plans to draft a quarterback, and the decision alienated both Rodgers and some fans who believed Green Bay should have been focused on more immediate impact players.
"I certainly look back to last year's draft and just kind of maybe some of the communication issues we could have done better," Gutekunst said. "There's no doubt about it. The draft's an interesting thing. It can kind of unfold differently than you think it's going to unfold, and it happens pretty fast. But certainly, I think, looking back on it sitting where we sit today, there could have been some communication things we did better."
Rodgers is under contract through the 2023 season, so he has little recourse to force a trade aside from retiring or holding out. The Packers could issue daily fines to Rodgers if he holds out or seek to recoup the part of his signing bonus to which Rapoport alluded.
With the Packers choosing not to trade Rodgers during the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, this seems like a situation that will simmer well into the summer—if not into the regular season. A date to watch moving forward is June 1, when it will become less onerous on the Packers' cap to trade Rodgers.
If they're unable to find a middle ground on their impasse, the phone will be ringing with teams offering up big packages with future picks for the three-time MVP.