As if the weekend couldn’t get any better for Minnesota Vikings fans with a draft that did what many thought was impossible: A draft haul that made even Joe Johnson (me, owner of this site and purplePTSD.com/FranchiseTagged.com/TheDraftTeam.com) once again a member of the hopeful Minnesota Vikings fan bandwagon… There was also the news that perpetual side thorn in Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has officially had enough of the new regime in Wisconsin and officially wants out.
It’s so good it must be fattening.
While there were unsubstantiated reports last season that the then new Packers powers that be and Aaron Rodgers weren’t meshing, we now know what the final straw was for Rodgers and where all this bad blood is coming from.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com explains:
From NFL Now: Summing up the #Packers situation with QB Aaron Rodgers, who also wanted more input in personnel decisions… and how the Jake Kumerow release (!!) played into it. pic.twitter.com/EOGG9aQg3R
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 3, 2021
For those of you who don’t want to watch the video, according to Rapoport reports that the release of Jake Kumerow before the 2020 season “drove Rodgers nuts” and was “described as a little bit of a death knell in the relationship” between the quarterback and decision-makers in the organization.
Apparently Rodgers beat Russell Wilson to the punch and wanted more input into personnel decisions. The irony there is that many had suspected that the final straw was the 2020 Draft, one in which Rodgers was widely expected to be given more receivers to throw to courtesy of the first round but instead sat back and watched as the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love on TV like the rest of us instead.
Rodgers was so far out of the loop during the Draft that, again, he simply got the news from watching TV. His reaction? To down an entire bottle of tequila for the first time in his life, like the polar opposite of the post Super Bowl Tom Brady. Except in this instance instead of causing controversy by drunkenly throwing the Lombardi Trophy like it was a Nerf Ball, Rodgers threw… Up.
Talk about a tequila sunrise!
While no team wants to cede front office authority to a player, it would make sense to at least include your first-ballot franchise quarterback in your plan for the Draft. That way you can hear their thoughts on what would help them capitalize on their remaining prime years while also avoiding situations like this.
While this situation and especially the Russell Wilson one may seem like player empowerment turned entitlement, it actually more seems like the same NFL front office arrogance players and fans have experienced since the dawn of the league.
The NFL has long had laughable “contracts” not worth the ink that printed the terms that teams can seemingly void at any time. Sure, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins changed some of that, but we still hear on essentially a weekly basis that the NFL is a business. That’s code typically from the players that the NFL values money above all else (including or especially loyalty and/or appreciation to the countless men who have sacrificed their bodies and as we’re learning more-and-more minds to the game that makes team owners and the league billions each season).
If Aaron Rodgers can’t get the bare minimum from a franchise, especially one with new management? What chance does anyone else have?
I’m not anywhere near the biggest fan of Rodgers and his perpetual pouty vibe, but you have to understand his frustration. Then again, that could just be my conscious and subconscious elation that the Packers have yet again alienated a HoF QB to the point of that QB wanting out.
If only the timing lined up for the Vikings to sign Rodgers if/when he is released. Nothing outside of a Vikings Super Bowl victory would make me happier than hanging a purple Aaron Rodgers jersey on my wall next to my purple Brett Favre jersey and bright green Crocs, and I don’t have children.
So, let’s hope that Rodgers does put his money where his mouth is and ends up elsewhere in 2021. The Packers would, a la Favre in 2008, most likely only trade him to an AFC team.
That’d give him a season to toil away for a team like the Jets or Raiders, only to come to Minny in 2022 (when Cousins’ dead cap is a much more palatable ~ $10m). He could then ride out in the sunset with a Super Bowl victory and would give QB of (hopefully) the future Kellen Mond two great veterans to sit behind and learn from.
That is, of course, as long as the Vikings would either keep Rodgers posted on their draft picks/trade downs or at the very least pay part of his year-to-year contract in Patron.