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How did the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers reach breaking point? 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 24, 2021, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 24, 2021, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Kyle Heim
ANALYST
Modified 05 May 2021
Feature

The Green Bay Packers may still be committed to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but it no longer appears that commitment is mutual.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported before Day 1 of the 2021 NFL draft that Rodgers is disgruntled with the team and told members of the organization that he does not want to return next season.

Speaking with reporters after the first round of the draft, Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst reiterated to reporters that the Packers will not trade Rodgers.

How did the Packers and Aaron Rodgers get to this point?

A year ago, the Green Bay Packers traded up in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, signaling they were more concerned about the future than winning now.

Many viewed Love as the eventual replacement for Rodgers, who bit his tongue after the pick and congratulated the team's newest member.

NFL teams drafted 37 wide receivers during the 2020 draft but the Packers did not pick one. Instead, the Packers drafted running back A.J. Dillon with their second-round pick despite having Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on the roster and addressed other needs in the later rounds. Twelve teams, meanwhile, drafted two or more receivers.

Despite not getting any help at the wide receiver position, Rodgers threw for 4,299 passing yards, 48 touchdowns and five interceptions with a 121.5 passer rating and won his third MVP award. He led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game where they were beaten by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Controversy brewed at the end when the Packers, down eight points, opted to kick a 26-yard field goal instead of going for it on 4th and goal from the Buccaneers' eight-yard line with just over two minutes left in the game. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense held their nerve and kept the ball for the final two minutes to win the game.

Asked about the decision to kick a field goal instead of trying for a game-tying touchdown, Rodgers told reporters after the game that it wasn't his decision.

Rodgers said he felt "gutted" after the loss.

During the offseason, Rodgers appeared as a two-week guest host on the game show "Jeopardy," where a contestant brought up the decision to kick the field goal.

"That is a great question," Rodgers said during the show. "It should be correct, but unfortunately for this game today, it's not."

In bonus footage of the episode, Rodgers is seen praising contestant Scott Shewfelt for raising the question. "You will always be all-time in my book, my friend," Rodgers told Shewfelt.

What's next for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers

While Aaron Rodgers has never explicitly acknowledged it, it's been clear that he has had multiple disagreements with the Green Bay Packers organization.

Following Thursday's report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, it appears the two sides have reached breaking point. Rodgers is under contract through the end of the 2023 season after signing a four-year deal in 2018 worth $134 million.

It remains to be seen how the dilemma will play out in the months leading into the 2021 season.

Also Read: Who is Aaron Rodgers’ Fiancée, Shailene Woodley?

Published 01 May 2021
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