The Green Bay Packers' mandatory minicamp commenced today with Aaron Rodgers absent. Even though attendance is mandatory for all players, the reigning NFL MVP did not show up.
The issue between the Packers and Rodgers came to light just before this year’s NFL draft. The 37-year-old quarterback reportedly wants out of Green Bay due to a differing philosophy with the Packers' front office.
In his only public statement on the ongoing saga, Rodgers told ESPN’s Keny Mayne last month that:
“It’s just kind of about philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way.”
Green Bay could fine Rodgers up to $93,085 but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the team has discussed giving Rodgers an excused absence, which would see the fines waived.
Aaron Rodgers has never missed any of the team’s mandatory minicamps over his career, which suggests the issue is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.
So how is Aaron Rodgers’ absence from this week’s minicamp activities affecting the Packers?
The coaching staff can't expand the playbook
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur can’t start working on the offensive playbook without his star quarterback in attendance.
Green Bay had the number one offense in the NFL last year. But Rodgers' absence means the team cannot begin preparations for next season, which will be frustrating for the Packers’ offensive staff.
Aaron Rodgers' absence puts a lot of pressure on Jordan Love
One player who has been affected by the saga is second-year quarterback Jordan Love. The young play-caller now has the weight of the franchise on him as everyone waits to see what happens between the Packers and Rodgers.
Love has yet to take a snap in an NFL game and while the extra reps during minicamp will be helpful, the added pressure and speculation won’t. Will it be a test of the 22-year-old quarterback's mettle and maybe set him up for a successful NFL career? Only time will tell.
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