In the days immediately after the loss to San Francisco, Aaron Rodgers stayed in Green Bay. Perhaps driven by his comments of not wanting to be part of a rebuild, or perhaps because he hadn’t made plans to leave until early February, either way, he stayed in town. He spoke with both Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur in depth about the direction the team would take in 2022 and what could be done to keep the band together. He then left to complete his own decision making process and chose his path for 2022.
Two months later, we’re none the wiser. A promise not to drag things out hasn’t dampened the circus that exists around Rodgers. Weeks of silence were ended by a not so subtle Instagram post and an impromptu appearance on Pat McAfee. Social media was sent into meltdown. Everyone was certain Rodgers’ would announce his decision, only to have their hopes dashed less than a minute into his appearance.
Personally, I’ve been pretty sure he’ll be back. Lots of signs point to that. History being the first. We’ve been here before and seen how it ends. The fact that post game meeting occurred. Rodgers’s input in the hiring of Tom Clements, the fact that the NFC offers Aaron Rodgers his best chance at another championship, and not to mention a (rumored) $50 million per year contract.
To their eternal credit, the front office has done all they can to keep Rodgers happy. Little has been said publicly, he’s been given time and space, had his opinion taken on board and not been rushed into a decision. Yet he still continues to hold the organization over a barrel.
Rodgers already knows what he’s doing. His mind is made up, I’m certain of that. What I’m also certain of is that he has now decided to make sure Davante Adams is taken care of. A noble thing to do one might say. However, Adams will be paid either way, likely Green Bay dollars, too. What I don’t like is how Rodgers is playing the front office. Adams must be tagged by tomorrow or he will hit the free market. Yet, there has been very little concrete evidence that this will happen. Why, you might ask? I can’t help but feel that Rodgers has told the front office Adams isn’t to be tagged. You might again ask why?
If he’s placed on a franchise tag, Adams can expect to receive a one year deal for approximately $20 million. Sources say he wants closer to $30 million. Being tagged also strips Adams of his bargaining leverage. Whether a new deal would be agreed or not, he would remain a Packer for 2022 on significantly less than he’d hoped.
This is where Rodgers comes in. Having expressed a desire to see his friend taken care of, I can’t help but feel Rodgers is forcing the front office down this road. If so, it’s a dangerous precedent to set. Yes, the Packers will keep Adams on a new deal, but it empowers Rodgers to possibly believe he is bigger than the Green Bay Packers and he almost becomes a de facto GM. If he wields this much power, can it be good for the long term health of the organization. If it was Cobb last year and Adams this year, who will it be next year?
If, and this is a big if, after all of this 12 has already decided to check out of Green Bay permanently, then this is the ultimate two fingers to an organization that has bent over backwards to appease him. Time, space, hidden messages, input on staff hires, draft choices, extensions to contracts and who knows what else, have been afforded to Aaron Rodgers in a bid to hold onto him. If, after all this, he walks, a decision he would have made long ago, but decided to make them all march to his drum beat then I say good riddance and lets move on as this great organization deserves better than that.