Aaron Rodgers may have played his final game with the Green Bay Packers, if he gets his way. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Rodgers told some members within the Packers organization he does not want to return to the team. The Packers are concerned about Rodgers' feelings and had several high ranking-officials in the organization reach out to him at various points in the offseason.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said Wednesday that Rodgers will be "our quarterback for the foreseeable future," but Rodgers apparently has other plans in mind.
"We're excited about kind of the things we're going to try to accomplish here over the next couple years," Gutekunst said on a conference call with reporters this week, via the Packers website. "We had to do a lot of things (with contracts) to bring guys back this year and we'll have to do that again. So we're not done by any means yet, and we are working through that with a number of our players, including Aaron."
The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly reached out to Rodgers, and other teams have made calls. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the "wish list" for Rodgers consisted of the 49ers along with the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders. Florio added that Rodgers could very well be traded this weekend as the 2021 NFL Draft unfolds. The main question, of course, is the destination.
This all comes as longtime NFL reporter Trey Wingo notes that Green Bay told Rodgers they'd look to trade him this offseason. Once they backed off of that trajectory, the falling out between Rodgers and the organization followed. Over the last week, Rodgers has told the Packers, per Wingo, that regardless of whether or not a deal is struck, he will not be returning to the club.
If the Packers were to trade Rodgers, he would be the first league MVP to be traded in the season after he won the MVP. Norm Van Brocklin and Jim Brown are the only two MVPs in NFL history not to play for the team they won the MVP with the next season -- and that was due to both of those players retiring the next year.
Rodgers is just the sixth player to win the MVP award three times -- joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Peyton Manning, Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady (Manning won the league MVP a record five times). Rodgers is one of two active players to win the MVP award multiple times. Brady is the other.
Rodgers had one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in NFL history in 2020, completing 70.7% of his passes for 4,299 yards with 48 touchdowns to just five interceptions at the age of 37. A First Team All-Pro selection, Rodgers led the league in completion percentage, touchdown passes, touchdown percentage (9.1), interception percentage (1.0), and passer rating (121.5). He set a career-high in both completion percentage and touchdown passes.
Rodgers set three NFL records in 2020, including the most games with a passer rating over 100.0 (14) and the most games with a passer rating over 120.0 in a season (10). He also had nine games with three-plus touchdown passes and no interceptions in a season, also the most in NFL history.
Rodgers became the third player in NFL history to lead the league in passing touchdowns (48) while throwing the fewest interceptions (five), joining Brady (2010) and Unitas (1958) as the only players to accomplish the feat. He's the first player in NFL history to throw at least 40 touchdowns with five or fewer interceptions in a season and his 121.5 passer rating is the second-highest in NFL history -- behind Rodgers' 122.5 mark he set in 2011. Rodgers' 51 total touchdowns (48 passing, three rushing) are the third-most in a season in NFL history. He has thrown for 99 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions over the past three seasons, leading the NFL in interception percentage in each of the last three years.
This is what a team would be acquiring if they were to land Rodgers, which would arguably be the biggest trade in league history. Rodgers wants another Super Bowl as he reaches the twilight of his career (he's 37 this year). The Packers have a decision to made regarding one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game -- and it seems he may have made the decision for them.