The NFL storyline everyone continues to be fascinated by is the ongoing situation between the Green Bay Packers and their star quarterback. Aaron Rodgers, the league's reigning MVP, has yet to address the situation himself, but reports claim he told people within the Packers organization that he does not want to return to the team and desires a trade. The Packers are adamant that they will not be trading Rodgers, but this is still a worrisome situation for the franchise.
Last week, the NFL released its schedule for the 2021 season. That was a challenge in itself, with the league adding an extra week, but schedule-makers also had to predict the future when it came to the Rodgers-Packers situation. Peter King of NBC Sports revealed in his latest "Football Morning in America" column that he asked NFL senior vice president of broadcasting Howard Katz if they considered limiting Green Bay's prime-time matchups since it's not a given Rodgers will be with the team this year. Katz admitted that it did get his team "a little nervous," and that he even asked around for inside info regarding the situation. What Katz found out, however, was that no one had a good read on what was going to happen.
After his failed inside inquiry, Katz and his squad went ahead and put the Packers on four different networks for the first four weeks of the season, and put them down for four Sunday or Monday night games along with a Thursday night matchup in Week 8.
"The Green Bay Packers are still the Green Bay Packers, with or without Aaron Rodgers," Katz said. "They're a great team and a great brand. We started to think about some of the permutations of the schedule. Ultimately, when he didn't get traded, we couldn't solve for something we didn't know. It was pretty deliberate the way we maxed out the Packers early in the season. You're right that each of the networks has their bite at the Packers in the first month. That was deliberate."
It would be good for everyone if Rodgers and the Packers were able to hammer out their internal discord. Green Bay has a fun schedule in 2021, and that won't be the same with Jordan Love or Blake Bortles under center. Check out a full breakdown of the Packers schedule here.