The future for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay has been up in the air for quite a while. Back in January, CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported that the Packers legend may soon be heading elsewhere and talk of a possible exit hasn't exactly subsided. Rodgers himself has even left the door open for skepticism that he'll be in Green Bay long-term, saying this month that "we'll just kind of see as we go."
While Rodgers may have his own doubts about where his career may take him beyond 2021, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, the guy who'd actually make the decision on this matter, was asked about the situation during his pre-draft press conference on Monday. Gutekunst did his best to firmly state that the defending league MVP will be in Green Bay for the long haul, but also didn't reveal an exact timetable on how he views things under center.
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"Aaron's our guy," said Gutekunst. "He's going to be our quarterback for the foreseeable future."
Sounds convincing, but exactly how far out is that foreseeable future? From a dollars and cents standpoint, the rubber could meet the road on a possible divorce between Rodgers and the Packers as early as next season. Under the parameters of his current contract with the team, Green Bay could clear roughly $22.6 million off the cap by moving on from Rodgers in 2022. That said, if the two sides come to terms on a revised contract, that could bring his future with the organization into better focus. Gutekunst noted on Monday that they are currently "working through" things with Rodgers as it relates to his contract.
The reason this is even being discussed with a quarterback who just took home the MVP is twofold. First is the financial component of being able to clear space in a possible departure. Second, and most notably, is that the club drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft, which effectively put an end date to Rodgers' time at Lambeau Field under the spotlight. Unless the team decides to wash its hands of Love and trade him elsewhere, odds are the brass would want to see what the young signal-caller can do while he's still under his rookie contract. Could that be as soon as 2022? That may be the most cost-effective route to take for Green Bay, even though you'd be moving on from an all-world talent while he's still at the peak of his powers.
Gutekunst's affirmation of Rodgers being their QB for the foreseeable future may slow down some of the talk of a possible separation momentarily, but it likely won't subside altogether. Unless there is a significant development that alters their path (new contract, Love trade, etc.), the current road Rodgers and the Packers are heading down is still very much murky.