Aaron Rodgers, Packers in a distinct place from final yr as MVP ponders future

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Watch quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ speech when he accepted the MVP award on Saturday night time and also you would possibly conclude one factor about his future with the Green Bay Packers. Take heed to what he mentioned in his 11-minute news conference moments later when he walked off the NFL Honors stage and maybe you might have different concepts. Learn the stories, together with one by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that got here out the morning of the Tremendous Bowl, and also you may be swayed to a completely completely different path.

The truth proper now could be this: Everyone seems to be simply studying the tea leaves. If anybody is aware of what Rodgers has deliberate for the 2022 season and past, it’s most likely solely him, and maybe his “inner circle” as he called it on Saturday night time.

Rodgers has mentioned repeatedly he gained’t take lengthy to determine, and he provided the franchise-tag window (Feb. 22 to March 8) as a possible timeframe, on condition that it will tie into receiver Davante Adams’ future with the Packers – one thing that might seemingly be a prerequisite for Rodgers’ return.

Whereas the Packers look forward to Rodgers to determine, they’ve taken each alternative to make it clear they need him again. And whereas it will appear apparent any group of their place would need the identical factor, the Packers’ overtly public strategy additionally says one thing else: They discovered from the Brett Favre divorce in 2008, and so they don’t wish to lose within the courtroom of public opinion like they did in that case.

Packers president Mark Murphy presided over the awkward Favre-to-Rodgers transition. Basic supervisor Brian Gutekunst was an space scout on the time, however he labored below then-GM Ted Thompson. Thompson and Murphy turned Public Enemy Nos. 1a and 1b in the summertime of 2008. A big portion of the fan base believed the Packers erred in not permitting Favre to return to the group after he unretired.

By making it abundantly clear they need Rodgers to complete his profession with the Packers, they successfully shifted the burden to him. If he retires or decides to play for one more group, the Packers now will be capable to say they did every little thing they might to stop it.

Would that sway public sentiment in opposition to Rodgers if he does go away? Solely the fan base can reply that.

The vibe is completely different this yr. From praising Murphy, Gutekunst and vice chairman/director of soccer operations Russ Ball to thanking “our unbelievable fan base” to saying it has been “an incredible 17 years” to acknowledging the problems he had with the group final offseason have been adequately addressed, Rodgers has made it recognized that he isn’t bitter or sad with the group.

He now can stroll away — if that is what he chooses — and say he additionally took the excessive highway. One reply from his post-MVP information convention took care of that.

“I used to be clearly pissed off about some issues within the offseason,” Rodgers mentioned. “We had a ton of conversations, and I simply felt like there was a lot development, and I’m so grateful for that. I’m grateful for the relationships -– with Brian as a lot as anyone as a result of there was clearly some issues that have been voiced within the offseason, privately between him and myself, and I’m simply grateful for the response. There was a number of issues that have been carried out to make me really feel actually particular and necessary to the current, the previous and the way forward for the franchise. And I’ve obtained to say that Russ and Brian particularly had a giant hand in that. And it didn’t go unnoticed.”

None of this will likely impression whether or not or not Rodgers returns to the Packers, however till a choice is made, there may be extra of this to come back.

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