Aaron Rodgers’ agent has asked Packers president Mark Murphy to trade the quarterback or fire general manager Brian Gudkunst at the start of the 2021 season, according to a source close to the team. Athletic. Here’s what you need to know:
- Neither did Murphy. A few months later, in April, news broke that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay, but the Packers held firm.
- Rodgers stayed away from the team until days before training camp in August — and Gutkunst extended an olive branch by, among other things, trading for wide receiver Randall Cobb, Rodgers’ best friend and former longtime teammate.
- After the first practice of camp, Rodgers aired his grievances, saying he wanted to see changes in the organization’s communication and culture. According to Rodgers, the relationship between him and Gutkunst improved somewhat.
- When asked about the request, Rodgers deferred to his agent, Dave Dunn, who did not respond. AthleticA request for comment.
The Packers’ surprise selection of Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the No. 26 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft prompted questions about Rodgers’ future. The future Hall of Famer has four years left on his contract.
In 2020, Rodgers completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards and a team-best 48 touchdowns against five interceptions. He was named the league’s MVP for the first time since 2014, but the Packers narrowly lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field, leaving Green Bay one game short of the Super Bowl for the second straight season.
Rodgers’ comments in his Zoom news conference after that loss were ominous. “A lot of guys’ futures, they’re uncertain,” he said. “Including myself.”
In the 2021 regular season, Rodgers was again exemplary. He won his second consecutive MVP award and led the Packers to the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but the Packers fell to 49 in the divisional round at Lambeau Field. In post-game comments, Rodgers was once again noncommittal about his future.
As recently as last offseason, Gudkunst said Rodgers wanted to play at least through the 2022 and 2023 seasons in Green Bay. Last July, Rodgers said he wanted to retire with the only team he ever played for.
In March 2022, Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million extension to keep him in Green Bay.
But the 2022 season was an unpleasant one for the Packers — for several reasons. Among them, Rodgers played through a broken thumb in Week 5. For the second consecutive season, he spent months considering whether to continue playing in the NFL or retire.
He eventually decided to return for his 19th season and came to an agreement with the Packers that it would be for another team. Last month, the Packers sent the 39-year-old Rodgers to the New York Jets for several draft picks.
For more on Rodgers’ final years in Green Bay and the team’s plan for a successor — including the infamous Facetime release this offseason — read Matt Schneidman’s full story.
(Photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA Today)