The Chicago Bears likely have their quarterback of the future in Mitchell Trubisky. The Minnesota Vikings just locked up Kirk Cousins for three, fully-guaranteed years. Matthew Stafford is going nowhere after signing a huge extension last offseason.
But things could be getting hairy in Green Bay, if they aren’t careful.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports published an article on Tuesday detailing how franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers has grown frustrated and malcontent with the Green Bay front office this offseason. While the Packers are far from a full rebuild, they did just go through a change at general manager. Long-time GM Ted Thompson will now have a reduced role as a senior advisor while in-house player personnel employee Brian Gutekunst is now the acting general manager.
Things got off to a rocky start this offseason when the Packers fired their quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt without even consulting their All Pro quarterback:
Aaron Rodgers seemed puzzled by the departure of QB coach Alex Van Pelt. “I thought that was an interesting change … really without consulting me. There’s a close connection between the quarterback and his [position] coach. That was an interesting... https://t.co/bhprtLrY0C— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) February 1, 2018
Next, the Packers decided to cut Jordy Nelson, a player whom Rodgers admitted on Tuesday was one of his closest friends in the locker room. And while Rodgers also said that he respects and trusts the decisions made by the front office, Robinson reports there is some frustration brewing.
“Both of those decisions [with Nelson and Van Pelt] were made without him,” one league source close to Rodgers said. “In both situations, he had no influence with [the front office] before anything went down.”
“I know he’s thinking about that stuff when it comes to the next contract because he should have earned a voice by now,” the source continued. “In other places with [elite] quarterbacks, consideration is given to those guys. I think Aaron wants to be engaged in some decisions. But that’s just not the way it works [in Green Bay]. I think that’s obviously frustrating and it’s going to keep coming out.”
Rodgers still has two years remaining on his contract in Green Bay, so there’s no hurry for the Packers to get things done. And, typically, teams and players are miles apart at this point in negotiations anyways. So, there is plenty of time for the Packers to mend any fences, if they so happen to be broken. And this story reeks of offseason fodder, when there really isn’t that much fire behind the smoke.
That being said, this does feel, at least, a little different. It’s downright shocking that the Packers didn’t consult Rodgers on the quarterbacks coach change, and for Jordy Nelson to get sent packing in the same offseason has to sting for the veteran quarterback. It probably doesn’t help to see players like Jimmy Garoppolo and Cousins—who have accomplished far less than Rodgers—get monster deals, while Aaron continues to get a salary closer to the likes of Joe Flacco and Eli Manning, rather than the Derek Carrs and Andrew Lucks of the league.
Still, there’s so much time before the Packers need to make a move to placate Rodgers, that it would be unthinkable for them to screw this up.
UPDATE: Aaron Rodgers is having a good laugh at the drama:
I feel like the title of this article needs more click bait. Come on GBP, make something up, or talk to some unnamed sources close to me or something to beef up the clicks. #dalailamaisapackersfan #bighitter #totalconsciousness #relax #fakenewstuesday #GBSnowday #meditation https://t.co/HnAvXBAsyl— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) April 17, 2018