Sports | July 21, 2021 11:03 am

ESPN: Aaron Rodgers Rejected Offer From Packers to Become NFL’s Highest-Paid Player

The deal would have kept the reigning MVP with the Packers for five more seasons

Aaron Rodgers throws a football at the American Century Championship.
Aaron Rodgers throws a football at the American Century Championship.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty

If a new report from ESPN is accurate, it certainly appears as if Green Bay should be preparing for a future where Aaron Rodgers is not playing quarterback for the Packers.

Rodgers, who will turn 38 in December, rejected a contract extension from the team that would have kept him with the Packers for the next five seasons and made him the highest-paid quarterback in the National Football League, according to ESPN.

The reigning NFL MVP has not participated in any of Green Bay’s offseason workouts and will be subject to mandatory fines that cannot be forgiven thanks to CBA rules if he doesn’t attend training camp once it begins in the next couple of weeks.

A one-time champion with the Packers, Rodgers reportedly has an issue with general manager Brian Gutekunst trading up in the draft to take quarterback Jordan Love in 2020 and may not be willing to stay with the team unless the GM is no longer with the Packers.

“With my situation, look, it’s never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan,” Rodgers said on SportsCenter in May. “I love Jordan; he’s a great kid. [It’s been] a lot of fun to work together. Love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. An incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way.”

The Packers have come a game short of making the Super Bowl for the past two seasons with Rodgers under center and would certainly take a step back as an organization if forced to play this year with either Love or Blake Bortles taking snaps. But, if the team is committed to Gutekunst and is willing to call Rodgers’s apparent bluff about being willing to sit out the season and it backfires, that could be what happens. As Rodgers knows himself after watching the team move on from franchise legend Brett Favre in favor of him more than a decade ago, the Packers are not afraid of making big changes at the quarterback position and taking a step back in the short term for the greater good of the future of the team.

Whether he ever takes another snap for Green Bay or not, Rodgers will be getting another title ring out of Wisconsin thanks to his minority stake in the Milwaukee Bucks, who won the team’s first championship in 50 years on Tuesday.