Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team, league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.
The Packers are aware of his feelings, concerned about them and have had team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur each fly out on separate trips to meet with Rodgers at various points this offseason, sources told ESPN.
“As we’ve stated since the season ended, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond,” Gutekunst told ESPN. “Aaron has been a vital part of our success and we look forward to competing for another championship with him leading our team.”
Rodgers, 37, has not budged this offseason, but neither have the Packers, who have made it known they are not interested in trading Rodgers anywhere.
The San Francisco 49ers checked with the Packers about Rodgers’ potential availability on Wednesday night, but general manager John Lynch said Thursday that the call didn’t go anywhere, and he was quickly rebuffed.
“You’re talking about the MVP of our league last year,” Lynch said. “Yeah, we inquired. It was a quick in to the conversation (but) it wasn’t happening. As we said, we have been convicted and excited for a long, long time, so we went right back to where we’ve been and that’s really excited about adding Trey Lance to the 49ers, and we’re thrilled about that.”
The Los Angeles Rams inquired about Rodgers in January before they traded for Matthew Stafford, but the Packers quickly dismissed the Rams’ overtures, the source said. While teams have inquired about Rodgers this offseason, no team has made a trade offer for the three-time MVP, a source told ESPN.
The Packers have offered to extend Rodgers’ contract, sources told ESPN.
The NFL Live crew talks about what’s next for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers in their tenuous relationship.
Rodgers is unhappy for a variety of reasons, with some of it dating to last year’s draft when the Packers didn’t inform him before trading up to draft a quarterback with their first-round pick. Some took this as a sign that his days in Green Bay could be numbered.
He also is at a different point in his personal life, having recently gotten engaged to actress Shailene Woodley. Rodgers also has hosted “Jeopardy!” and said it would be a dream to become the full-time host. He could play football and also host “Jeopardy!”
Rodgers has made cryptic comments about his future in Green Bay, but he has told others that he does not want to return.
On draft night, the Packers’ biggest issue isn’t who they land, but whether they can keep Rodgers.
An NFL player has never been traded after winning the MVP award in the previous season. The only MVPs to not return to their team in the season after winning the award were Norm Van Brocklin (retired after winning in 1960) and Jim Brown (retired after winning in 1965).
Rodgers’ contract contained a $6.8 million roster bonus due in March. It could have been converted into a signing bonus that would have freed up more than $4.5 million in salary-cap space for this season but instead it “vested as scheduled,” a source told ESPN at the time. It’s listed as an automatic conversion in Rodgers’ contract, but even that has to be signed off on by both parties. It’s not known if the Packers tried to convert and Rodgers refused to sign off on it, or if they did not attempt a conversion.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.