There are plenty of rumors surrounding Aaron Rodgers and the seemingly fractured nature of his relationship with the Packers.
But at delicious as that consumption might be, particularly for Vikings fans giddy about the prospect of Rodgers leaving the Packers, I thought readers/listeners might be more satiated by reporting and insights.
So on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast, I enlisted the help of Tyler Dunne — a former Packers beat writer who covered four years of Rodgers' career. Dunne continues to be extremely plugged in on league matters in order to write interesting longer pieces about the Packers and plenty of other NFL topics for his subscription-based Go Long newsletter and golongtd.com.
If you don't see the podcast player, tap here to listen.
"The best way I can describe it is that you have these two converging forces," Dunne said. "You've got a team since 1992 when Ron Wolf completely resurrected the franchise that operates a certain way. ... The structure of the organization is what it is, and the players play. It's not, 'bring Aaron Rodgers into the office, hand him a glass of scotch and ask him who we're going to keep.' It's just not how they do business, nor should it be."
That top-down mentality where general managers are given a lot of roster latitude has worked for Green Bay. But, as Dunne also says, it doesn't seem to be working for Rodgers.
"I think he's looking around and saying, 'You know what, I should have a little bit of say around here. So that's one of the converging factors," Dunne said. "And then you have his personality. He's a guy that when he has a grudge, he doesn't lose that grudge. It's part of what make him special. It makes him a three-time MVP ... They drafted a quarterback because they're thinking long-term and looking out for the best interests of the franchise. And in his mind, as a grudge-holder, as somebody who can't look past that, it's just a recipe for disaster."
In a recent SportsCenter appearance, Rodgers indicated that he messed up Green Bay's plans to move on from him and onto first round pick Jordan Love after 2020 by playing at an MVP level (and winning the award).
Dunne, noting that the Packers have barely had a chance to see Love in meaningful action, said he thinks Green Bay would "like one more season to work with Jordan Love" behind the scenes instead of being forced into starting him in 2021.
That said, Dunne also noted that there were signs Rodgers play was dropping off before 2020. He said a player told him that during the NFC title game following the 2019 season — a game in which Rodgers struggled and Green Bay was blown out by San Francisco — Rodgers told head coach Matt LaFleur that Rodgers was going to start calling the plays.
So where is this all headed? Nobody knows for sure. The Packers start minicamp next week, which should give us another clue along the way if Rodgers doesn't show up. But long-term?
"I tend to think that he is sincerely dug in," Dunne said of Rodgers. "And he is willing to retire if the Packers push him to that point. It's crazy to say it. He should just play. He's got three years left on his contract. They want to pay him more than any other quarterback. ... I think this is legit. I think he'll miss games. He's willing to lose money. He's willing to do whatever it takes to get out."