Aaron Rodgers Skips Packers Mandatory Mini Camp Opening, Risking $93,000 Fine

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The rift between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers front office looked set to worsen on Tuesday as the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player skipped the opening of Green Bay’s mandatory mini-camp.

The 37-year-old quarterback’s absence comes after he turned in a $500,000 bonus by skipping the team’s voluntarily organized team activities last month. Rodgers could be fined up to $93,085 if he misses all three days of Packer’s minicamp, according to multiple reports. However, Rodgers has over $240 million in career earnings and recently ended a stint as guest host of Jeopardy.

Rodgers is mired in a tense stamina that he believes has to do with team management of the roster and communication with the front office. He told members of the organization that he wants a trade and will not be playing in Green Bay again.

End of April, NFL Network reported that Rodgers was frustrated with the contract renewal negotiations and that seeking “contractual security” in a deal that would avoid the need for future restructuring — a common practice among NFL teams with their highest-paid players.

Aaron Rodgers' rift with the Packers front office looked set to worsen on Tuesday as the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player skipped the opening of Green Bay's mandatory minicamp.

Aaron Rodgers’ rift with the Packers front office looked set to worsen on Tuesday as the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player skipped the opening of Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp.

In any case, team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst insist there will be no trade for Rodgers, despite inquiries from multiple teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.

With Rodgers gone — he trains in California and recently vacationed in Hawaii — the Packers use the first round of 2020 Jordan Love as quarterback with the first-team offense.

If he sticks to his steadfast stance or retires, Rodgers will have a base salary of $14.7 million in 2021 that he would forfeit. He may also be forced to refund previously earned bonuses.

Speaking to ESPN in late May, Rodgers confirmed the reported rift between him and the team, but clarified a few details.

According to multiple reports, Rodgers told the Packers that he will not be playing for them next season and requested a trade after being approached about a pay cut. A number of members of management and head coach Matt LaFleur reportedly made trips to meet Rodgers in person when the split began.

Rodgers did not go into details of ESPN’s Kenny Mayne feud on May 25, but did emphasize that he has no problem with Love, his teammates or his coaches.

“With my situation, look, it was never about the draft pick, picking Jordan,” Rodgers told Mayne. ‘I love Jordan; he is a great boy. (We) had a lot of fun working together. I love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fans in Green Bay. An incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy and maybe we forget that it’s about the people running the thing.

“It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way.”

Jordan Love was a surprise first-round pick for the Packers in 2020. His arrival seemed to suggest Rodgers' days in Green Bay were numbered until the longtime starter won his third MVP award in 2020.

Jordan Love was a surprise first-round pick for the Packers in 2020. His arrival seemed to suggest Rodgers’ days in Green Bay were numbered until the longtime starter won his third MVP award in 2020.

This image, released by Jeopardy Productions, Inc., shows Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hosting the game show "Danger!"

This image, released by Jeopardy Productions, Inc., shows Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as a guest on the game show ‘Jeopardy!’

Rodgers thinks the fact that he won MVP may have played a part in the front office issues.

“A lot of this (drama) was set in motion last year, and the key was just thrown in when I won MVP and played like I played last year,” Rodgers told ESPN. “This is just kind of, I guess, an outgrowth of all that. But it’s about the people and that’s the most important thing.

Green Bay has always been about the people – from Curly Lambeau as owner and founder to the ’60s with (Vince) Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the ’90s teams with coach (Mike) Holmgren and Favrey (Brett Favre) and the Secretary of Defense (Reggie White) on the run we’ve had. It’s about the people. …

“I’ve been lucky enough to play with some great, great people and have also had the opportunity to work for some great people. It is those people who build the foundation of those entities. I think we forget that sometimes.’

The overarching issue between Gutekunst and Rodgers surfaced ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, but there has been underlying friction since the Packers selected Love in the first round of the 2020 draft.

In the rookie mini-camp after the draft, LaFleur again said the Packers wanted Rodgers to return “in the worst way.”

“As we have said since the end of the season, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond,” Gutekunst told ESPN. “Aaron has been an essential part of our success and we look forward to fighting with him at the head of our team for another championship.”

Rodgers made cryptic comments ahead of the 2020 NFC title game, saying his future is a “wonderful mystery.”

This image, released by Jeopardy Productions, Inc., shows Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hosting the game show "Danger!"

This image, released by Jeopardy Productions, Inc., shows Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as a guest on the game show ‘Jeopardy!’

The Packers have shown no interest in trading him, and according to ESPN, they have turned down offers from the Los Angeles Rams, who eventually traded for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Rodgers played his entire 16-year NFL career with the Packers, winning three MVP awards and Super Bowl XLV during that time.

He is signed through the 2023 season, but has an out clause in his contract that will allow him to become a free agent in the summer of 2022. Rodgers has earned more than $240 million in salary in his 16-year career.

Rodgers has been busy this off-season.

In addition to a brief presentation from Jeopardy, he revealed his engagement to actress Shailene Woodley when he took home his third MVP award in February.

Rodgers’ trade value is supported by his own recent success after leading the NFL in completion percentage (70.7) and touchdown passes (48) in 2020 while throwing just five interceptions.

In addition to a brief presentation from Jeopardy, he revealed his engagement to actress Shailene Woodley when he took home his third MVP award in February.  This picture is from April

In addition to a brief presentation from Jeopardy, he revealed his engagement to actress Shailene Woodley when he took home his third MVP award in February. This picture is from April

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