And, subsequently, torn between who to blame if and when the Super Bowl-winning marriage ends in divorce.
“The situation we face with Aaron Rodgers has divided our fan base,” Packers president Mark Murphy wrote in his monthly column answering fan mail on the team’s website. “The emails and letters that I’ve received reflect this fact.”
Rodgers is seeking a trade because he thinks his relationship with management is broken beyond repair — a situation that started with the 2020 NFL Draft and the decision to pick quarterback Jordan Love without first informing the future Hall of Famer. He skipped voluntary OTAs and there is no indication he will attend mandatory minicamp, even at the risk of a fine.
But the Packers are not budging on their commitment to Rodgers, who has three years remaining on his contract. The stand-off really won’t boil over until training camp, when the Packers’ options include trading Rodgers or calling his bluff to see if he will really retire rather than return for a 17th season with the Packers.
“We remain committed to resolving things with Aaron and want him to be our quarterback in 2021 and beyond,” Murphy wrote. “We are working to resolve the situation and realize that the less both sides say publicly, the better.”
General manager Brian Gutekunst seems to be the unnamed target of Rodgers’ ire. In a separate reply to a fan who criticized Gutekunst for not being more active about trading for Falcons receiver Julio Jones — who was dealt to the Titans on Sunday — Murphy defended his GM’s track record.
“While I appreciate your persistence and passion, I must tell you that I have tremendous confidence in Brian Gutekunst,” Murphy wrote. “In his relatively short tenure as our GM, he has completely turned around the fortunes of our team.