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Aaron Rodgers Not Present at Packers OTAs. Is That a Problem?

Former Cal quarterback not around to work with new wide receivers, but he presumably knows how to prepare for a season

Former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not present for the start of the Green Bay Packers' voluntary organized team activities (OTAs), but head coach Matt LaFleur said he is not concerned.

"I talked to him for a while last night, which was great -- just to kind of update him on just where we are and go over a few, like we do every offseason," LaFleur said Tuesday, as noted in an ESPN.com video. "There's always tweaks to what you're doing. But no, he's in great spirits and it was a great conversation. But I wouldn't anticipate seeing him at least this week."

The Packers held OTAs Monday and Tuesday this week with a third OTA scheduled for Thursday.  The team will have three more days of OTAs next week.

LaFleur made a point of saying the OTAs are vouluntary and left open the possibility that Rodgers might participate in some OTAs in the future.

Rodgers, 38, is expected to attend the mandatory minicamp June 7-9.

Rodgers, who won the MVP award for the fourth time in 2021, is not the only player who is skipping OTAs. ESPN.com reported earlier this week, that Cardinal quarterback Kyler Murray planned to skip this week's OTAs.

Rodgers had typically participated in OTAs during his first 16 seasons in the NFL, but did not attend OTAs last year, when he was feuding with the Packers front office and requested a trade. Rodgers seems to be on better terms with the front office these days, and with a number of new receiving weapons on the roster, some observes suggested he needed to be at OTAs to start building chemistry with the new wide receivers.  

Wide receivers Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are both gone, and the Packers drafted three wide receivers, including second-round pick Christian Watson, and also added Sammy Watkins as a free-agent signing.

Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky and former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum debated the issue of whether Rodgers should participate in OTAs in a recent segment on ESPN.  They disagreed. (Click here to see the video of their debate.)

Orlovsky said there is no need for Rodgers to be present now, because young players are just learning a "foundation" for the system in OTAs. "The last thing you want is too much information," Orlovsky said. When Rodgers comes to minicamp, that's when the quarterback-receiver relationship can be built, according to Orlovsky.

Tannenbaum stated his case:

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"I couldn't disagree more," he said. "Context is everything. If we're talking about Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, I completely agree with Dano, However [Rodgers] should be picking Christian Watson up at the airport, showing him where to eat, how to hydrate, how to recover -- all the things that is necessary to be a great pro."

Tannebaum suggested Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford are benefiting from Rodgers' absence from OTAs.

He is another installment of the Orlovsky-Tannenbaum debate on Rodgers vs. OTAs from earlier in the week:

The former player sides with the player. The former NFL front office person sides with the team.  Shocker.

By the way, Jordan Love, the Packers' 2020 first-round draft pick, will handle the starting quarterback reps during OTA practices.

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Cover photo of Aaron Rodgers by Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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