The Packers star may be "frustrated" with how the team is being managed, but there's little he can do about it
There's a reason why Aaron Rodgers might be upset. Coming off a broken collarbone at 34 years old, just 5-6 in the playoffs since winning Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers is trying to return the Packers to that glory without his QB coach (Alex Van Pelt now works for the Bengals) or the leading receiver of the Rodgers Era (Jordy Nelson is now a Raider).
Now, a report from Charles Robinson indicates that Rodgers might be "frustrated" and "emotional" about being left out of the loop on both of those personnel decisions. However, Rodgers downplayed those charges Tuesday. "The organization is making decisions that they feel like are in best interest for our team, and you've got to trust the process," he said. Rodgers later tweeted tongue-in-cheek about unnamed sources and "#fakenewstuesday."
But there's a reason for that stance, too. Even if Rodgers has his gripes, he's smart enough to know that he can't air them publicly. Mainly, he knows he doesn't have leverage. Including two theoretical franchise-tag years, the Packers control Rodgers into 2022 thanks to the extension he signed in 2013, meaning that if he dislikes GM Brian Gutekunst, he has two options: (1) Threaten to quit football or (2) Play for the Green and Gold anyway. Given that, there's no reason for the Green Bay front office to give Rodgers power. And at the same time, Rodgers won't be whining publicly because he understands how that would diminish him in the eyes of both management and locker room. Hardly any player ever gets let into personnel discussions, and almost all of them learn to put up with that fact, especially the grunts and cogs whose livelihoods are on the line while Rodgers is (possibly) upset about his lack of a kingmaker role.
Which brings me to one more there's-a-reason. We just saw Kirk Cousins turn all of his free-agent leverage into a fully guaranteed three-year deal. In the NBA, superstars like Kevin Durant and LeBron James have forced teams to agree to even shorter contracts that effectively make them free agents almost every summer. There's a reason. A player's power in his organization is directly proportional to the possibility of him wearing a different uniform sometime soon. No threat of departure, no demands. At this point, you might as well call it Rodgers' Law.
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2. Clear your calendars. Thursday night, the NFL will release the 2018 schedule.
3. It's starting to sound like the one QB out of the top four who could slide on draft day is Josh Rosen. Matt Miller sought to find out what's behind all the but-does-he-love-football concerns.
4. Louis Bien has an in-depth feature on athletes (many of whom are NFL guys) advocating for cannabis usage. What's interesting is that they aren't just the face of a push to allow athletes to use the drug, many are also becoming the public face of cannabis period.
5. SB Nation dove into running backs' college stats to see how they translate, and they came out with a positive report on Royce Freeman.
6. The Seahawks are reportedly moving on from defensive lineman Malik McDowell, the 35th overall pick in 2017. He has not played a snap in the NFL, having been injured in an ATV accident last July.
7. For the first time, 10 helmet models will be prohibited in the NFL going forward for safety reasons. In 2017, over 200 players wore the now-banned helmets, though some will be allowed to continue wearing them for now.
8. In the #metoo era, Jenn Sterger sat down to speak about the Brett Favre scandal because "I don't want [young women] to go through what I went through."
9. Count Eric Weddle among the players recruiting Dez Bryant. However, it seems like teams may wait to see how the draft goes before signing the wide receiver.
10. Greg Olsen is in an interesting position with the Panthers. As the wait time between playing and announcing has shrunk to zero for the likes of Tony Romo, Olsen is now weighing continuing his career versus jumping—potentially—to Monday Night Football.
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