Friday's 2 p.m. MT deadline for players to opt out of the 2021 season has expired, and Aaron Rodgers remains an active member of the NFL — and, for now, the Green Bay Packers.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio first reported last week that Rodgers may elect to skip the upcoming campaign, and in doing so save $18.3 million in yet-to-be-paid money, comprised of signing and roster bonuses.
Swirling rumors have indicated that Rodgers, severely disgruntled after capturing his third-career MVP trophy, refuses to take another snap for the Packers and is willing to hold out this fall — or even retire — if not dealt to a new team, despite the risk of significant financial penalty.
"That’s $18.3 million that he’ll keep by opting out," Florio wrote. "If he doesn’t opt out but holds out, he loses that $18.3 million — and would be fined roughly $2 million on top of it for skipping training camp."
Thus far, however, Rodgers' strongarm efforts to facilitate his departure have been unsuccessful. Green Bay is insistent it will not trade the legendary signal-caller, seemingly committed to enforcing the $134 million contract extension he signed in 2018.
Crystallizing the likely reality that Rodgers is stuck in Titletown, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Friday, upon speaking with interested suitors, "there is no trade market" for the 37-year-old "right now."
"I checked in with people around the league this morning," Fowler said on ESPN's Get Up, via Bleacher Report. "The feeling is that Aaron Rodgers probably won't opt out, but he got that $6.8 million roster bonus in March, so even if that's paid out in installments, he still has it. Maybe that's enough for him to say I'm going to limit the Packers' options and sit out and make that clear.
"Now, I talked to a source who said, 'look, he's the most competitive person in the world, opting out and killing his season right now on July 2 would be difficult for him to do.' I've also checked in with multiple teams around the league who are monitoring the Aaron Rodgers trade situation. They said there is no trade market for Rodgers right now."
The Broncos — who reportedly lead the Rodgers sweepstakes, and for whom he "wants to" play — begin training camp in 26 days.
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