GREEN BAY, Wis. – In the introduction to his monthly “Murphy Takes Five” column at Packers.com, Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Muphy addressed the elephant in the room that is quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ future with the team.
“We remain committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond,” Murphy wrote. It was a noteworthy line. When general manager Brian Gutekunst talked to reporters about Rodgers following the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, he said Rodgers is “going to be our quarterback for the foreseeable future.” The word “foreseeable” lacks precision; Murphy added some clarity by using the word “beyond.”
Murphy's post was published before the latest big development from Yahoo!, with Rodgers reportedly telling the Packers that he would not return with Gutekunst as general manager.
“The ball is in Mark’s court,” a source said Yahoo!'s Charles Robinson.
Also noteworthy about Murphy's “committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond” line: When he spoke to reporters on March 30 about the NFL’s 17-game schedule, he refused to answer questions regarding the team’s face-of-the-franchise quarterback.
Otherwise, Murphy didn’t break any news. As has been reported, he, Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur have visited Rodgers in hopes of solving the rift between the team and the three-time MVP quarterback.
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On Thursday, ESPN.com reported Rodgers no longer wanted to play for the Packers. After the first-round selection of Eric Stokes, Gutekunst said point-blank that he would not trade Rodgers and believed Rodgers “will play for us again.”
If the standoff isn’t solved, Rodgers could retire (but have to pay back signing bonus), not show up (but be fined) or grit his teeth and return for his 14th season as the starting quarterback.
Here’s what Murphy wrote:
The first day of the NFL Draft is typically a very busy day for all NFL teams, with plenty of newsworthy events. For the Packers, though, Thursday was definitely a day filled with more intrigue than usual. The day started with the report that Aaron Rodgers is upset with the Packers and doesn't want to return to the team. When a report like that involves the reigning MVP, it is obviously a huge story, and it dominated the sports news for most of the day. This is an issue that we have been working on for several months. Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur and I have flown out on a number of occasions to meet with Aaron. We are very much aware of Aaron's concerns and have been working with him (and his agent Dave Dunn) to resolve them. We remain committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. He is not only a tremendously talented player, but has developed into a true leader for us. The relationship that Aaron has forged with Matt and the other offensive coaches has propelled us to the brink of the Super Bowl in two straight years. We look forward to competing for another Super Bowl championship with Aaron as our leader.
Also in his column, Murphy provides some interesting insight into the 17-game schedule and international game.