Aaron Rodgersa has had an offseason that has seen him lose two of his closest allies in the Packers building: QB coach Alex Van Pelt and Jordy Nelson, a receiver with whom he shared an ESP connection for years. He has publicly voiced his frustration over both of these matters, so it comes as no surprise that murmurs of his discontent are getting amplified.
Charles Robinson reports for Yahoo that two sources close to Rodgers have said he is “frustrated” and “emotional” over not having input in these two decisions, adding that it could impact his contract extension talks this offseason:
“I know he’s thinking about that stuff when it comes to the next contract because he should have earned a voice by now,” the source continued. “In other places with [elite] quarterbacks, consideration is given to those guys. I think Aaron wants to be engaged in some decisions. But that’s just not the way it works [in Green Bay]. I think that’s obviously frustrating and it’s going to keep coming out.”
As Robinson points out later in the story, Rodgers lacks a lot of leverage in his contract extension. While he is widely regarded as the most talented quarterback on the planet, the Packers effectively control his rights for four more seasons if they franchise-tag him twice when his current deal expires.
Rodgers has had some friction with Mike McCarthy for years now, and it’s not surprising that he would buck at the new power triumvirate in the organization that features McCarthy, team president Mark Murphy, and new GM Brian Gutekunst. Of course he wants input. Of course they don’t want to yield it.
This labor/management dispute is not uncommon in sports, and we are seeing it with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in New England. Even if Rodgers were to demand a trade, the Packers would not have to acquiesce (as Packers vlogger Aaron Nagler has pointed out, Brett Favre demanded a trade when the team failed to land Randy Moss in 2007), but his apparent dissatisfaction with the organization is nevertheless worth monitoring.