The Packers don’t want to trade Aaron Rodgers this season. CEO Brian Gutekunst made that clear.
However, there is one scenario that could play out and basically force the team to replace its longtime quarterback. And it all depends on how long Rodgers is ready to stand up to his team.
Matt Schneidman of Athletic reports that one of the only ways the Packers would trade Rodgers is that he is “truly committed to never playing for them again”.
The Packers would trade Rodgers if they believed he was genuinely committed to never playing for them again and that in return he wanted to get drafts and players, instead of forcing him to retire and receive only money to keep him from refusing to play in any of the last three years of his contract.
Basically, if Rodgers gives Green Bay an ultimatum to either trade it or it will withdraw, it could force Gutekunst to make a deal. Otherwise, the Packers would risk losing Rodgers and gaining only room for him.
As such, the Packers seem to be trying to avoid a long-term stay with Rodgers. They must make a quick decision about his future when his position becomes clear.
If Green Bay knows it won’t come back to them, the Packers would surely want a store that both adds a treasury of assets to speed up their recovery and save them money.
Of course, balancing when such an arrangement is made is always inconvenient. Due to salary restrictions, waiting until June 2 for any agreement was necessary for the Packers. But with the arrival of that date, he will soon have to make a decision about Rodgers.
If they wait too long or believe Rodgers is bluffing when he’s not, they could lose leverage and eventually have to trade Rodgers at a discount.
What the Packers will want to avoid is something like the 2011 Carson Palmer / Bengals feud. Palmer requested trade outside of Cincinnati in early 2011, and the team refused to comply with that request. As a result, Palmer decided to retire and left the Bengals with then-rookie Andy Dalton as the starting back.
Eventually, Palmer will alternate with the Raiders for future elections in the first and second rounds this season and has been reinstated from the withdrawn list. The Bengals did well even though they didn’t have the leverage because then-Raiders coach Hue Jackson was familiar with Palmer and the team was desperate for a defender after Jason Campbell’s injury.
Green Bay cannot rely on luck. As talented as Rodgers was, the price for him would fall if teams knew the Packers were cornered. This is what makes the timeliness of Gutekunst’s decision so important.
Can GM Packers smooth things over with its franchise quarterback and make it come back? That is possible. But if not, Gutekunst must be ready and willing to make the move.
This is what will make the coming days and weeks so important for Green Bay.