Packers QB Aaron Rodgers made waves with his comments after Green Bay was eliminated from the postseason on Sunday, per Bleacher Report’s Kalyn Kahler: “A lot of guys futures that are uncertain, myself included. That is what is sad about it the most.”
Asked directly about what he thinks the future holds for him, Rodgers expanded via ESPN’s Rob Demovksy: “It’s a good question. I don’t know; I really don’t. There’s a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now. I’m going to have to take some time away, for sure, and clear my head and just kind of see what’s going on with everything. But it’s pretty tough right now, especially thinking about the guys that may or may not be here next year. There’s always change. That’s the only constant in this business.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that while Rodgers is under contract in Green Bay for three more seasons, he can force the issue by demanding a trade/release or threatening to retire. However, Schefter expects him to take some time to allow his emotions some space before making a decision.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes that while Rodgers would count for $31 million on the salary cap in 2021 due to the dead money in a theoretical trade, the move would actually save Green Bay about $6 million in cap space, while Rodgers’ presumptive successor, Jordan Love, counts for under $3 million.
Florio adds another scenario, should Rodgers force the issue and ask for a trade, would be the Packers and the acquiring team reaching an agreement on a deal in principle but not executing it until after June 1, at which point Rodgers would count for around $14 million in dead money and $23 million in cap savings.
It’s worth mentioning that teams do this with the start of the league year in March regularly, agreeing to moves in the preceding months and executing them when they can become official. However, it would be unusual for the Packers to carry Rodgers’ full salary until June when the offseason is all but over.
CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry adds the Packers and Rodgers would also need to agree to push back the $6.8 million roster bonus he’s scheduled to receive on the third day of the league year. Otherwise, that would eat into Green Bay’s potential cap savings in a post-June 1 trade.
NFL Media’s Michael Silver, who has covered Rodgers since he was at Cal, thinks Rodgers was trying to send a message to the front office about being more aggressive to maximize the team’s window to compete.
Packers HC Matt LaFleur struck a much more confident tone on Rodgers’ status with the organization and coming back next year: “I sure as hell hope so. I mean, the guy is the MVP of this league. He’s the heart and soul of our football team. So, hell yeah. He better be back here. He’s our leader.” (Ryan Wood)
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says there’s no firm consensus around the NFL on what Lions QB Matthew Stafford would cost in a trade but the general thought is a first-round pick and multiple picks in the second through fourth-round ranges.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport notes that if the Lions had retained interim HC Darrell Bevell, Stafford would have wanted to stay with the Lions.
However, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News said this isn’t an accurate representation and Stafford attached no contingencies regarding Bevell staying.
New Lions RB coach Duce Staley will apparently replace Kyle Caskey, who no longer appears to list the Lions in his bio. (Rogers)
Packers C Corey Linsley said he feels pretty good about 2021 regardless of if he returns to Green Bay or signs elsewhere: “I feel like I put out some good film and did the best that I could this year and hopefully if the Packers don’t re-sign me, hopefully another team will.” (Matt Schneidman)
Linsley mentioned he hasn’t had any real contract talks with the Packers yet: “That’s obviously not to say something couldn’t happen, but up to this point it’s been complementary, but nothing of substance.” (Ryan Wood)
Linsley is bullish on Packers LT David Bakhtiari‘s ability to recover quickly from his torn ACL. Bakhtiari went down in December and a nine-month recovery, which is on the fast side, would be pushing the start of the regular season in September: “If there’s one guy I could pick who’s going to make a full recovery from this and be even better, it’s Dave.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)