Last Thursday, just hours before the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, Adam Schefter dropped a true bomb on the football world. He reported that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t want to return to the Green Bay Packers.
“Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team, league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday,” Schefter reported. “The Packers are aware of his feelings, concerned about them and have had team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur each fly out on separate trips to meet with Rodgers at various points this offseason, sources told ESPN.”
In the week since, we’ve had dozens of new reports about what Rodgers may or may not want, the teams that could be interested in trading for the reigning MVP, and even the possibility that he retires to get off of the Packers, and hosts Jeopardy! full-time. Others have suggested that this is a power play to oust Brian Gutekunst, and that, if the franchise demonstrates real dedication to Rodgers as the team’s quarterback for years to come (something the Packers have vowed publicly in recent days), that the relationship can be mended.
The timing threw a bit of a shadow over the draft, the biggest event of the NFL offseason. Schefter appeared on the Dan Patrick Show today, and admitted that he made the call to break the news that day, after an “accumulation of information.”
DP: “You chose to break the [Rodgers] news on Draft Day?”
Schefter: “That is absolutely accurate, correct. It was nothing that morning that came in that all of a sudden said to me yeah he wants out, you should report this… It was just an accumulation of information”. pic.twitter.com/SJEPv3ssLu
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) May 6, 2021
“This was an accumulation, all during the offseason, of just listening to people talk and observing,” Schefter said. “And if we go back to the NFC Championship Game that the Green Bay Packers lost at home, did we not hear Aaron Rodgers after that game talk about his level of unhappiness, if you will, uncertainty for the future?
“Just got back and listen to that press conference, and it sounds almost like he’s saying goodbye to Green Bay. And so you’re antennas up, and I’m just telling you throughout the course of the offseason, there was rarely a week that went by that I didn’t hear something about Aaron Rodgers.”
Ultimately, it sounds like the report earlier last Thursday that the San Francisco 49ers had made some overtures to the Packers about a potential Rodgers trade is what led Schefter to finally put together a report.
“And then people said that the 49ers called, and I said ‘How long until it comes out that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay? Is it next week? Is it when he doesn’t show to the OTAs? Is it next month?’… It’s going to come out. What does it matter if it comes out now, or next week, or next month?”
Dan Patrick confirmed with Schefter that it was his call to break it on Draft Day.
“It was nothing that morning that came in… It was going on all offseason, you just keep hearing it, and there was more and more talk and now there starts to be Aaron Rodgers, and I said ‘You know what, this isn’t going to wait much longer,’ and it just happened to be Draft Day.”
Adam Schefter led off by saying that this did not come from one single source, and it wasn’t planted last Thursday as a power move by either Aaron Rodgers or the Green Bay Packers. Ultimately, that just happened to be when he was most comfortable putting the report out, and he chose quite the day on the NFL calendar to do it.
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