After a lengthy offseason standoff, Aaron Rodgers is nearly back with the Pack.
Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are in the final stages of a reworked deal to bring him back for the 2021 season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, per a source. Rodgers had been seeking significant say in his future in the new contract, and according to Rapoport, the QB will have a voice in the matter in 2022 and 2023.
Rodgers had three years left on his current deal, but the QB was not guaranteed any money past the 2021 season. The reigning MVP also carried a $37.2 million cap hit into the upcoming campaign.
With the Packers slated to report to training camp on Tuesday, Monday acted as a sort of deadline for Rodgers and Green Bay to overcome their differences and hammer out an agreement. It appears they did just that.
Earlier on Monday, Rodgers indicated to people close to him that he intended to play for the Packers this season, Rapoport reported, after months of speculation that he was so unhappy with the club and management that he'd never play for them again. The news dropped during the Packers' annual shareholders meeting at which general manager Brian Gutekunst and president/CEO Mark Murphy expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached with the reigning AP NFL Most Valuable Player and that a trade was off the table.
"We have been working tirelessly with Aaron and his representatives to resolve the issues he raised this offseason, and we remain hopeful for a positive resolution," Gutekunst told fans in attendance at Lambeau Field.
Said Murphy: "We want him back. We're committed to him for 2021 and beyond. We're looking forward to winning another Super Bowl with him."
On Tuesday morning, around 8:30 a.m. local time, Rodgers arrived at Lambeau Field.
The future Hall of Famer's contract kerfuffle with Green Bay began on draft night, when reports emerged that Rodgers told the Packers he wanted out and did not intend to return to the organization for unspecified reasons. The news spurred speculation that a Rodgers deal to San Francisco (before the 49ers selected Trey Lance) or, more likely, Denver was possible, but nothing came to pass.
Rodgers barely spoke in the media after the fact, save for an appearance on Kenny Mayne's final SportsCenter -- during which Rodgers slyly pegged Gutekunst and Packers brass, not coach Matt LaFleur or quarterback Jordan Love, as the catalysts for the conflict -- and in interviews before and during his cable-TV golf match with Tom Brady and friends. Theories festered and took over NFL discourse for the better part of the summer.
Rodgers' rift even resulted recently in his fellow Packers Pro Bowler, Davante Adams, who is in the final year of his deal in Green Bay, breaking off long-term contract extension talks with the club, a sign of how questions about Rodgers' future rippled across the roster and the rest of the league. After news broke of Adams' development, both Rodgers and Adams posted photos of Bulls legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on their Instagram stories, signaling that the two were headed for a "Last Dance" together.
Football-wise, Rodgers was absent for all of the Packers' offseason program, ceding snaps and the spotlight to Love, who is entering his second season in Green Bay but his first full training camp after the COVID-19 pandemic waylaid most rookies' preparation in 2020. Love told reporters after one particularly fine practice, "I've got to get myself ready to play." Just in case Rodgers wasn't there for the start of the 2021 season, Love knew he had to be the guy.
Now it looks like Love's leap to starter-dom may be delayed at least one year.