It's official: Aaron Rodgers is holding out of mandatory minicamp.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday morning that Rodgers was not present at the start of the Packers' 8:30 a.m. team meeting to kick off minicamp, per a source informed of the situation.
The news has been expected for weeks as Rodgers skipped offseason workouts amid his displeasure with the organization.
Missing all three days of mandatory minicamp subjects Rodgers to fines of $93,085. Given that he's already jeopardized a $500,000 workout bonus by missing OTAs and other workouts, Rodgers isn't likely to be swayed by the relatively minuscule fines. The wallet-hurting penalties don't come until training camp, which kicks off July 27.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur declined to disclose whether Rodgers' absence was excused, calling it "team business."
"I think anytime you're talking about any player on your football team, you'd love everybody to be here," LaFleur told reporters. "So, you know, it's certainly... It is what it is, man. We'll focus and we'll control and work on the guys that are here and try to help them become the best to their ability and coach the heck out of them."
After skipping all voluntary workouts this spring, Tuesday's minicamp was the first mandatory workday Rodgers missed, allowing us to declare him a holdout officially.
"I can about Aaron Rodgers from a friend perspective, Bakhtiari said. "Whatever he wants to do, I will never hold any grudge against him. As a teammate, I would be idiotic to say I don't want the MVP back."
Bakhtiari added: "I have a very close relationship with Aaron, but this is something I'm not going to inject myself into."
Also not present at Tuesday's minicamp session were four players absent due to COVID-19 protocols: Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Dean Lowry and Elgton Jenkins. Meanwhile, Green Bay brought in quarterback Jake Dolegala as a tryout, per Pelissero, giving the Packers four QBs on the field.
With Rodgers absent, Jordan Love will get his chance to guide the full offense. The receiving corps, including Davante Adams, was at minicamp, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported. After last offseason was scrapped, it's Love's first chance to guide the first-team offense for a lengthy stretch.
Back when Brett Favre famously skipped offseason workouts, the Packers used those opportunities to evaluate Rodgers and prepare for his future at the helm. History is repeating itself, with Rodgers' holdout allowing Green Bay to better evaluate Love.
"He needs every rep he can get right now," LaFleur said of Love. "He's a young quarterback that was not afforded a preseason last year, and so we'll give him as many (reps) as he can handle. We'll spell him every now and again, but I just think that every rep that he takes is so valuable and you can learn something from both the good and the bad."
With Rodgers officially skipping mandatory minicamp, we've passed the first true offseason milepost. The next big date comes in July when training camp kicks off. That's when we'll really see whether Rodgers plans to put the organization's feet to the fire.