Aaron Rodgers trade rumors: One way the Packers QB could force Green Bay’s hand to get dealt

By | June 1, 2021

The Packers don’t want to trade Aaron Rodgers this offseason. GM Brian Gutekunst has made that clear.

However, there is one scenario that could play out and basically force the team to trade their long-time quarterback. And it all depends on how long Rodgers is willing to stand off against his team.

Matt Schneidman of The Athletic reports that one of the only ways the Packers would trade Rodgers is if he was “truly committed to never playing for them again.”

The Packers would trade Rodgers if they believed he was truly committed to never playing for them again and wanted to get draft picks and players in return instead of forcing him to retire and receiving only the money they’d keep from him refusing to play in any of the final three years on his contract.

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Basically, if Rodgers gives Green Bay an ultimatum to either trade him or he will retire, that could force Gutekunst to make a deal. Otherwise, the Packers would run the risk of losing Rodgers and only getting cap space for him.

As such, it seems like the Packers are looking to avoid a long-term holdout with Rodgers. They need to make a quick decision about his future once his stance becomes clear. 

If Green Bay knows that he won’t return to them, the Packers would certainly desire a trade that both adds a treasure trove of assets to accelerate their rebuild and saves them some money.

Of course, balancing when to make such a deal is always tricky. For salary cap reasons, waiting until June 2 to make any sort of deal was a necessity for the Packers. But with that date arriving, they will have to make a decision on Rodgers at some point soon.

If they wait too long, or believe Rodgers is bluffing when he isn’t, they could lose leverage and eventually have to trade Rodgers at a discount.

MORE: Timeline of Aaron Rodgers’ rift with the Packers

What the Packers will want to avoid is something like the Carson Palmer/Bengals feud of 2011. Palmer asked for a trade away from Cincinnati early during the 2011 offseason and the team didn’t want to grant that request. As a result, Palmer elected to retire and left the Bengals with then-rookie Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback.

Eventually, Palmer would be traded in-season to the Raiders for a future first- and second-round pick and was reinstated from the retired list. The Bengals made out well despite having no leverage because then-Raiders coach Hue Jackson was familiar with Palmer and the team was desperate for a quarterback after Jason Campbell’s injury.

Green Bay can’t rely on getting that lucky. As talented as Rodgers is, the price for him will come down if teams know that he has the Packers cornered. That’s what makes the timeliness of Gutekunst’s decision so important.

Can the Packers’ GM smooth things over with his franchise quarterback and get him to come back? It’s possible. But if not, Gutekunst has to be ready and willing to make a move.

That’s what will make the coming days and weeks so important for Green Bay.