Aaron Rodgers tells Packers he doesn't want to return
The tension between reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers might have hit a new level, with the QB apparently looking for a way out.Rodgers has told multiple members of the organization that he does not want to return to the team, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the USA TODAY Network on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke arguably the biggest NFL story of the year last week when he reported that Aaron Rodgers no longer wants to play for the Green Bay Packers. There has since been speculation that Rodgers’ camp intentionally leaked the information right before the start of the 2021 NFL Draft in an attempt to force a trade, but apparently that was not the case. © Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up before playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field.
During an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” Thursday, Schefter revealed that he simply chose to drop the bombshell story hours before the start of the draft. He said no one came to him that day with anything new about the Rodgers situation. Rather, the story stemmed from an “accumulation of information” that he decided to release then.
Aaron Rodgers-Packers drama timeline: How Green Bay and the QB have grown apart
According to reports, Rodgers doesn't want to return to the Packers next season. It's been a few years in the makingGreen Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field fter the Green Bay Packers 31-26 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship playoff game Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
So why draft day? Not long before Schefter broke his story, there was a report that the San Francisco 49ers made a massive trade offer to the Packers for Rodgers. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network followed that by confirming that the Niners reached out to Green Bay, though he said no formal offer was made.
Once those reports surfaced, Schefter felt it was only a matter of time before word got out that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. That’s why he decided to break the story. You can hear more of his explanation below.
Some fans are angry over Schefter’s admission, as they believe it was inappropriate for him to steal the spotlight just hours before the draft. Schefter also contradicted himself a bit. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Schefter’s initial tweet and ensuing ESPN story about Rodgers specifically said “league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.” That doesn’t mesh with what Schefter told Patrick.
If Schefter knew definitively weeks ago that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, it would be awfully risky for him to sit on such a huge story. Perhaps the truth about why he dropped the news the day of the draft lies somewhere in the middle.
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Is Aaron Rodgers' beef with the Packers legit? Let's dive in
The NFL draft is always chaos and drama all on its own, but the 2021 edition leaped to a new level when Aaron Rodgers and the Packers cannonballed into the conversation Thursday afternoon. In a draft already fraught with uncertainty, the Rodgers story upended the plans, or at least the call sheets, of half a dozen teams. Rumors flew farther than a Rodgers Hail Mary. The 49ers are going to trade the third pick for Rodgers! The Broncos are putting together a deal to get Rodgers! The Raiders are bringing Rodgers to Vegas! No rumor seemed too absurd to air. Left unsaid in all the madness was the exact reason why the Packers and Aaron Rodgers are at such odds.
- Report: Aaron Rodgers told free agents he wouldn't play for Packers in 2021
- Aaron Rodgers has wanted out of Green Bay since start of 2020 season
- The 'Most Pro Bowl appearances by team' quiz
Related slideshow: The worst trades in NFL history (Provided by Yardbarker)
The worst trades in NFL history
NFL fans often wonder what could have been after their favorite teams make terrible, head-scratching trades. Here's a look at the worst trades in the history of the NFL.
2020: Texans acquire David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins
The results of the trade have yet to play out, but Houston's return for Hopkins looks quite iffy on paper. Bill O'Brien acquired Johnson, a second-round pick, and swapped fourth-round picks with Arizona for Hopkins and a fourth-round pick. Johnson saw only 130 touches in 2019 and last averaged 4 yards per carry in 2016, while Hopkins has clearly established himself as one of the top wide receivers in football. Given the suppressed value of running backs in today's NFL, it's hard to see this deal looking like anything but a disaster when it's revisited.
2019: Raiders acquire Antonio Brown for two draft picks
Brown went to the Raiders for what was thought to be a cheap price of third- and fifth-round picks after quitting on the Steelers late in the 2018 season. The drama got even worse when Brown arrived to Oakland, however, as he missed part of training camp with frostbite on his feet after failing to wear proper footwear during cryotherapy and then refused to adopt the NFL's new helmet requirements. The Raiders finally released Brown late in camp after he missed additional practices, had guaranteed money voided in his contract and had an altercation with GM Mike Mayock.
2018: Bears trade up for Mitchell Trubisky
The Bears dealt first-, third-, and fourth-round picks as well as a third-round selection in 2018, to San Francisco to move up just one spot in the 2017 draft for the rights to draft Trubisky. Not only has Trubisky struggled to develop in his first three NFL seasons, but the Bears also bypassed Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in favor of the UNC alum. As time goes on, the trade and draft choice look worse and worse for Chicago.
2016: Browns acquire Jamie Collins for third-round pick
Despite making the Pro Bowl the previous year and starting six games in early 2016, the Patriots traded Collins to the lowly Browns for a third-round pick. Collins signed a contract extension with Cleveland following the year but was cut only two years into the deal. Of course, Collins returned as a top performer in 2019 for the Pats.
2013: Colts acquire Trent Richardson for first-round pick
Just one year after selecting Richardson third overall in the draft and seeing him run for 950 yards and 11 scores during his rookie season, Cleveland traded the young running back to the Colts for a first-round pick only two weeks into the 2013 season. It was a trade that shocked the league, but the Browns would end up the clear winners after Richardson struggled with the Colts over two seasons. Richardson was cut after the 2014 season and never played another down in the NFL.
2012: Redskins trade up for Robert Griffin III
Targeting Heisman Trophy winner Griffin III, the Redskins sent three first-round selections and a second-rounder to the Rams, who were set at quarterback with former first overall pick Sam Bradford. The blockbuster move was ill-fated for Washington — RG3 hurt his knee at the end of his rookie season, leading to a downward spiral for his career.
2008: Cowboys acquire Roy Williams for draft picks
The Cowboys acquired Williams, a former Texas Longhorn, from the Lions in October, 2008, for a first-, third- and sixth-round pick. The former Pro Bowl wideout wasn't able to come close to matching his early career performance while with the Cowboys, failing to reach even 600 yards in a season, and he was released following the 2010 season.
2007: Dolphins trade Wes Welker for draft picks
A slot receiver and return man in his first three NFL seasons, Welker was traded from Miami to New England in 2007 for second- and seventh-round picks. The wideout went on to become a star with the Patriots, leading the NFL in receptions three times and making five consecutive Pro Bowls.
1999: Saints trade up for Ricky Williams
Desperate for a lead back, New Orleans traded first-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-round picks in 1999, along with first- and third-round picks in 2000, to the Redskins for the second overall pick to take Williams. Williams had a productive NFL career as a running back but played only three seasons with the Saints.
1998: Chargers trade up for Ryan Leaf
San Diego sent two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two players to the Cardinals to move from No. 3 to No. 2 in the first round. Leaf, the player San Diego selected, set the organization back years. Drafted after Peyton Manning went No. 1 overall to the Colts, Leaf is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time.
1997: Bears acquire Rick Mirer for first-round pick
Mirer looked like a huge bust four years into his NFL career with the Seahawks, going 20-31 while completing only 53 percent of his passes. Yet somehow he still fetched a first-round pick from Chicago in a trade. The quarterback started only three games for Chicago, going winless. He was released following the season.
1996: Rams trade Jerome Bettis for draft picks
Bettis made the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons with the Rams but struggled during 1995 after the franchise moved to St. Louis and hired a new coaching staff. Team and player decided to move on, with the Rams trading Bettis to Pittsburgh with a third-round pick for the Steelers' second- and fourth-round picks in 1997. St. Louis turned to draft bust Lawrence Phillips with its first-round pick in 1996 instead, while Bettis went on to produce six straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons in Pittsburgh and eventually was enshrined in Canton.
1996: Rams trade Sean Gilbert to acquire first-round pick (Lawrence Phillips)
The Rams moved defensive end Sean Gilbert to Washington for the sixth-overall pick. St. Louis brushed Phillips' off-field issues aside to take the former Nebraska running back. He lasted just over one year with the Rams, and Phillips also spurred the team to trade future Hall of Fame back Jerome Bettis.
1990: Colts trade up for Jeff George
In a blockbuster trade with Atlanta, Indianapolis dealt Chris Hinton, Andre Rison, a 1990 fifth-round pick and 1991 first-round pick for the first overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a conditional pick. George, selected No. 1 overall, went 14-35 in four seasons with the Colts at quarterback.
1990: Vikings acquire Herschel Walker for five players and eight draft picks
Jimmy Johnson set up the Cowboys dynasty with an unbelievable trade in 1990, moving star running back Herschel Walker and four draft picks to Minnesota for five players, three first-round picks, three second-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick. Walker played only two seasons in Minnesota, failing to rush for 1,000 yards in either campaign.
1987: Bucs trade Steve Young to San Francisco
The Bucs selected Young with the first pick in the 1984 supplemental draft, but he went 3-16 in two seasons in Tampa Bay before getting traded to the 49ers for second- and fourth-round picks. Young would have to wait his turn behind Joe Montana, but he eventually emerged as the full-time starter in 1992 and went on an incredible seven year run as arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. The Bucs replaced Young with 1987 first overall draft choice Vinny Testaverde, who went 24-48 in six seasons with the team.
1983: Colts trade John Elway to Denver
Elway was drafted first overall by the Colts in 1983 but refused to play for them. The Broncos sent Chris Hinton, Mark Herrmann and a first-round pick to Baltimore for his rights, and Elway went on to become a Hall of Fame quarterback in Denver.
1992: Falcons trade Brett Favre for a first-round pick
Atlanta took Favre 33rd overall in the 1991 draft, but a falling-out with head coach Jerry Glanville caused the team to trade him to Green Bay for a first-round pick just one year later. Even that high return proved to be far too little, as Favre had a Hall of Fame career that included 16 seasons and three MVP Awards with the Packers.
1976: Oilers trade Steve Largent for eighth-round pick
Selected in the fourth round by the Oilers, Largent didn't even make it to Week 1 in Houston, instead getting traded to Seattle for an eighth-round pick in 1977. The Oilers' impatience proved costly, as Largent went on to have a Hall of Fame career in 14 seasons with Seattle. He made seven Pro Bowls and still ranks in the top 10 all-time with 100 receiving touchdowns.
1974: Packers acquire John Hadl for five draft picks
Desperate for a quarterback, Green Bay gave up a king's ransom to the Rams for Hadl during the 1974 season. The Rams got a huge return with five draft picks. Hadl finished the season 3-3 as a starter but struggled the following year, going just 4-9 in 13 starts.
The Packers’ Poor Management of Aaron Rodgers Hurts All Parties .
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers aren't budging. But the damage has already been done to the MVP's trust in his organization.The Packers might win another Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, but they cannot win their standoff with him. That is because nobody really wins this kind of standoff. As soon as you are in it, you have lost.