If you are an avid Twitter user and a follower of all things Green Bay Packers, your timeline was blowing up on Tuesday morning. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports had a piece published discussing how franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers had become frustrated with the Packers front office with not being included in decisions in regards to the Packers roster. It isn’t hard to connect the dots on why this article was published. The first dot came in January when Rodgers was asked about the release of quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt. The second dot came after Rodgers discussed the release of longtime teammate Jordy Nelson. It isn’t surprising an article such as Robinson’s would come out, after hearing what some are calling Rodgers’ “passive aggressive” comments. But what is surprising is that an organization such as the Packers that has prided itself in keeping comments or possible issues in-house is having this happen to them. The mindset of Aaron Rodgers has become a hot topic for the Green Bay Packers
The Mindset of Aaron Rodgers Has Become a Hot Topic for the Green Bay Packers
Tom Silverstein of PackersNews.com recently had a very solid piece published on why the Packers front office is correct in keeping Rodgers out of personnel decisions. Silverstein made the case that allowing a player, even one as vital as Rodgers is to the Packers, sets a very bad precedent for the rest of the Packers roster. If Rodgers were to be allowed to be involved in decisions about the Packers roster, where would it stop? If Clay Matthews were to have an issue with the defensive personnel, would he be allowed to get involved in making a decision on who should be signed or be released? Allowing a player to sway a personnel decision would no doubt hurt the process the Packers have in place to establish a roster.
But on the flip side, the argument could be made that Rodgers has earned that right. Although Rodgers might not be an outspoken type of leader, he is still a leader and the face of this organization. It was also proven last season, without Rodgers, the Packers have a very difficult time winning games, no matter what head coach Mike McCarthy might think.
It has been speculated that the Packers might utilize Rodgers as a tool to attract free agents, meaning that they could be telling possible free agents that the chance to play with Rodgers might be worth taking less money to sign. If that’s true, and it very well might be with how tight vice president of football operations Russ Ball is with contracts with free agents, Rodgers might feel that if the Packers are using him as a tool, he should have a place at the decision-making table.
But even if you believe in that theory, still, it doesn’t mean that Rodgers should be allowed to have his voice heard when decisions are made. The Packers once went through this with Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre. In Favre’s later years with the Packers, he was outspoken about the Packers needing to bring in more veteran free agents to help them win. Just like with Rodgers, the Packers didn’t cave into Favre, although it can be argued Favre possibly was correct, with the Packers only getting to one Super Bowl.
But as Rodgers stated, players play, coaches coach and personnel executives make decisions. In no way should there be exceptions. Although he shouldn’t be allowed to be a part of the decision-making, he does have the right to be upset with how things have gone down as of late with the Packers.
Front Office Structure Might Be a Part of Rodgers Unhappiness
Rodgers has earned the right to question the Packers path, passive aggressive or bluntly. He is arguably the best player in the NFL and during his time as a starter, the Packers have been to just one Super Bowl. For a league like the NFL that is driven by the play of the quarterback, that is stunning, with having the best quarterback line up under center.
He could have possibly thought things might change after former general manager Ted Thompson, voluntarily or forced, was moved to a senior advisory role after the conclusion of this past season, a season where the Packers went 7-9 and missed the playoffs. Rodgers could have possibly thought things might change with a new general manager in charge with possibly being open to bringing in more veteran free agents to help the Packers win.
His excitement possibly could have been dashed after president Mark Murphy announced the promoting of Brian Gutekunst to general manager that the Packers front office was also going to be restructured. Instead of Gutekunst having full authority that Thompson did, as well as Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf once did that helped build the Packers into a juggernaut, he would instead share power with Ball and even to a degree McCarthy, with all reporting directly to Murphy. This power structure was once applied by the Minnesota Vikings, nicknamed the “Triangle of Authority” by the media, and which turned out to be a major failure. Instead of having a new voice lead the Packers roster, that Gutekunst would have had if given full authority, the Packers now have four cooks in the kitchen, leading to possible confusion when it comes to building the Packers roster.
Gutekunst has brought in some help, with the signing of Jimmy Graham, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Tramon Williams, but the Packers haven’t been as aggressive as Gutekunst could have possibly led fans and even Rodgers to believe. Sure, the Packers have been “linked” to other big name free agents, but in all reality, it could have been just a phone call and never more than that. If Rodgers expected more, it could be a part in where his frustration lies. Another part could be frustration with his head coach.
McCarthy has been in charge in 13 of Rodgers 14 seasons with the Packers. There have been times that Rodgers and McCarthy have clashed and that is well known. Rodgers very well could have respect for McCarthy, but only one Super Bowl appearance in those 13 years might eat at Rodgers and he could blame McCarthy for that. This is all just speculation, only Rodgers knows what might be upsetting him, but it is a long list that is hard to deny.
New Contract Lies Ahead
Rodgers tried to put out the fire with his tweet on Tuesday after the Robinson article was published. But still, there are questions about his mindset. The questions could be answered by him signing a new contract with the Packers before this season, something that has been speculated on since the finish of this past season. But it could also spark up more speculation if him and the Packers can’t come to an agreement before next season. As Robinson pointed out, he doesn’t have much leverage since he is still under contract, but if he does have an unhappy mindset, it might make things difficult for the Packers.
Real news or fake news regarding his desire to have a voice in personnel, Rodgers does have a voice on what happens with the Packers next season and beyond.