The Green Bay Packers continue to insist they will not trade unhappy franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who continues to not budge on his request for a deal. In fact, the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo is reporting that Rodgers has been telling prospective Packers free agents, "before you make any decision, I'm probably not gonna be here." Because Rodgers and young Jordan Love are the only QBs on the roster, the team is searching out veteran signal-callers for offseason team activities and training camp. SportsLine offers odds on if Rodgers reports to Day 1 of camp this summer.
Rodgers usually participates in the Packers' offseason programs and has an offseason workout bonus of $500,000 for this year, according to ESPN. That's chump change for Rodgers, who has made about $242 million on the field and many more millions off it. There's zero chance that Rodgers participates in OTAs, but if he doesn't show at training camp that's a major story. The only thing mandatory between now and the start of training camp is a three-day minicamp in June.
While teams could fine players for skipping training camp in the past, the clubs often rescinded those fines when the player ended up reporting. The new CBA now mandates fines of $50,000 per day missed of camp and fines can't be reduced or rescinded by a team. If Rodgers retired, the Packers could attempt to recoup about $30 million of his signing bonus.
The legend whom Rodgers replaced at quarterback in Green Bay, Brett Favre, said he was "not very optimistic" that the Packers and Rodgers could mend fences. "If there's not a trade, my gut tells me that he'd rather sit out than play."
While Favre hasn't spoken to Rodgers recently, former Green Bay fullback and Rodgers buddy John Kuhn has. During an appearance Wednesday night on CBS Radio, Kuhn said this:
"He's conflicted because this man loves to play the game of football, this man loves to be a Green Bay Packer and this man truly sees careers. He's watched friends leave, he watched Brett Favre's career toward the end. He's watched all these things play out in front of his eyes; he's taken notes throughout his career. He's seen some situations that didn't feel were done or finished the way that they could or should have."
Which veteran quarterback might Green Bay look to add? Last year's No. 2, Tim Boyle, is now with Detroit. One possible free agent, Blaine Gabbert, is now off the market. He just re-signed with the Bucs to back up Tom Brady again. The biggest-name free agents are likely former Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Nick Mullens and Blake Bortles. There has been no indication that the Packers would consider Colin Kaepernick. Training camp opens in late July.
William Hill Sportsbook still has the Packers' win total and playoff odds off the board. Green Bay is a -125 favorite to win the NFC North again but would fall behind at least Minnesota (+260) if Rodgers leaves. All the various sportsbooks still have the Packers as the betting favorites for which team Rodgers plays this season, but that doesn't mean he has to show up to camp on time.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Aaron Rodgers be at Day 1 of Packers training camp?
- No -200
- Yes +160
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