As the Packers prepare for next week’s mandatory minicamp, they don’t know whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers will attend. If he does, it likely means he’ll attend training camp and play for the Packers in 2021. (There’s still a chance he’ll show up for mandatory minicamp and then hold out, like Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott did in 2019.) If Rodgers doesn’t report to mandatory minicamp, it sets the stage for the question of whether Rodgers will not show up for training camp and, potentially, sit out the season.
The Packers reportedly persist in their refusal to trade Rodgers, in part because they don’t believe he’ll never play for them again. If they call his bluff and he shows up for 2021, problem solved (at least until 2022). If they call his bluff and he’s not bluffing, he’ll skip the full season — and the Packers would gain up to $35 million in cash and cap space.
Either way, they can trade him in March 2022 (if they choose to do so). If they do, they’ll get players and/or picks in the 2022 draft.
That’s another reason to not trade him now. If they do, they’ll get picks at the earliest from the 2022 draft — same as they’d get if they trade him after the 2021 season. But, as mentioned here recently, the fact that it’s June could keep them from getting more now than they would get next year, when maximum teams may come to the table for trade talks.
Now, the partners would consist of the Broncos and maybe the Raiders. Later, plenty of other teams may decide to find a new quarterback, expanding the number of teams bidding for Rodgers’ services.
The only difference is that, by writing to trade Rodgers, the Packers wouldn’t get any players that would help them win games in 2021. Still, any picks would come from 2022 or later. Given that: (1) they’ll quite possibly get more picks if they wait; (2) Rodgers quite possibly will show up and play; and (3) they’ll realize up to $35 million in cash and cap savings if he doesn’t show up, this one is a no-brainer: The Packers should refuse to trade Rodgers until March 2022 at the earliest, and they should let him choose to play in 2021 or to give up a year of football and up to $35 million.