As the 2021 NFL draft rolled around, and Adam Schefter Bomb hit the internet.
Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team, league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.
More on NFL Live now….
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2021
This offseason, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson were rumored to be on the trade block. Both players seem to be interested in leaving their perspective clubs but remain with their teams for various reasons.
When news of Aaron Rodgers being disgruntled hit, it seemed as though it was in the same vein as both Watson and Wilson. Maybe Rodgers wanted more money, or leverage to get the team to draft a player who could help him win the Super Bowl, instead of his replacement (Jordan Love in 2020).
During the draft, momentum began to build that the Denver Broncos may be in the mix for the future Hall of Famer.
From unimpeachable source: As of last night, Aaron Rodgers’ wish list was 49ers, Broncos, Raiders (not necessarily in that order). He wanted Packers to take the 49ers’ offer. Next move by Rodgers is TBD.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 29, 2021
With the likelihood, Rodgers would not land in San Francisco and the NFC, Las Vegas and the Broncos seem to be the most likely landing spots for Rodgers to become available.
As Day 1 of the NFL draft came closer to the Jacksonville Jaguars being on the clock, word began to snowball that the Broncos had a deal in place to land Rodgers.
Mark Schlereth just reported on @1043TheFan that a deal for the Broncos to land Aaron Rodgers is “as close to a done deal as it can get”
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) April 29, 2021
Excitement was nipped in the bud when the reports of Rodgers landing were refuted, and the NFL Draft began.
The Broncos, with Justin Fields available with the 9th overall selection, passed to select cornerback Patrick Surtain II to an already deep room.
The Broncos did not draft a quarterback, which added to speculation they would be in on Rodgers if and when he becomes available. The draft class was stellar and earned high marks from our Zach Segars, and designed to help a quarterback, either on the roster or a certain trade target.
Normally, rumors like this begin to die down over time. However, Rodgers’s unhappiness with the Green Bay Packer front office has continued to build.
Where there is smoke there is fire.
When a spat of this sort occurs, usually it is squashed quickly and the news cycle moves on.
With Rodgers, its smoke has only built up, and the Broncos continue to be the name on top of the tongue of league insiders across the NFL.
There is a reason for it. The Broncos have a lot to offer. Their roster is stacked with young offensive talent, and a defense primed to be a top-five unit in the league.
The Broncos are stacked. Legit Super Bowl contenders*
*if they get Aaron Rodgers
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) April 30, 2021
Rodgers’s frustration with the Green Bay Packers has built over time, and now it seems all of the information is coming to light.
From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: On @BobMcGinn’s “Krause” report and Aaron Rodgers’ warning #Packers prospective free agents for quite some time he wasn’t expecting to be back in Green Bay in 2021. pic.twitter.com/pXdYHffCiY
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 5, 2021
It does not seem that this relationship is repairable. Now, it could be and the frustration could be mellowed, but it does not seem like it.
Rodgers can hold a grudge if he feels slighted. He famously cut ties with family which he has yet to mend. If Rodgers can move on from his own family, he absolutely can hold the line with a professional relationship.
He holds the leverage against his team and can backchannel a deal through his agent to the preferred destination.
Ben Allbright on KOA’s Broncos Country Tonight believes that the Broncos are his preferred destination, and there is a greater than 50/50 chance Rodgers leaves Green Bay.
Even the sports books seem to agree that Denver is the most likely trade destination.
Odds for where Aaron Rodgers will be playing next season 👀
— br_betting (@br_betting) May 3, 2021
Throw in his significant other’s affinity for Boulder, Colorado and it seems there is more than one component leading many to believe the Broncos are truly a factor in the Rodgers sweepstakes.
It seems as though Green Bay is starting to recognize they might lose Rodgers and are planning accordingly.
Packers have begun exploring QBs they can add to their roster for OTAs and training camp, per sources. Jordan Love currently is the only other quarterback on the roster, but the team also faces uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers. Packers’ QB search includes some veterans.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 6, 2021
With all of those pieces, it seems smoke continues to build, and maybe, just maybe, the Denver Broncos might manage to recreate their run with Peyton Manning when he arrived. In 2012 Manning arrived with a young offensive core and solid defensive pieces. Sounds familiar to what the team has now.
Broncos fans, I cannot say for certain that Rodgers will be a Bronco, but where there is smoke there is fire.
Speaking of fire… Seeing Rodgers in the orange and blue would definitely be just that.
Aaron Rodgers lookin' 🔥 in a Broncos uni!
Where would they stack in the AFC West with him?
(📸 via jerseyxswapnfl/IG) pic.twitter.com/yIShi5yycy
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) May 5, 2021