Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) leaves the field after a 13-10 loss against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL divisional round football playoff game Saturday January 22, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Aaron Rodgers, Packers tiptoe into uncertain offseason

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers could part ways in what sets up as a challenging offseason in Green Bay.

Rodgers said he will take time to have conversations with “people around here” and make a determination about his future before the start of free agency. Following a loss in the divisional playoffs Saturday night at Lambeau Field, Rodgers’ next move has never been more uncertain as he wrapped his 17th season with the Packers.

“I’m going to take some time and have conversations with the folks around here and then take some time away and make a decision – obviously before free agency,” Rodgers said Saturday postgame. “But it’s fresh right now. It’s a little shocking for sure. Definitely was hoping to have a nice week after the NFC Championship to enjoy the lead up and then start contemplating some things. I haven’t even let the moment really sink in yet.”

The Packers are projected to be $44.8 million over the 2022 salary cap and other major decisions share the front burner with the Rodgers outcome. Wide receiver Davante Adams wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver and said last year there will be no hometown discount to stay in Green Bay.

To keep Rodgers, the Packers would need to sign him to a long-term extension. His cap charge in 2022 is $46 million, negotiated intentionally by Rodgers last offseason when his disdain for the front office came to light.

But Rodgers wants more than that. He was open Saturday about not standing for a rebuilding situation, and has previously stated he wants to have input on personnel around him.

“I think this thing, it’s definitely going to look different moving forward in Green Bay,” Rodgers said. “There’s a lot of decisions, a lot of guys with opportunities, so it’ll be interesting to see what things look like moving forward. But I’m thankful for this time, this team. Super disappointed, bummed out, frustrated with how I played tonight, frustrated with how it ended, but still deeply grateful for this season and these guys.”

Rodgers said the looming questions and subsequent changes have caused him to think about whether a Super Bowl is still possible with the franchise.

“There are a lot of decisions to be made and key players, a lot of guys who played tonight,” he said. “Obviously Davante is the best receiver in the league, and he’s a free agent, knowing they can obviously tag him. Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, so many guys’ contracts are up or on the brink or salary cap stuff, so lot of decisions to be made. I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing, so a lot of decisions in the next couple months.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald, Aaron Rodgers highlight AP All-Pro team

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his favorite target, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, lead The Associated Press 2021 NFL All-Pro team, announced Friday.

It’s the fourth selection for Rodgers and the second for Adams. Voters were 50 members of the national media.

Adams was one of five unanimous selections to the team, joining fellow wideout Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, Pittsburgh Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt and Aaron Donald, the Rams defensive tackle.

It is the seventh selection for Donald and the third for Watt, who last week tied Michael Strahan’s NFL record for sacks with 22.5.

Other multi-time honorees are Dallas Cowboys right guard Zack Martin and Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, each with five; Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (four); and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward (three). Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett and Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard were selected for a second time.

Among the 15 first-time honorees is Micah Parsons, the rookie linebacker for the Cowboys.

“I think it’s an extraordinary honor,” Parsons told The Associated Press. “It speaks to the work and the position the Cowboys put me in. I think it’s just a true blessing. It just makes you want to go harder. … I’ve got to just keep working and keep getting better and find a way to beat this season next year, which is the harder part.”

The 2021 AP NFL All-Pro Team:

OFFENSE
QB, Aaron Rodgers, Packers
RB, Jonathan Taylor, Colts
TE, Mark Andrews, Ravens
WR, Davante Adams, Packers
WR, Cooper Kupp, Rams
WR, Deebo Samuel, 49ers
LT, Trent Williams, 49ers
RT, Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers
LG, Joel Bitonio, Browns
RG, Zack Martin, Cowboys
C, Jason Kelce, Eagles

DEFENSE
EDGE, T.J. Watt, Steelers
EDGE, Myles Garrett, Browns
DL, Aaron Donald, Rams
DL, Cam Heyward, Steelers
LB, Darius Leonard, Colts
LB, Micah Parsons, Cowboys
LB, De’Vondre Campbell, Packers
CB, Trevon Diggs, Cowboys
CB, Jalen Ramsey, Rams
S, Kevin Byard, Titans
S, Jordan Poyer, Bills

SPECIAL TEAMS
PK, Justin Tucker, Ravens
P, A.J. Cole, Raiders
KR, Braxton Berrios, Jets
PR, Devin Duvernay, Ravens
ST, J.T. Gray, Saints
LS, Luke Rhodes, Colts

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) acknowledges the fans after he broke Brett Favre's team record for touchdown passes Sunday.Syndication Packersnews

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers plans to make quick decision on future

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn’t determined whether he will play next season or retire but he indicated Wednesday that it won’t be a drawn-out process.

Rodgers left the Packers hanging last offseason but he said that won’t be the case this time. The 38-year-old said he will make a decision shortly after the 2021 season concludes.

“I’m not going to hold the team back from anything,” Rodgers told reporters. “And once I commit — and if it’s committing to move forward here — it will be a quick decision.”

As for announcing his retirement, Rodgers said he “wouldn’t rule that out.”

Last season, Rodgers used his press conference from the NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to assert that he was one of the players that might not be back in Green Bay. The timing was a stunner — not just because of the press conference setting but also because Rodgers won NFL MVP honors.

Rodgers skipped the entire offseason program and his situation wasn’t resolved until the eve of training camp. So his tune is vastly different now.

“It won’t be something where I’ll drag it out for months and months,” Rodgers said.

The Packers (12-3) are thriving entering Sunday night’s home game against the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay currently holds the top spot in NFC playoff positioning.

Rodgers has passed for 3,689 yards and 33 touchdowns against just four interceptions this season. In last Saturday’s 24-22 win over the Cleveland Browns, Rodgers tossed three touchdown passes to become the franchise leader with 445, surpassing legendary Brett Favre (442).

Rodgers doesn’t have the same level of tension with the organization as he did earlier this year. His relationship with general manager Brian Gutekunst has improved and Rodgers mentioned that he will discuss his future with Gutekunst, team president Mark Murphy, vice president of football operations Russ Ball and coach Matt LaFleur before making his decision.

“There will be a lot of things that I’ll weigh in the offseason,” said Rodgers, a first-round pick by Green Bay in 2005. “Saying that doesn’t mean, or any of the comments I’ve made, doesn’t mean I’m thinking about playing elsewhere, I do want to clarify that. The things that I’ve said about the team this year, about Brian’s and I’s relationship has been heartfelt and genuine and I do appreciate a lot of the things that I’ve seen from the team that are directly related to conversations we had in the offseason, and that was meaningful to me.

“I’ve enjoyed being a part of conversations that directly affect my job, which I talked about in the offseason, and Brian’s taken the lead in that, and I do appreciate the way our relationship has grown.

“I have a lot of love for Matt and enjoy playing for him. I love my teammates. The coaching staff has been fantastic, and they make it fun every single day. And the guys, obviously, is what you play for. … So I’m just savoring this year as much as anything.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Oddsmakers show no Love for Aaron Rodgers’ backup

From the tightest line of Week 9 to a touchdown boost for the Kansas City Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers’ loss of Aaron Rodgers had a massive impact on the line from oddsmakers Wednesday.

Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the game

FanDuel moved the line from Kansas City -0.5 points to Chiefs -7.5 points almost immediately after news broke that Rodgers was out for the game

BetMGM and DraftKings pulled the game off the board as of 11:15 a.m. ET.

Rodgers, who reportedly is unvaccinated and would be uncertain for next week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, will be replaced by former first-round pick Jordan Love.

The Chiefs (4-4) needed a late score to knock off the New York Giants on Monday night.

But the Packers (7-1) won last week at Arizona without wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. It’s possible other players and staff could be impacted given the number of positive tests in Green Bay the past 10 days.

Defensive coordinator Joe Barry also missed the game at Arizona after testing positive.

The Packers are 7-1 against the spread this season. The Chiefs are 2-6.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Chicago, IL, USA;  Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) scores a touchdown during the first quarter of their game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti-USA TODAY Sports

Rodgers again leads Packers by Bears

Aaron Rodgers passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, Aaron Jones had 110 yards of total offense and the defense allowed its fewest points this season as the visiting Green Bay Packers downed the Chicago Bears 24-14 on Sunday afternoon.

The Packers (5-1) stretched their winning streak to five games, overcoming three Bears sacks to outgain Chicago 323-277.

Rodgers improved to 21-5 against the NFC North-rival Bears in his career behind an efficient performance. He was 17-for-23 through the air for 195 yards while rushing for 19 yards. Rodgers ran 6 yards for his third total touchdown with 4:30 remaining, as Green Bay quickly answered a Chicago touchdown that snapped a run of 17 consecutive Packers points.

Moments earlier, the Bears drew to within 17-14 on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Justin Fields to Darnell Mooney, Chicago’s first points since with 6:45 left in the first quarter.

Chicago (3-3) visited the end zone on its opening drive, capitalizing on a Green Bay punt with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard scoring run from Khalil Herbert, the first touchdown of the rookie’s career.

A 26-yard defensive pass interference penalty against the Packers helped bring the Bears to the 1-yard line, and was preceded by a 20-yard pass from Fields to Allen Robinson on third-and-three.

Green Bay navigated a solid Bears pass rush without center Josh Myers for the majority of the afternoon. Myers, who returned the lineup Sunday following a hand injury, suffered a leg injury on the opening drive and did not return.

The Packers took a 10-7 lead into halftime, then went up 17-7 on their first possession of the third quarter on a 12-yard scoring pass from Rogers to Jones. Jones rushed for 76 yards on 13 carries and had four receptions for 34 yards.

Davante Adams had four receptions for 89 yards for Green Bay.

Fields was 16-for-27 passing for 174 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while adding 43 yards on the ground. Herbert rushed for 97 yards on 19 carries.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates his 74 yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling with Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur during the 4th quarter of the Green Bay Packers 42-24 win over the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field in Green Bay  on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.  Photo by Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Aaron Rodgers: Jon Gruden situation is teachable moment for NFL

Aaron Rodgers read the details of the email exchanges that prompted Jon Gruden to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player said he hopes the league uses the incident to educate team personnel.

“It was surprising to see that the thing went so quickly, but I think that was probably the best decision for all parties involved,” Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show. “Hopefully we can all as a league learn and grow from this. Hopefully it puts people on notice who have some of those same opinions. Like, ‘Hey man, it’s time to grow and evolve and change and connect. That s— doesn’t fly.’”

Rodgers said he takes pride in kindness and inclusiveness evident in his own locker room. In his 17th season in Green Bay, Rodgers said the league has evolved and he’s unaware of other coaches and personnel who might share Gruden’s opinions that were critical of minorities, homosexuals and women.

“I know that there’s opinions similar to that, but I feel they’re few and far between,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “The player and the coach of today is a more empathetic, advanced, progressive, loving, connected type of person. I’m proud of the kind of locker room we have. We need to allow people to grow and change, but those opinions don’t have a place in the game.”

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin worked with Gruden in Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers on Tuesday announced the removal of Gruden from the team’s Ring of Honor.

Tomlin praised Gruden’s ability as a teacher and mentor during an offseason interview. But the gravity of the Gruden news last week weighed heavily on Tomlin.

“I’m saddened by it,” said Tomlin, who was a defensive assistant for Gruden’s Super Bowl-winning team in Tampa following the 2002 season. “I’m saddened for the Raiders organization. I’m saddened for the people that were offended by it. I’m saddened for Coach Gruden. It’s a sad commentary, and that’s really the only opinion I care to share at this juncture.”

Multiple former players, from Keyshawn Johnson to Willie McGinest, said they “weren’t surprised” by the Gruden situation.

The Raiders have not publicly commented since Gruden’s resignation on Monday night.

–Field Level Media

Sep 20, 2021; Green Bay, WIsconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes the ball against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Dan Powers/Appleton Post-Crescent via USA TODAY NETWORK

Aaron Rodgers barks back at critics, ‘misinformation’

Aaron Rodgers says he remains dedicated to the Packers. And is challenging those who believe otherwise.

Rodgers said he expected and deserved backlash for his Week 1 performance, when he threw a pair of interceptions in a span of three pass attempts as Green Bay was blasted by the New Orleans Saints, 38-3.

On Wednesday, Rodgers doubled down on comments he made following the Packers win on Monday Night Football. He said opinions holding him as “not caring” or being uncommitted to the team prompted him to respond.

“I strongly believe in everybody’s ability to have an opinion and I respect the fact that they have an opinion,” Rodgers said. “My issue is, the platform given to individuals who only desire to say inflammatory things that aren’t based in fact.

“Personally, I think I would be a little sensitive to people questioning my commitment to this team. I said it from the start: If I wasn’t 100 percent committed to my squad or my team, I wouldn’t have come back. Maybe people thought that was some sort of cliche line. … It was the truth.

“Now, whether or not you understand my attitude or my off-the-field interests in meditation or a more-focused or centered lifestyle, that’s fine. Not everybody is going to understand that or relate to that or get that.”

Rogers, who threw for four touchdowns with no interceptions in a 35-17 victory over Detroit in Week 2, said he enjoys having the opportunity to correct “misinformation.”

The Packers (1-1) visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (24) during the NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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Davante Adams: ‘No chance’ of Packers extension before season

Star wide receiver Davante Adams said he won’t be signing an extension with the Green Bay Packers before the 2021 season starts on Sunday.

“No. No chance. No,” Adams told reporters Wednesday.

Adams said in July that he wanted to become the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, which seems to be the primary sticking point between the player and the Packers’ front office. Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins is earning $27.25 million in average annual value; Adams’ current deal nets him $14.5 million a year, 19th in the NFL at his position, according to Sportac.com.

The 2021 season is the final year on Adams’ contract. Adams is set to have a cap hit of $16,787,500.

Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst said last month that the team did not have a deadline for getting an extension done with Adams, granting that negotiations could leak into the season.

Adams has hinted at dissatisfaction with Gutekunst and the Green Bay front office. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, before returning to the Packers at the start of training camp, reportedly mocked Gutekunst in a group text with teammates and called him Jerry Krause, a reference to the late Chicago Bulls general manager who was seen as a villain in the Michael Jordan docuseries, “The Last Dance.”

In July, Adams and Rodgers posted identical Instagram story photos of Jordan and Scottie Pippen, perhaps a reference at the time to their unhappiness with their team’s handling of contract issues.

However, Adams told reporters Wednesday that he intends to prevent his unsettled contract situation from becoming a distraction once the season kicks off.

“I feel like I had one of the best camps of my career,” Adams said. “Was able to really lock in, come back and get reacquainted with my brothers. Me and (Rodgers) picked up where we left off. Like I said, it’s just the way that I have found success coming up from all stages of life.

“Just focusing on that moment. It’s not like it took any work to do that. It’s just blocking out the rest of the stuff that I don’t really need at the time, which is some of that other stuff that we’ve talked about (his contract).”

The Packers play the New Orleans Saints in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday to open the regular season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) following a touchdown during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Packers GM: Randall Cobb here only because Aaron Rodgers wanted him

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst did not mask his intentions in bringing back wide receiver Randall Cobb.

“Obviously without Aaron (Rodgers), I don’t think we would be pursuing that,” Gutekunst said Thursday. “Randall is still a really good player. Seeing him last night kind of reminded what an impact he’ll have in our locker room, for our football team. This was a very important thing for Aaron, and that’s why we did it.”

Cobb, who turns 31 next month, was acquired Wednesday from the Houston Texans for a 2022 sixth-round pick. Houston will pick up $3 million of his salary to make the deal work under the salary cap.

Rodgers said Wednesday he deserves input on personnel matters that “directly impact” his job, and Gutekunst supported that notion, saying Rodgers “earned that right.”

Rodgers described his relationship with Gutekunst as “professional” in a lengthy session with media on Wednesday. Gutekunst said Thursday it is highly important for him to repair his relationship with Rodgers. But he said it will take effort on both sides to rebuild bridges scorched by an offseason standoff that Rodgers said had him considering retirement.

Gutekunst said nothing needs to be done with Rodgers’ existing contract, which expires after the 2023 season, but there are plans to address his deal. He disagreed with the sentiment Rodgers shared Wednesday on being a “lame duck quarterback.”

“I’ve never looked at it like that,” he said. “At the moment, he has three years left on his contract, so he’s not going to be a lame duck. We may alter that, but even still it’s not going to be one year left.”

That’s not the only contract matter on the front burner for the Packers.

All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams is in the final year of his deal and made it clear he wants to be the highest-paid player at his position. That would mean more than $27 million in annual salary with Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins pulling in $27.25 million annually. Gutekunst said the Packers don’t see the Hopkins deal, which is more than $5 million more per season than the second-highest-paid receiver, Julio Jones, makes, as the benchmark.

“It’s very important for us moving forward (with Adams and having) him as part of our football team and making it work,” Gutekunst said.

Cobb played for the Packers from 2011-18 before spending 2019 with the Dallas Cowboys and 2020 with Houston. He had his best season in Green Bay in 2014, making the Pro Bowl with career highs in catches (91), receiving yards (1,287) and touchdown grabs (12).

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) is shown during a mandatory minicamp Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in Green Bay, Wis.

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Packers WR Davante Adams won’t take less to play with Aaron Rodgers

With a short-term solution in place with Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers can address the contract status of another All-Pro.

Wide receiver Davante Adams enters the final year of his contract facing the prospect of hitting free agency after the season, when Rodgers can work his way out of Green Bay.

Adams recently broke off talks with the Packers on a long-term deal. According to reports, Green Bay is balking at a deal that would make Adams the top-paid wide receiver in the NFL, ahead of the Arizona Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins.

With next year up in the air for both players, Adams and Rodgers could be entering their final season together. Each player posted a picture of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on his Instagram story page, a reference to the “Last Dance” documentary on the end of the Chicago Bulls’ championship dynasty.

Would Adams take less money to stay in Green Bay with Rodgers beyond 2021?

“That’s not going to happen,” Adams, 28, said. “I don’t want to — it’s not about being a baby. What other profession do you take less than what you’ve earned? That’s not how it goes. The fans might see it different in certain ways. I’m sure there are fans that see it the same way myself, my family, my agent and most of the league sees it.

“I’m not a baby. So I’m not going to not show up and I’m not complaining about it. At the end of the day, I’m not poor right now. I’ll be OK to get through and go try to win a Super Bowl again. That’s my main focus right now.”

Adams said he would “lock in” but believes he earned the right “to be paid the highest in the league.”

To be the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, Adams would need to receive $27.25 million per season, which would equal Hopkins’ annual average value with the Cardinals. Hopkins received a two-year deal worth $54.5 million following a trade last offseason from the Texans.

“I don’t want to make this (season) about me,” Adams said.

The trouble for the front office involves the salary cap and Rodgers’ status. If Rodgers would opt to retire or the Packers honor his potential wish for a trade, Green Bay would face the subsequent cap hit, leaving the franchise little or no room to retain Adams, even on the franchise tag.

Five wide receivers make more than $20 million per year, but none are within $5 million of Hopkins’ average salary. Julio Jones of the Tennessee Titans is closest at $22 million per season.

Between the lines, as the Packers take the field for practices this week, Adams said he’s “ecstatic” to learn Randall Cobb is returning to the Packers via trade.

“I’m just waiting on Jordy now,” he said with a smile, referring to the retired Jordy Nelson.

Adams is entering his eighth season in Green Bay. He is coming off a stellar 2020 season, in which he caught 115 passes for 1,374 yards with 18 touchdowns in 14 games.

–Field Level Media