The first day of the 2021 NFL Draft began like any other, with tons of drama.
But it wasn't news about a prospect's medical report, or something dug up on social media. Instead, it was all about an old guy that many believed to be washed out before his 2020 MVP campaign took place.
As the news broke that Aaron Rodgers wasn't happy and the Denver Broncos were close to a trade, a media frenzy brewed. Quickly turning from a slight chance of crisis to a full-on disaster, the Packers front office did little to nothing to try and calm the storm. Instead, they held their tongue, made their pick at No. 29, and waited until almost midnight to say Aaron Rodgers is still their guy.
However, that pick, Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes, sent a strong enough message to Rodgers that on Friday reports changed from not happy, to telling teammates goodbye.
Pat Mcafee, who hosted a weekly segment with Rodgers during this past season, had Mark Schlereth on the show Friday afternoon. There the former Bronco turned sports radio host somehow managed to top the news he broke Thursday on the Broncos' interest in Rodgers. Adding to his story that Rodgers reached out himself to check sources, he said the 37-year-old quarterback would let him know when he finds out if a trade is happening.
Why this is such big news, is the fact that Rodgers seemed to not only welcome a trade, but seemingly was hoping Schlereth's source was Green Bay General Manager Brian Gutekunst.
As the story continues to gain legs, Rodgers strategically remains silent. He will be attending the Kentucky Derby, according to National Insider for NFL Network Ian Rapoport, who suggested the quarterback may "wander on to a red carpet."
Stating that Green Bay will not be trading their leader and franchise quarterback, it's becoming crystal clear that Gutekunst isn't trying to convince anyone that everything is fine. He may not even be genuinely trying to appeal to Rodgers. It's now all about steering the narrative that if Rodgers leaves, it's because he wants to.
It's not because they traded up to draft his successor, arguably earlier than they should have. It's not because they got rid of his quarterback coach, instead of addressing the real problem until they had had enough of Mike McCarthy. It's not because they tried to get him to take a discount with a restructured contract instead of the extension 12 rightly deserved. And it's certainly not because they didn't kick a field goal.
It's because Aaron Rodgers simply doesn't want to play for the green and gold any longer.