Before the beginning of the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke one of the biggest news stories of the NFL offseason. Aaron Rodgers reportedly wants out of Green Bay. The Packers quarterback apparently wasn’t happy with the team amid their second consecutive loss in the NFC Championship Game and the 37-year-old passer wants to be traded away. And trade or no trade, he won’t be returning to the team.
Schefter’s report spread like wildfire and led many to wonder why the news was broken on draft day. Was it Rodgers’ camp leaking the information to facilitate a deal? Did the Packers put that out there in the hopes of getting a last-minute offer to accumulate a war chest of draft assets?
According to Schefter, speculation that either side leaked the story is categorically wrong. In fact, there was nothing that prompted it to be broken that day specifically. It was something that had been simmering to a boiling point during the offseason.
“There was rarely a week that went by where I didn’t hear something about Aaron Rodgers,” Schefter said on The Dan Patrick Show.
Schefter largely sat on this story throughout the offseason but after a pre-draft report that the 49ers attempted to make a trade offer for Rodgers, he made the decision to make what he had learned public. Why? Because he knew the news would be out soon.
“How long ’til it gets out that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay? Is it next week? Is it when he doesn’t show to OTAs? It’s gonna come out,” Schefter said. “What does it matter if it comes out now, or next week, or next month?”
Schefter has a point, but it is worth noting that other quarterbacks that had expressed frustration with their organizations, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, saw their stories reported on earlier in the offseason.
Of course, as Schefter pointed out, reading the tea leaves and focusing on Rodgers’ comments about his uncertain future with the Packers painted a picture of a disgruntled quarterback as early as January. It’s just strange that it wasn’t reported on until the day of the draft, especially since Schefter insisted that nothing new came in to prompt the report on draft day.
“It was nothing that morning that came in that all of a sudden said to me yeah he wants out, you should report this,” Schefter said. “It was going on all offseason. You just keep hearing it. There was more and more talk and there’s starting to be more Aaron Rodgers talk and I said, you know what, this isn’t gonna wait much longer. It just happened to be draft day.”
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how or when this story came to be. What matters is that things have come to a head with Rodgers and the Packers and the QB’s future in Green Bay is tenuous at best.
Aaron Rodgers can escape almost any situation on the field — but can he escape the one off of it?
While the match between one of the NFL’s baddest men and one of the league’s most storied franchises has been one made in heaven, the schism between the franchise and the player has seemingly sent the relationship to hell.
According to multiple reports, Rodgers has played his last snap for the Packers, either by trade or retirement, while Green Bay brass remains adamant that the quarterback isn’t going anywhere.
If Rodgers does ultimately end up elsewhere, it’ll end an era of plenty of highs and lows for the team, which some feel had underachieved with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
Rodgers’ career with the Packers is certainly storied — three time MVP winner, Super Bowl champ — but what happened off the field may have been just as intriguing.
Here’s what led to the Rodgers rift in Green Bay:
Aaron Rodgers timeline
April 23, 2005: It’s NFL Draft night at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. The story of the night is who is going to go No. 1 overall: Will it be Utah’s Alex Smith or Cal product Aaron Rodgers?
The 49ers select Smith No. 1 out of Utah, and after an hours-long wait and a precipitous slide, Rodgers goes No. 24 overall to the Packers. While Green Bay is still throwing Brett Favre out there, Rodgers is the future of the franchise. Though, draft night won’t be the last time — or the longest time — he has to wait to hear his name called again.
Jan. 20, 2008: In the NFC championship game, the Packers fall to the Giants in overtime, 23-20. It’s a bittersweet end for both the Packers and for Favre, who has thrown his last pass in a Packers uniform.
Sept. 8, 2008: After three years of waiting, Rodgers gets his first start vs. the Vikings, a 24-19 win over the NFC North division rival.
Feb. 6, 2011: An up-and-down season leads to a somewhat miraculous run to Super Bowl 45, which Rodgers and the Packers win over the Steelers, 31-25. It’s the first, and to this point, only Super Bowl win for Rodgers.
Dec. 2, 2018: Fast forward seven years: Diminishing playoff returns, a Brandon Bostick botched onside kick and two years without postseason play, the Packers fire head coach Mike McCarthy after a Week 13 loss to the Cardinals. McCarthy, who has been Green Bay’s boss since 2006, has largely been credited with the development of Rodgers.
Dec. 3, 2018: Rodgers, speaking on McCarthy’s firing, keeps it short: “We accomplished a lot of things together. I have a lot of great memories to talk about down the line.” Rodgers doesn’t exactly sound upset with the move.
Jan. 7, 2019: After a pretty quick head coaching search, the Packers settle on Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. LaFleur, a disciple of Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle, gets credit for building a solid offense with Tennessee. Some believe his offense was held back by Marcus Mariota’s limited arm talent, and Rodgers’ limitless arm talent should provide unlimited success for Green Bay.
April 4, 2019: As it turns out, the “Frozen Tundra” of Lambeau Field was very, very icy over the last few years: In a lengthy story published by Bleacher Report, details of the firing of McCarthy and the rift with Rodgers surface, with neither party painted in an entirely glamorous light.
Rodgers is described as a control freak over the Packers’ offense, while McCarthy is portrayed as disinterested and, generally, over it with Green Bay.
April 8, 2019: Interestingly enough, Rodgers defends McCarthy in the wake of the B/R article, saying that McCarthy deserves respect and praise, and that the story doesn’t hold much water.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to @ESPNMilwaukee on the recent Bleacher Report piece: “The thing is… it’s not a mystery, this was a smear attack by a writer trying to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitters players who all have an agenda.”
April 25, 2019: Even in a wide receiver-shallow draft, the Packers opt not to give Aaron Rodgers another wideout target in the first round, selecting safety Darnell Savage instead. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and N’Keal Harry go in the first after Green Bay’s selection, with Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, DK Metcalf and Mecole Hardman all going in the second round.
June 16, 2019: Rodgers publicly supports wideout Jake Kumerow, a relatively unknown player out of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “Obviously, I’m a big fan of him,” Rodgers said. “I don’t think I need to keep going on that.” Rodgers’ praise of the wideout dates back a year. Rodgers’ compliments seems innocuous — for the time being.
June 17, 2019: Rodgers and LaFleur are starting to get a feel of one another in the month before training camp, and disagreements over control at the line of scrimmage start to bubble up and make headlines. Rodgers has typically been given full control over changing plays at the line, while LaFleur’s offense dictates that plays should be run when and where they’re called.
“Aaron and I have had some good talks, and we’re going to have to talk a lot more — and one thing we have to work through is the audible thing,” LaFleur said. “… We’ve never really had a quarterback who’s had complete freedom to change plays at the line, because that’s not really the way the offense is set up.”
Sept. 2, 2019: Months of speculation of Rodgers’ control over the offense and LaFleur potentially inhibiting him is put to rest. The Packers head coach leaves no doubt that Rodgers has pre-play control.
“We’ve given him all the freedom,” LaFleur said. “So if he sees something, he’s got the green light to do whatever he needs to do to get us into a good play. We’re not going to take that from him.”
Sept. 15, 2019: In a matchup with NFC North division rival Vikings, Rodgers and LaFleur seem to have a little bit of a dust-up on the sidelines, with the quarterback giving LaFleur a piece of his mind.
Rodgers and LaFleur both downplayed the discussion after the game, which they won.
“That’s just two competitive guys, and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last one we have,” LaFleur said.
No harm, no foul for the day, but perhaps a bit of foreshadowing in LaFleur’s words.
Jan. 19, 2020: The Packers season unceremoniously ends in a blowout to the 49ers in the NFC championship game, 37-20. The game isn’t as close as the score indicates. Still, at 13-3, the Packers finish the year with their best record since 2011, complete a sweep of the NFC North and, arguably most importantly, the Rodgers-LaFleur relationship seems to work well in Year 1.
Rodgers finishes the year in the new scheme with 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
April 23, 2020: Months into speculation as to what the Packers will do in Round 1 of the 2020 draft, Rodgers makes it known that he would like a skill player in the first round.
Aaron Rodgers on @PatMcAfeeShow: “We haven’t picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years, so that would be kind of cool.”
Rodgers says whoever the pick is, he’ll track down his phone number and welcome him to the team tonight — if the Packers don’t trade out.
May 15, 2020: Speaking with media for the first time since the draft, Rodgers makes it known that he was less than satisfied that the Packers selected Love.
“I think the general reaction at first was surprise, like many people,” Rodgers said. “Obviously I’m not going to say that I was, you know, thrilled by the pick necessarily, but the organization is thinking not only about the present but about the future. And I respect that.”
Rodgers also says that he realizes that finishing his career as a Packer may not be a reality at this point. Long-term storytelling, as they say in the wrestling business.
I give mad respect for taking the high road, but let me tell you what he was trying to say: ‘I can’t believe y’all disrespected me like this. I told you I wanted to play into my 40s, and then you’re gonna draft Jordan Love? Nothing against this kid, I’m gonna help him out as much as I can, but you just put a huge chip on my shoulder for this year. I’m gonna ball out, show you that I still got it, and then you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna ask for a trade or a release and get out of here, and you can have Jordan Love, and I’m gonna go to Chicago and kick your butt.’ That’s what he was trying to say.
July 28, 2020: Speaking with NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt, Rodgers addresses his NFL mortality and his future with the Packers, acknowledging that Green Bay will want to turn to Jordan Love sooner rather than later.
“Based on just the circumstances around everything. Just look at the facts. They traded up, they drafted him. I would say they like him, they want to play him. … But look, I get it. I see it completely clearly and I’m not bitter about it. It just is what it is.”
Sept. 5, 2020: An on-again-off-again relationship with wideout Jake Kumerow comes to an unceremonious end, as the Packers release him during roster cuts. He later signs with the Bills, and further down the road with the Saints. (Trust us, this will all come full circle.)
Sept. 9, 2020: Months of turmoil and discussion surrounding Rodgers’ future as a Packer subside as the 2020 NFL regular season prepares to get underway. Rodgers makes it clear he has no issues with LaFleur, describing the coach-QB relationship as “hashtag friend goals.” (Really.)
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers referred to his relationship with HC Matt LaFleur as “hashtag friend goals.”
Jan. 24, 2021: Beginning of the end, again? Rodgers and the Packers fall in the NFC championship game to the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. There are two massive stories to come from the loss: LaFleur’s reluctance to attempt to go for it late in the game, and Rodgers’ postgame comments, which sent the NFL world into a frenzy:
“A lot of guys’ futures, they’re uncertain. Myself included,” Rodgers said.
Aaron Rodgers after the game: “A lot of guys futures, they’re uncertain, myself included. … Just gonna have to take some time away and clear my head and kind of see what’s going on with everything.” pic.twitter.com/3GlzPU9EsZ
Jan. 26, 2021: Just a few days after Rodgers’ stirred the pot with his “uncertain future” comments, he appears on the “Pat McAfee Show” to add more fuel to the fire. He reaffirms what he said: He’s simply not sure of his future with Green Bay, echoing words from prior to the start of the 2020 season.
“It was more of a realization I think that ultimately my future is not necessarily in my control,” he says.
Jan. 31, 2021: More smoke surrounding Rodgers: The Rams, who made a blockbuster deal for quarterback Matthew Stafford, checked in on Rodgers’ availability and “made a run” at him, per a Los Angeles Times report. The Packers were adamant they would not trade him. Still, the fact that the Rams felt they could make a call is fairly telling.
Feb. 6, 2021: Rodgers wins the 2020 NFL MVP award after an unreal season: With 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions, Rodgers earns his third MVP award.
March 23, 2021: What should be nothing more than a formality, the Packers and Rodgers are working on a contract restructure. Though, the news is a bit curious: The Packers have unilateral power to convert Rodgers’ salary into a signing bonus, which hasn’t been done yet. Some rumors suggest that Rodgers actually wants an extension.
April 5, 2021: This Packers quarterback is given an opportunity to guest host TV’s most famous game show: Who is Aaron Rodgers?
Rodgers’ stint as guest host on “Jeopardy!” runs for two weeks, and he’s met with mixed reviews. Though, on the April 5 edition, he gets trolled by a contestant over the Packers’ decision to kick a field goal in the 2020 NFC Championship game.
April 27, 2021: Just a few days before the 2021 NFL Draft, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst says that Rodgers will be Green Bay’s quarterback for “the foreseeable future.” Though, there is still no talk on a new deal for Rodgers, or a restructure. Again, curious.
April 29, 2021: The Day the Draft Stood Still: Just hours before the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, and has played his last snap with the team.
At the heart of the issue seems to be Rodgers’ demand of a new contract, which NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport report. With rumors of a new contract getting done have swirled, there’s been no progress made. Fox reporter Jay Glazer and Schefter both say that Rodgers’ contract isn’t the sole issue of the falling out.
Also complicating matters, per reports: The 49ers reached out to the Packers to see if a deal for Rodgers involving the No. 3 overall pick could get done. It does not, and the 49ers instead select North Dakota State QB Trey Lance with the pick.
More rumors suggest that Rodgers is upset that the Packers didn’t take the 49ers deal, and he would prefer a trade to one of three teams: San Francisco, the Broncos or the Raiders.
April 30, 2021: The first round of the NFL Draft comes and goes and Rodgers is still a Packer. Oh, and the team once again doesn’t opt to give him a receiver in the first round, this time taking cornerback Eric Stokes in the first round. In fact, draft weekend ends and Rodgers is still in Green Bay green and gold.
May 1, 2021: Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports that Rodgers is willing to come back to Green Bay — if, and only if, they fire GM Brian Gutekunst. Gutekunst is upfront and says he hasn’t heard anything about it.
May 3, 2021: Hey, remember that Kumerow dude? Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers releasing Kumerow a day after Rodgers had praised him in a press conference turned out to be the “death knell” in the Rodgers-Packers working relationship.
“Rodgers, I’m told, also wanted to be involved in more of the personnel decisions,” Rapoport said. “This is crazy, but it does seem like the one thing that drove Rodgers nuts was when the organization released Jake Kumerow just a day after he praised him publicly. [That’s] described as a little bit of a death knell in the relationship.”
May 5, 2021: A new report leaks that Rodgers has some not-so-nice things to say about Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, referring to him as “Jerry Krause.” Krause is credited with both the growth and demise of the ’90s Chicago Bulls dynasty.
The Angels made the decision Thursday to designate longtime first baseman Albert Pujols for assignment. The future Hall of Famer had spent the last decade with the Angels and was in the final year of a 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with the team after leaving the Cardinals following the 2011 MLB season.
The move came as a surprise to many. Pujols’ production had dropped in recent years, but there hadn’t been any indication that the Angels were going to be moving on from him.
Even stranger is the apparent reason for Pujols’ release. According to Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times, Pujols was upset that he wasn’t in the lineup to face Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough on Wednesday night. The veteran slugger had enjoyed a lot of success off Yarbrough in limited action against him, but apparently, it was the front office, not Joe Maddon, that made the decision to bench Pujols.
According to source, #Angels slugger Albert Pujols was upset that he wasn’t in lineup to face #Rays bulk LHP Ryan Yarbrough last night, and that the decision to bench him came from front office, not MGR Joe Maddon. Pujols was 6 for 9 with 2 HR, 2 2Bs, 7 RBIs vs. Yarbough.
Given his numbers against Yarbrough, it would make sense that Pujols wanted to be in the lineup against him. It’s also reasonable for him to be upset that he wasn’t in the lineup due to a front office decision. It’s certainly out of the ordinary for front office staff doesn’t overrule the manager on lineup decisions. One has to wonder why the front office decided to intervene in this instance, or what they were looking to accomplish from making this decision.
With Dexter Fowler out for the season, Pujols had been playing on an everyday basis at first base with Jared Walsh playing Fowler’s usual position in right field. Perhaps they want to open up more opportunities for Walsh at first base while using a platoon in the outfield, but it’s unclear what their strategy is as a whole.
Pujols hadn’t been hitting particularly well on the year with a .198 average, but he had blasted five homers in 92 plate appearances. The Angels certainly could do worse than the 41-year-old considering their lackluster bench. But evidently, after this latest decision, there was no repairing the relationship between Pujols and the team.
As a result, the two sides parted ways and we’re left wondering if this is the end of the line for Pujols’ MLB career. If so, “The Machine” will end up with 667 homers in the books along with three MVP awards, two Gold Gloves, and six Silver Slugger awards.
The Houston Astros received a New York welcome from Yankee fans this week in their first meeting since the Astros’ sign-stealing scam was exposed – but according to a report, Houston allegedly complained to the league about taunting this season, which resulted in security curbing some hecklers.
In the first of a three-game series on Tuesday, Yankee fan David Taub went viral for wearing an Oscar the Grouch costume – a nod to the Astros’ use of garbage cans for signaling to batters.
Taub told Sports Illustrated that he previously received confirmation before the game that he could wear the costume but when he showed up on Tuesday he was not allowed in as security informed him: “Our policy changed.”
The taunting was dialed down on Wednesday but fans in the Bronx have still found ways to let the Astros know how they really feel.
New York will try for a three-game sweep Thursday afternoon, with ace Gerrit Cole facing Houston for the first time since leaving the Astros for a $324 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees before the 2020 season.
Washington Capitals strongman Tom Wilson left Wednesday night’s game against the New York Rangers after a volatile first period that featured six fights – but fans were quick to question his absence, which the team attributed to an upper-body injury.
Wilson, who was at the root of the Rangers’ frustration following Monday’s skirmish that left the team without their lead scorer, left the first period early before briefly returning at the start of the second for a total of just four shifts (2:36).
Wednesday’s game had six fights in the first period, starting with a center-ice brawl right off the opening faceoff. Rangers center Kevin Rooney fought Nic Dowd; winger Phil DiGuiseppe sparred with Washington’s Garnet Hathaway while Colin Blackwell battled former Ranger Carl Hagelin.
Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith then took on Wilson at the 50-second mark. Smith received an extra two-penalty for instigating the fight with Wilson, who was booed loudly every time he skated on the ice.
Ryan Strome, who was among the most outspoken critics of Wilson, later battled Lars Eller of Washington, while Rangers defenseman Anthony Bitetto fought Michael Raffl at 4:14 of the first.
Social media erupted on Tuesday after the league announced that Wilson, a repeat offender, would be fined $5,000 for Monday’s second-period scrum that saw him punch a vulnerable Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head before then throwing star forward Artemi Panarin to the ground and punching him in the head as well.
The Rangers then issued a scathing statement criticizing the league and its director of player safety, George Parros, before shockingly announcing the dismissal of team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton.
The Caps beat the Rangers 4-2 and moved into a first-place tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the East Division.
The NHL fined the New York Rangers $250,000 on Thursday in response to the scathing statement the team issued this week calling out the league and its director of player safety, George Parros, for failing to suspend Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for what it called a “horrifying act of violence” during Monday night’s game.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that comments made by the Rangers were “demeaning” and would “not be tolerated.”
“Public comments of the nature issued by the Rangers that were personal in nature and demeaning of a League executive will not be tolerated,” he began. “While we don’t expect our Clubs to agree with every decision rendered by the Department of Player Safety, the extent to which the Rangers expressed their disagreement was unacceptable.”
“It is terribly unfair to question George Parros’ professionalism and dedication to his role and the Department of Player Safety,” Bettman continued.
The league’s comments come just two days after the Rangers slammed Parros for failing to suspend Wilson for Monday night’s second-period brawl where he punched a vulnerable Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head before throwing star forward Artemi Panarin to the ground and punching him in the head as well.
Wilson, who has been suspended five times and fined three more in just eight seasons, was instead given a $5,000 fine.
“The New York Rangers are extremely disappointed that Capitals forward Tom Wilson was not suspended for his horrifying act of violence last night at Madison Square Garden,” the statement, issued Tuesday, read. “Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these types of acts and we find it shocking that the NHL and their department of player safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend him indefinitely.”
“Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season. We view this as a dereliction of duty by NHL Head of Player Safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.”
The following day, Rangers CEO and owner James Dolan announced the dismissal of team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton in a seemingly unrelated move.
Feeling scorned by the league, the Rangers took matters into their own hands in Wednesday night’s game, and six fights took place in the first period, starting with a center-ice brawl right off the opening faceoff.
They would lose 4-2 to the Caps, who are now in a first-place tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the East Division.
A mum has faced backlash in the local community after letting her kids swim in a pool where a neighbour’s child had drowned.
The woman and her family had been looking for a house when they found the ideal home, complete with swimming pool, within their budget.
They then discovered the reason for the discount price – a neighbour’s child had drowned in the pool during a party, leaving the local community devastated.
But the mother decided she could look past the terrible incident and the family moved in, and soon after they refilled the pool.
Then, when the weather was fitting, she let her kids play in the pool – and soon received a slew of complaints from her neighbours.
The mum said: “So when my husband and I were looking at houses we found this great one with a pool in the backyard.
“Normally it would have been out of our price range, but this one was a great deal.
“The reason why was because one of the neighbour’s children had drowned in the pool last summer.
“I know it’s really morbid, but my husband and I discussed it and we decided we could look past it. I mean we could never otherwise afford anything like it.
“It was big enough that all our kids could finally have their own bedrooms.
“When we had moved in the pool was empty and we didn’t see the point in filling it since at the time it was too cold out to go swimming anyway.
“Since it’s getting hot out now we decided to finally fill it last week. Our kids had a great time swimming and were having fun laughing and playing games.
“Later though husband was confronted by our neighbour, the one whose kid died, saying that the sounds of kids playing in the pool was traumatising to his family and that we were horrible for letting our kids play in that pool after what happened.
“Since then we’ve learned from an online post that several other people in the neighbourhood similarly feel that we are being insensitive by letting out kids play in the pool.
“Many of them thinking that the right thing to do would have been to get rid of the pool or fill it up.
“Even considering it all though we don’t want to get rid of our pool. We never had a pool before, but now we’re really enjoying it and our kids do too.”
The mother shared her situation on Reddit and was inundated with advice and opinions, with over 2,000 comments.
Most agreed with her, with one person commenting: “You can’t change what happened before you moved in.”
Another added: “It is extremely expensive to remove/fill in a pool that is below ground. If they didn’t have the money to put the pool in, they definitely don’t have the money to take it out.
“If the community is so traumatised by it then they can scoop together the tens of thousands of dollars to make themselves feel better. And that would be assuming that [you] actually wanted to not have the pool in the first place.”
Another said: “The neighbours have the right to move. I’d in fact encourage it for their own mental health. Having that reminder next door would be terrible.”