The relationship between Aaron Rodgers and the only team he's ever known has settled since his season-ending press conference, mostly through the help of the man himself who went on the Pat McAfee Show specifically to crush any rumors of potential discontent. But the clues are there for an observant fan.
Rodgers wasn't happy when the Green Bay Packers drafted his future replacement in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, his season ended just short of the Super Bowl (again) when his head coach decided to trust the defense over Rodgers, and Rodgers' contract situation has been hanging over the organization's head all offseason. With all that in mind, it feels like the situation is simmering rather than settled.
All that doesn't really matter in the immediate term; the Packers are not going to trade or cut Rodgers anytime soon. But it's setting the stage for a potentially ugly divorce down the road, and the unthinkable image of Rodgers in a different uniform may become reality. Charles Woodson, a fellow former Packer great who did not finish his career with the team, said things could get "nasty" between the superstar QB and Green Bay before it's all said and done.
Woodson noted that he, too, left the organization before the end of his career, but unlike Rodgers Woodson was drafted by a different team and joined the Packers in free agency. So it's not quite the same. But Green Bay's standard operating procedure has been in place for years when it comes to how they treat their stars; current GM Brian Gutekunst has been with the team since 1998 and was a disciple of Ted Thompson, the GM who gave Woodson a massive free-agent deal in 2006.
It certainly does seem unlikely at this point that Rodgers and the Packers will ride off happily into the sunset together. The drafting of Jordan Love changed the whole tenor of the relationship. Instead of enjoying every last minute of Rodgers dimes until he decides to retire, the Packers are now impatiently looking at their watch, wondering when he'll leave so they can see what they have in Love.
Rodgers will be in that yellow and green uniform in 2021. After that, it's anyone's guess. And if Woodson is right, we'll have a lot to talk about over the next 12 or so months.