AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski
According to reports, Aaron Rodgers is close to an agreement with the Green Bay Packers that could see him play his last season as a quarterback.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Packers are offering "concessions" in order to secure Rodgers' return for 2021, but also added that it would help "set up" the quarterback's departure from Green Bay following this season.
Ian Rapoport, NFL Network's reporter, reported that Rodgers "indicated" to people close to his that he would return to the Packers to play this season.
These reports were made after Brian Gutekunst, Packers general manager, expressed optimism about a reunion.
Gutekunst stated Monday that he had been working hard with Aaron and his representatives in order to resolve the [Rodgers] issues. He said that he is hopeful for a positive outcome.
After Rodgers' possible return was announced, the Packers were ranked among the favorite teams to win the Super Bowl. This assumes that Rodgers will be in the center.
Schefter reported that Rodgers didn't want to be part of the team in April. He missed Green Bay's mandatory minicamp and team activities earlier in the offseason.
Schefter also reported that Rodgers turned down a two year extension to his contract, which would have made Rodgers the highest-paid player of the NFL.
Rodgers stated that "it's just sort of about a philosophy" and that he sometimes forgets that it is all about the people who make it happen. It's all about character, culture, and doing things right.
The contract for the 37-year old is valid through 2023, but the Packers have greater financial flexibility in the following year. Spotrac estimates that the Packers can save $22.6million against the cap by trading or releasing him next offseason.
Green Bay traded into the first round of 2020 and selected Rodgers' replacement in Jordan Love, but the team is firm in its belief that it won't trade the reigning MVP.
Mark Murphy, team president, stated that "We want him back" and that he is committed to his support for 2021. "He is our leader and we look forward to another Super Bowl."
Rodgers won the NFL MVP award last year, which was his third in his career. The 17-year veteran also led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game the second consecutive season. Green Bay should be considered one of the top contenders to win the 2021 championship if Rodgers returns under center.