SI’s Rosenberg: Packers’ Poor Management of Rodgers Hurts All Parties
Note: This is a commentary by Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg. CLICK HERE to read it in its entirety.
The Packers might win another Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, but they cannot win their standoff with him. That is because nobody really wins this kind of standoff. As soon as you are in it, you have lost.
The Packers-Rodgers tiff has simmered for a year and started boiling two weeks ago, when ESPN reported that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay—and yet, the situation is still being viewed through the wrong lens.
This is not about one side being right and the other being wrong. It’s football, not tort law or a talk show. This is also not a zero-sum game, where one side can beat the other. The Packers’ leverage is that Rodgers is under contract, and if they simply refuse to trade him, he either has to play for them or retire. But having a miserable star quarterback is not winning. And if Rodgers retires, the Packers lose the league MVP for nothing. When your leverage is also your worst-case scenario, you have a problem.
“Smooth organizations have consistency in their ownership, front office, coaching and franchise quarterback,” says agent Leigh Steinberg, who has represented as many star quarterbacks as any agent ever. “This is a group that works together over time. An astute organization who values their quarterback is going to value his insight on every aspect of the organization. That doesn’t mean absolute ability to make those decisions. It means input.”
Rodgers is probably losing, too. Sure, Green Bay used a first-round pick on a player (Love) who can’t help a healthy Rodgers win games. But if he gets traded, his new team would have to give up multiple first-round picks just to get him. He would also have to adjust to a different scheme, different coach and fresh set of teammates. Of course he could do it. But the better scenario is the one Rodgers wanted all along: to stay in one place, with a smart, aggressive organization that involves him.