The Green Bay Packers offseason resembled a soap opera.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was globetrotting and looking relaxed and happy.
Aaron Rodgers is looking unbothered at the Kentucky Derby 🤣 @brgridiron
(via frankieshebby/IG) pic.twitter.com/umP70V5lNZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 1, 2021
No one knew for sure if he would report to training camp.
But he ultimately did.
His initial press conference from camp was jaw dropping.
Rodgers’ candor and detailed account of how he felt the Packers viewed him was both surprising and alarming.
It looks like the Packers are really trying to mend fences with Rodgers, but here are two ways the team can truly salvage the relationship with its future Hall of Fame quarterback.
1. Listen To Him
Rodgers felt as though the team should be inviting him into discussions about strategies and players.
Whether they adopted his opinion was a different story, but Rodgers wanted to be valued as a member of the team.
His seniority and fantastic career with the team earned him the right to be heard.
Tom Brady certainly has the input in Tampa Bay that Rodgers was seeking.
Bringing back wide receiver Randall Cobb upon Rodgers’ request was a good starting point.
Not only was Aaron Rodgers instrumental in the Packers reacquiring WR Randall Cobb, they're now roommates.
Rodgers says Cobb has moved into his house while Cobb searches for a new home and his family moves back to Green Bay.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 4, 2021
However, this is not a one-and-done deal.
The Packers need to keep listening and engaging him.
2. Win With Him
In the end, football success is measured by wins and losses.
Honestly with Rodgers at the helm, the Packers should have won more than one championship.
Stat of the day:
Aaron Rodgers' 3 MVP seasons:
• 131 TDs
• 16 INTs
Over 𝟴 TDs for every 𝟭 INT.
Simply incredible… pic.twitter.com/W0zShbeEG0
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) August 6, 2021
Rodgers, getting up there in football years and nearing the end of his career, must think that too.
He is back with the Packers because he wants to win a Super Bowl.
The Packers were dangerously close to going to the Super Bowl in 2021.
Some of the top throws from AR12 this season. 🤯🎯
— GBP Daily (@GBPdaily) January 23, 2021
Shoutout to Aaron Rodgers on a remarkable season
▪️ watches Packers select QB in first round in 2020 Draft
▪️ leads NFL with career-high 48 Pass TD
▪️ favorite to win 3rd MVP Award
▪️ leads GB to second straight NFC Championship Game pic.twitter.com/G2cMy5m7Mv
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 24, 2021
The loss to the Bucs in the 2021 NFC Championship and the play calling at the end of the game haunt Rodgers.
But it can be fixed.
All could be made right if the Packers win the Super Bowl in 2022.
For those critical of Rodgers, it had to be frustrating to be in his shoes in recent years.
Everyone thinks the straw that broke the camel’s back was the Packers’ moving up in the 2020 NFL Draft to get his apparent replacement, Jordan Love.
The Packers have drafted 1 offensive player in the 1st round since 2012.
Jordan Love. pic.twitter.com/1v9GxW68Rv
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) April 30, 2021
Rodgers’ account at that press conference was so specific that we now know that the Packers’ Jordan Love maneuver was just one of many times he was cast aside and not considered.
When Rodgers ultimately leaves Green Bay either to play elsewhere or to retire, he will leave a legacy of both excellent play and of giving the Packers a lesson on how to manage veteran players.
For some bizarre reason, the Packers have not figured out how to do that yet.
They nearly botched things with Rodgers, and we know they messed up the relationship with Brett Favre at the end of his career.
The Packers ultimately need to “get it,” understand their past failures, and spend 2021 trying to make up for them with Aaron Rodgers.