A few months ago the internet was alight with rumors about how Russell Wilson wanted out of Seattle. Reporters noted that he was unhappy with coach Pete Carroll and that he felt disrespected by the team.
Here we are a few months later, and Russell Wilson is still firmly installed as the starting quarterback of the Seahawks. What happened?
Perhaps Seattle never got the trade offer they wanted. Or perhaps news reporters took a kernel of information and blew it all out of proportion.
My money is on the latter.
This is the off-season, and reporters are always looking for new ways to create scandalous headlines out of minimal factual information. It’s how they get people to click on their publications. It’s basically in their job descriptions. While it's true to say that there is a rumor floating around, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the rumor will come to fruition.
Now, with the 2021 NFL draft only hours away, the internet has been hit with a bunch of rumors about how Aaron Rodgers purportedly “wants out” of Green Bay.
However, there is plenty within these rumors to suggest that they contain a lot more smoke than fire.
Part of the argument is that Rodgers has been “frustrated” every since the Packers traded up in the 2020 draft to select quarterback Jordan Love. There is also a media narrative that the Packers haven’t done enough to surround Rodgers with a championship team.
But this narrative is riddled with holes.
First of all, the Packers did surround Rodgers with a championship caliber team in 2020. The squad went 13-3, earned home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and was rated among the most talented rosters in the NFL.
Had it not been for a fluke injury to all-pro tackle David Bakhtiari, it’s likely the Packers would have advanced to the Super Bowl. As it is, Rodgers was consistently harassed by the Tampa Bay pass rush and they lost a very tightly contested NFC championship game.
Most of the pieces are set to return in 2021 and reports have even surfaced that Bakhtiari is ahead of schedule in his recovery. Rodgers has the chance to remain with a top caliber team that has been knocking on the door to the Super Bowl the last two years.
Does it really make sense for him to "want out" of an organization like that?
The Packers have been reportedly working on an extension for Rodgers for some time. Every time the team makes an announcement, it’s to reassure the general public that Rodgers is very much in their plans.
Aaron Rodgers is going to be offered and eventually sign a contract worth tens of millions of dollars. It’s inevitable that as this contract is hammered out, there will be a few sparks.
I would believe media reports that the Packers and Rodgers still have some negotiating to do. However, I’m not willing to put too much faith into second hand reports that Rodgers “wants out” of Green Bay.
Again, the 2021 NFL draft is only a few hours away. The story of last year’s draft was the fabricated narrative that the Packers somehow “disrespected” their star quarterback by drafting the best player available. Rodgers dispelled this rumor personally, but sometimes ugly stories keep rearing their heads.
Until Rodgers is traded or goes on the record with a statement of dissatisfaction, Packer fans should assume he will be the starting quarterback in 2021. So sit back and enjoy the draft. Where there’s smoke, there is not always fire.