Pack president: Rodgers’ return isn’t top option
5: 50 PM ET
Rob DemovskyESPN Staff Writer
- Covered Packers for Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1997-2013
- Two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
GREEN BAY, Wis. — It sure sounds like the Green Bay Packers would prefer to move on from Aaron Rodgers and begin the Jordan Love era immediately.
While Packers president Mark Murphy did not rule out the possibility that Rodgers could return as the team’s starting quarterback, it apparently isn’t the organization’s first choice based on what Murphy said Friday during an interview at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association girls’ basketball tournament, which is taking place across the street from Lambeau Field at the Resch Center arena.
“I mean unless, if things don’t work out the way we would want them, yeah,” Murphy said on the WIAA broadcast when asked if there’s a scenario in which Rodgers could return. “He’s obviously a great player and four-time MVP, but I think it’s trying to find what he wants and what we want, and hopefully we can find a win-win situation.”
Murphy confirmed that the Packers gave Rodgers and the New York Jets permission to speak, which they did earlier this week when a Jets contingent met with Rodgers in California.
“We did give them permission, but I really can’t get into the details,” Murphy said. “We’re really hopeful that we can reach a resolution that works not only for Aaron but for us.”
Murphy then told Green Bay’s ABC affiliate WBAY that allowing Rodgers and the Jets to meet was done to “help Aaron achieve what he wanted as well as the Packers, and hopefully create a situation where it’s kind of a win for both sides.”
In that interview, he referred to Rodgers’ career in the past tense.
“Very few players play for only one team, and obviously Brett had a great career, Aaron had a great career here,” Murphy told WBAY. “And regardless of what happens, Aaron will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he’ll be in our Hall of Fame and we’ll bring him back and retire his number. But this is just one of the things that you go through as a team. Again, we want to try to achieve something that’s good for both Aaron and us.”
Murphy also presided over the Packers’ trade of quarterback Brett Favre to the Jets in 2008, which paved the way for Rodgers to take over. He signed off on then-general manager Ted Thompson’s decision to trade Favre and theoretically would have to do so before current GM Brian Gutekunst could finalize a deal.
Murphy reiterated the Packers hope that a solution can be reached before Wednesday, which is the start of NFL free agency.
The Packers appear ready to turn things over to Love, the 2020 first-round draft pick who spent the past three seasons as Rodgers’ backup.
“We have a lot of confidence in him,” Murphy said. “We drafted him and developed him. A lot of credit goes to our coaches and to Jordan. But we do think he’s ready.”
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.