Aaron Rodgers Skips Mandatory Mini Camp, Now Officially A Holdout
The Aaron Rodgers vs. Green Bay Packers saga continues, with Rodgers not showing up Tuesday morning to Green Bay's mandatory mini camp.
As the first mandatory workout of the offseason got underway Tuesday, it was expected Rodgers would be a no-show, and as NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero reported, he was, indeed absent from the first day of mini camp.
Activities got underway at 8:30 Tuesday morning, with the reigning NFL MVP and a handful of other players not showing up. Rodgers is the only player not showing up for holdout purposes, while some other key names like David Bakhtiari is out rehabbing a torn ACL and Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Dean Lowry, and Elgton Jenkins all weren't there due to COVID-19 protocols.
With Rodgers not showing up this morning, he could now be subject to a $93,085 fine. As Adam Schefter of ESPN explains, the Packers have the option to either fine him or excuse the absence and waive the fine.
As FOX News reports, Rodgers has already lost out on a $500,000 workout bonus after he skipped out on voluntary organized team activities earlier this spring. The Packers could also seek repayment for other bonus money, but sources told NFL Network that is unlikely as the team tries to find a solution to keep Rodgers in Green Bay.
In the week leading up to minicamp, Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur was quoted (via PackersNews.com) as saying "It's important that we have all our guys and certainly we'd love him to be here and hopefully we'll see him Tuesday."
Now that he hasn't shown up for the first mandatory team activities of the offseason, is this an indication his holdout will last until the Packers trade Rodgers?
Pro Football Talk says this isn't necessarily the case. They explain that if the Packers refuse to trade Rodgers, he may make the decision to (perhaps begrudgingly) play in Green Bay rather than just sit the season out. They also point out that while retirement could be an option, Rodgers would loose out on his $14.7 million salary for the upcoming season, plus still might be forced to pay back previously earned bonuses, as mentioned above.
In the absence of Rodgers, Tom Pelissero did tweet a video of Jordan Love taking first team snaps, labeling him "QB1, for now".
Love leads the pack of a total of 4 quarterbacks in camp for the Packers, with recently-signed Blake Bortles, Kurt Benkert, and Jake Dolegala, added as a tryout player at the QB position.
The saga continues. There's a lot of offseason for more to unfold.