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Aaron Rodgers not present at start of Packers’ mandatory minicamp amid feud with front office, per report

All is relatively quiet on the Aaron Rodgers front, even with Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy saying this week that the star quarterback’s “situation” has “divided our fan base.” Two weeks after publicly acknowledging his feud with Green Bay and declining to confirm or deny that he wants to be traded, Rodgers is still under contract with the Packers, and no move appears imminent. Rodgers was not present at the team meeting Tuesday that kicked off Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp, meaning he is officially a holdout, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. The Packers could either excuse Rodgers’ absence or fine him $93,085 if he misses Tuesday’s minicamp practice. 

The news is no surprise to anyone who’s followed the QB’s ongoing issue with team brass, especially after Rodgers — as well as No. 1 receiver Davante Adams and other top Rodgers pass targets — skipped voluntary OTAs. But it’s still notable considering these practices are mandatory. Adams and others who missed OTAs are expected to attend, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, so Rodgers’ situation will be “the only issue to be resolved.”

The news comes after NBC Sports’ Peter King noted that he believes Rodgers, at least for now, “is solid on never playing for the Packers again.” In Monday’s “Football Morning in America” column, King proposed what he believes might be “the only relatively peaceful way out for both sides” — an agreement between Rodgers and the Packers that Green Bay will trade the QB after 2021, as long as Rodgers plays a final season in green and gold. Such an agreement, King reasons, would enable both Rodgers and the Packers to contend this year, while granting the QB relative freedom to choose his next destination in 2022.

“Rodgers might view this as the best way to get through an unfortunate situation,” King wrote. “This compromise allows him to prove (his appreciation for Green Bay). Lots of fans would find his words to (ESPN’s Kenny) Mayne hollow if Rodgers is home in California in September and Jordan Love gets blown out on opening day at New Orleans. I doubt Rodgers wants a bridge-burning exit from Green Bay.”

Still, King said, it remains fairly apparent that Rodgers desires a fresh start in the wake of “philosophical” differences with the Packers front office, to which he previously alluded in an on-air interview with Mayne.

“(President Mark) Murphy’s a pragmatist, and he has to be that above all as the caretaker of this franchise,” King wrote. “No matter how many times he thinks, ‘Aaron would never hold out and hold us hostage,’ does he know that? No. Rodgers is willful. Back him against a wall, and Murphy doesn’t know how he’d react. But it would not be good for the team … The Packers need to extend an olive branch for a situation — whether they acknowledge the reality of it — that could turn into a football and fan disaster in 2021.”