Aaron Rodgers is skipping the Packers’ mandatory minicamp, and all indications are that, at least for now, he’s dead set on moving on from Green Bay. But one former teammate isn’t so sure that the reigning MVP has played his game in green and gold. Joining Colin Cowherd on “The Herd” this week, longtime wide receiver James Jones said he’s spoken with Rodgers, is sure the quarterback is “willing” to return to the Packers and ultimately believes the perennial Pro Bowler will show up for training camp this summer.
“I’ve talked to Aaron,” Jones said. “I talk to him all the time. And he’s told me that it’s not about the GM. It’s not about new money. It’s not about the GM. So when I hear everybody on here say, ‘It’s about getting the GM fired’ and these things, it’s not about that … That’s why I truly believe that it’s fixable … It’s not about getting the GM fired, and he’s told me that … He’s willing to go in there and make sure they can get this thing right and get it fixable and go out there and put the best football team on the field and try to compete for a championship. And that’s why I truly believe that he will be there for training camp, this will get fixed, and I think the relationship will get much better between him and the GM.”
Jones, of course, is alluding to reports that Rodgers’ chief issue as he stays away from the team this offseason is with Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst. The former wideout, who spent seven seasons as Rodgers’ teammate in Green Bay, would not, however, reveal what he perceives to be Rodgers’ true source of dissatisfaction, only suggesting that the QB has gradually been affected by the club’s decision to move on from select veterans over the years.
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“His No. 1 beef is a private conversation on the phone that I can’t share with you … He’s seen a lot of guys walk out of that building and play very good football,” Jones told Cowherd, listing himself along with former Packers like Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Jordy Nelson as examples. “He wants to make sure that a lot of guys like that (stick around) … These dudes are big in the locker room, and I think that’s what important to him.”
The Packers do not have an easy road to appeasing Rodgers, though. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reports that the QB has told those close to him he’s “done with them” and will “never wear that jersey again.” While it’s unclear yet, perhaps even in Rodgers’ mind, whether the QB will extend his holdout into camp or the 2021 season, the QB is presently committed to turning the page in his career — content to, as La Canfora puts it, “watch (the Packers) squirm” as he sorts out his future.