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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers not expected to attend mandatory minicamp

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

The latest episode in the Aaron Rodgers saga in Green Bay is unfolding. Reports on Monday afternoon indicate that Rodgers will not report to mandatory minicamp for the Packers. The standoff between the player and the organization remains entrenched, with the preseason roughly two months away.

The prospect of being fined nearly $100,000 won’t scare off Rodgers, who has made a huge pile of money with the Packers in a shimmering career which has lasted over 15 years. This drama goes much deeper than dollars and cents, or the Jordan Love draft pick, or the team’s inability to give Rodgers the defensive pieces needed to return to the Super Bowl. It involves all those things and more in a complicated emotional cocktail which has been the talk of the NFL ever since Adam Schefter’s draft-day bombshell about the rift between the two parties.

It remains a mystery: Will Aaron Rodgers play one more season with the Packers, or retire, or get traded to another team? A trade seems to be the least likely outcome of the three, but then again, who expected the situation between Rodgers and Green Bay to be this tenuous? Three months ago, this was not a major talking point.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is trying to manage this firestorm. The leadership structure within the organization has expressed complete confidence in Gutekunst. Everything about this situation indicates that Gutekunst isn’t going anywhere. His job is secure.

Endless speculation has surrounded Rodgers’ deeper and underlying demands toward the Packers. Many different tension points exist, and it is hard to pin down which ones matter more — and less — in Rodgers’ mind. Rodgers, having recently guest-hosted the game show Jeopardy, probably feels no acute rush to have to make a decision on whether he will play or retire or seek a trade.

It is safe to think that Rodgers is enjoying seeing the Packers and their front office squirm. What Rodgers wants to do in late July or early August, when teams begin preseason camp, remains unclear. It’s an unsatisfying answer, but it reflects the reality of the current situation in Green Bay.