The tension between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers has undoubtedly reached its climax.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the reigning league MVP is seriously considering retirement as an option unless the complicated situation with Green Bay is "repaired to his liking." Although this phrasing is ambiguous, Rapoport's latest information comes roughly 24 hours after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the "disgruntled" Rodgers doesn't want to play for the Packers in 2021.
So, is it possible that the future Hall of Fame quarterback walks out on his own volition, and actually hangs up his cleats?
"No. No. The only thing he's got is that arm, and that arm can still throw," former Packers safety LeRoy Butler told the Tiki and Tierney show on Friday. "Why would you walk away from a fanbase that embraced you throughout the Brett Favre situation? They gave you the keys to the franchise and would not take them out of your hands, even when Brett came back. They sent Brett to the Jets. We didn't know if he was going to be a Hall of Famer at that point, but the organization was willing to ride with you...
"Aaron gave the team an out by saying, allegedly, that he didn’t want to play for the Packers. He gave the team an out. Don’t even do that... Don't even leak it out. Because then, all the sudden, now the team has all the power again... We like to blame people... But now, people from our radio show [in Wisconsin] are kind of split 50-50. And I'm wrong. I would admit I'm wrong. I never thought it would get like this after what Brett Favre went through. No way you could tell me it would get to this point with Aaron asking for a trade. I thought maybe the team would move on from him, and Aaron would still be the good guy..."
In 16 games last season, Rodgers, who won his third-career MVP award in February, completed a career-high 70.7-percent of his passes for 4,299 yards with 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions. If the 37-year-old veteran does retire -- perhaps hosting 'Jeopardy!' remains on his mind -- he would have to repay the Packers $11.5 million in each of the next two years, per Rapoport.
On Thursday night, following the first round of the NFL Draft, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst addressed the rumors regarding Rodgers, stating that the franchise has no desire to trade him. But, if a divorce is inevitable, it would behoove Green Bay to hold off on potential trade negotiations until June 2, when the cap hit would become far less severe.
According to Spotrac.com, Rodgers has three years remaining on his contract with the Packers, and his cap hit of $37.2 million this upcoming season is expected to lead the NFL.
The entire Rodgers-Packers conversation between Butler and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.