Aaron Rodgers wants to win, and he believes his GM, Brian Gutekunst, is stopping him from doing so.
That is the most bare-bones, basic explanation of the Rodgers-Packers saga going on that I can offer. Rodgers wants a receiver to pair with Davante Adams, the Packers draft Rodgers’s replacement. Rodgers wants a receiver, the Packers draft a running back who barely plays. Rodgers wants a receiver, the Packers draft a cornerback. You get the idea. Rodgers has had it in his mind for a while now that if Green Bay could just provide him another strong outside threat, they’d be unstoppable.
Gutekunst and company haven’t done that. Outside of Jordan Love in 2020, the Packers have not drafted an offensive skill position player in the first round since...Aaron Rodgers in 2005! In recent memory, their most notable move with a wide receiver was their release of Jake Kumerow, the team’s number six receiver, prior to the 2020 NFL season.
That move in particular, didn’t sit too well with Mr. Discount Double Check. The latest episode in the award-winning drama starring Rodgers and the Packers has the 3-time MVP saying that the release of Kumerow was “a bit of a death knell in the relationship” between him and the Packers.
Prior to this announcement, I was entirely “Team Rodgers” for this kerfuffle. We’ve all experienced a work environment where the boss makes life more difficult for you than it has to be, so obviously, I sided with the guy who seemed to be going through a similar situation. However, this stance on the Kumerow move made me take a step back. If Rodgers wants so badly to win, why would he care about the release of a guy who’d racked up only 20 receptions for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns in 19 games?
The only reason I can think of is that Rodgers saw a lot of potential in Kumerow. Rodgers did have nice things to say about the seldom-used receiver prior to his release: “Kumerow has been such a solid performer for us for the last couple of years...he’s a guy you love having on the squad.” However, it doesn’t matter what Rodgers wants. Winning is what matters.
If Rodgers truly believed he was one star receiver away from winning a Super Bowl, he wouldn’t care about the release of his number six receiver. In reality, what Rodgers’s outcry over Kumerow’s release really shows is that Rodgers wants total control over player personnel decisions. That’s not a ludicrous statement. Rodgers has already said that he wants SOME control over those decisions. However, if the release of someone that far down on the depth chart bothers Rodgers this much, that’s indicative of someone who will never be satisfied no matter how often he’s consulted on the team’s roster moves.
Should Aaron Rodgers have some say in who his team picks up? Sure. He should be allowed to voice his opinion and get the tools he believes he needs to win. Obviously, Kumerow was not a tool that Rodgers needed in order to win. Unlike his gig on Jeopardy!, Rodgers doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes, general managers, talent scouts, and player evaluators have a better idea of who’s best for a team than the star player does. And if they don’t, then they never would have drafted Rodgers in the first place.