1. Let Corey Linsley go during free agency
If your worried about your relationship with your reigning MVP quarterback, one of the first things on a “Not to do list” would be to get rid of the center. The bond between a quarterback and center Is important and heavily reliant on communication on being on the same page. Other areas of the offensive line can be switched in and out without causing much disruption, but that is not the case for the center position. This might turn out to the major signal that an Aaron Rodgers trade is just a matter of “when” and not “if” this offseason.
Corey Linsley was Aaron Rodger’s close teammate, trusted center, and friend. The Packers let him go during free agency and he signed with the Chargers on a five year deal worth $62.5 million. He had started 68 consecutive games until a knee injury forced him to sit the final three games of the regular season, but he did manage to return for the playoffs. That’s a lot of time and experience working closely with Aaron Rodgers, something that the quarterback definitely highly valued and was accustomed to work with him. Linsley finished last season with a PFF of 89.9 and an All-Pro selection.
Take a cornerback in round 1
This was the most interesting pick in the later part of the draft and I still can’t believe that the Packers actually drafted a corner here. This is not a debate about the talent of Eric Stokes, it really could have been any defensive player picked here and there would still exist the same shock and bewilderment.Embed from Getty Images
Why would you not use that pick to invest in a player to directly impact your disgruntled MVP. Even if you’re not planning on pulling off an Aaron Rodgers trade before the start of the 2021 season, the pick would appear to appease Rodgers meanwhile it’s really an investment in Jordan Love.
Either way, the Packers could have brought in a legitimate number two receiver here or drafted a replacement for Linsley. Players like Landon Dickerson or Creed Humphrey were on the board at the center/guard positions and weapons like Rondale Moore, Elijah Moore, and Terrace Marshall Jr were available pass catchers.
No attempt to trade for Julio Jones
The Packers had to part with a second-round pick and then see if Rodgers would re-work his contract to make Julio Jones’ contract fit in under the cap. This could have opened up contract discussions with Rodgers and frame them in a positive tone around the acquisition of one of the best wide receivers in the league to be his 2nd option in the passing game. Landing Jones could have changed the entire outlook between the organization and Aaron Rodgers. Instead it was another example that they did not want to invest to the level that other teams were willing to invest to win now and will pursue an Aaron Rodgers trade.
No movement during free agency
Even if they weren’t interested in the trade for Julio Jones, the Packers could have been more involved in the pursuit of other talent to surround Rodgers with in 2021. I know they brought back Aaron Jones, but there was more they could have done to make sure this the offense around him was better than the one he won the MVP with last season. Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith would have brought in a much-needed element to this offense. Either player is a legitimate pass catching, mismatch threat at the tight end position.
Releasing information to the media (allegedly)
The drip of information to the media has caused this to be even worse than it otherwise would be. The breaking news story reported by Adam Schefter during the countdown to the start of the draft on draft night, shows just how much the two sides really can’t stand each other. Allegedly, there have been a lot of “leaks” from “people in the building” ranging from other players feelings about Rodgers to conversations with Jordan Love. I don’t know whether or not they have been truly leaked by the organization, but there does seem to be a lot of stories running that I don’t believe would be the case if the team was 100% dead set on Aaron Rodgers being their quarterback in 2021.