Aaron Rodgers, Packers dilemma expected to last until start of training camp

There have been no significant developments in the Aaron Rodgers saga for some time now. Thursday marked the end of Packers OTAs, which means the reigning MVP was MIA for the entirety of the team’s offseason program.

His latest absence was expected. What isn’t clear is how this drama will ultimately be determined. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that a resolution, whatever it might be, likely won’t be reached until late July.

“I’d be surprised if there was any hardcore negotiations over the course of the next couple weeks,” Rapoport said Thursday on NFL Total Access. “To me, and based on the people I’ve spoken with, this is really something that will be wrapped up either way, if they do find the solution that Green Bay has wanted, if Aaron Rodgers does get the security that he wants potentially in the form of a new contract, probably not going to happen until the start of training camp.”

If Rodgers is going to play for the Packers again, reporting to camp would make the most sense. There is financial incentive to do so, but the biggest is being on the same page with his supporting cast for the upcoming season. As good as the future Hall of Famer is, he doesn’t simply show up like that. Practice at a certain point is indispensable, and his willingness to miss them in late summer would signify a much deeper conviction about not suiting up for Green Bay.

This makes the beginning of training camp — July 27 in the case of the Packers — somewhat of a deadline for these two parties. Matt LaFleur and the rest of the team haven’t just been waiting around, of course. Rodgers’ holdout provided one major silver lining in the form of extended work for ´╗┐Jordan Love´╗┐, who’s involvement was minimal for all of his rookie year as QB3.

As the Packers embark on a six-week break, LaFleur was asked how much it helped to have a complete offseason, unlike last year, amid so much uncertainty at the game’s most important position.

“The challenge is can you recreate that magic that we’ve been able to the last couple years and become a close-knit, connected team with great player leadership,” LaFleur said. “We’re excited about just what the future could hold. You just got to take it day by day in terms of everything else that’s going on out there and control the things that you can control, and that’s the attitude, how you prepare and the effort that you give on a daily basis.”

That future, and whether it’s beautiful, really is a mystery.