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Aaron Rodgers press conference exposed the Packers dispute

As a condition of Rodgers’ return, the Packers snatched the end of his contract, which was due to expire after the 2023 season. On Wednesday, the Packers acquired Randall Cobb, their former wide receiver and a confidant of Rodgers of the Houston Texans, reversing the one of the list moves Rodgers had criticized. Cobb doesn’t seem to meet a need for rostering, but he does give Rodgers a sympathetic ear to complain about during team robberies. No matter how much they stare at their smiles, the Packers and Rodgers are a couple planning a divorce as the kids move in, with a classic rock band claiming to get along until the end of their farewell tour.

Rodgers may have seen James Harden force a four-way trade with the NBA in January and figured he could do the same. Sadly, everything from the strict NFL salary cap to the difference between league cultures makes such exchanges nearly impossible in football. Superstars run the NBA, but even the greatest quarterbacks are mere commodities for the industrial complex of professional football.

Rodgers may also have coveted what Tom Brady enjoyed last year: a relatively clean break from his longtime employer, welcoming a hero to a new town, and a championship race I had it for you. said. But Brady let his contract expire as he grew disillusioned with the New England Patriots, then dictated his own terms as a free agent. Brady astutely bided his time and manipulated the circumstances in his favor; Rodgers became frustrated and tried to force a miracle. Their contractual machinations mirrored their styles of play.

Whatever his goal, Rodgers failed: no new team, no new money. Just a shortened contract and a few dates with an old friend. The Packers, meanwhile, have appeased fans and teammates by prompting Rodgers to return to the table (contract negotiations with All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams got tricky in Rodgers’ absence), but now have to worry that their most important player holds his breath again until it turns blue the next time he doesn’t get what he wants.

It is difficult to imagine that this tense union will result in a championship. Rodgers’ brilliance will bring many wins, though he grits his teeth throughout the experience. But chemistry, communication, and camaraderie really matter in the NFL. If Rodgers, his teammates and coaches lack confidence or trust in each other at a critical point in the playoffs, their season is likely to end in frustration, hurt feelings and bruised ego.

That’s how most of the Packers’ seasons ended with Rodgers as a quarterback over the past decade. At least both sides now know that this year will likely be the last time.

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