Another day, another piece of drama added to the puzzle of a tumultuous offseason for the Green Bay Packers. Today’s drama stems from top receivers Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Devin Funchess and Equanimeous St. Brown all absent from today’s voluntary OTAs. While a wide receiver missing OTAs may usually not be much of a story, the sheer amount of wide receivers is intriguing, to say the least. Adding in the ongoing Aaron Rodgers saga makes this a very interesting development from Green Bay.
Matt LaFleur Comments on WRs Skipping Packers OTAs
When asked about the situation, coach Matt LaFleur said that he spoke to each player one-on-one and that nothing came up about it being a coordinated effort between wide receivers. With that being said, it’s important to note that there is likely no way the media would ever be told if it was coordinated anyways. If LaFleur was told it was coordinated, it would make absolutely no sense for him to say it, as he knows well and good just how much extra fuel that would add to the Rodgers drama.
Since LaFleur is seemingly a good locker room guy, it’s likely the players would open up to him if it was coordinated. It’s tough to tell if he’s telling the truth, but I’d be willing to bet he knows what’s really going on, if anything.
Was This a Statement by the Packers WRs?
The other question that stems from this development is if this is a statement by the receivers or not, and I’d be willing to bet it is. While these Packers OTAs are voluntary, what are the odds that virtually all of your top wide receivers are absent? Guys like MVS, EQ and Funchess would all benefit a lot from showing up and at least getting reps in. With the absence or struggles of those three this past year, you never know if those extra reps could be the difference in their positioning in the depth chart.
While Davante Adams doesn’t need to refine his skills, he’s missing out on a rather larger workout bonus.
It’s also important to add that it’s almost exclusively wide receivers missing. Although 10 total players missed OTAs, including those five receivers, three of the other five were Rodgers, David Bakhtiari and Jaire Alexander. Rodgers was likely not a shock due to everything going on with him and the front office, Bakhtiari is still recovering from a season-ending knee injury and Jaire loses out on nothing by missing Packers OTAs.
Seeing that five of the seven players on the roster that didn’t show up that were of surprise were Packers wide receivers, it should be a hard idea to believe this is simply coincidental.
Does this Matter?
The quick answer is yes, but how much remains to be seen. If Jordan Love is the quarterback next year, it will make a pretty significant impact. Although we are still early in the preseason process, Love already had some confusion with wide receiver Amari Rodgers today on the route he was supposed to be running. If Love is behind center, every day matters, seeing that he has absolutely no experience with any of these receivers in a first-team setting.
If Aaron Rodgers comes back, the impact is minimal. Rodgers is the most talented quarterback that has ever played the game and he has shown time and time again that he can make absolutely anyone look good. It’s rare for Rodgers to have miscommunications with his receivers, so one missed day is inconsequential. Where this could lead to an impact, is if the front office reads this as a message from the receivers.
It’s no secret GM Brian Gutekunst dislikes Rodgers and wants to be “the guy” in Green Bay. If the receivers are telling him to pay Rodgers or else though, Gute knows his job and any future job in the NFL is gone if he loses Rodgers and the respect of the team. Add in that Adams has a contract year coming up, and Gute would be a fool to not extend Rodgers immediately, if this was coordinated. Therefore, if this was a signal from the receiving corps, Rodgers just gained a much more leverage.
Where We Stand
While many fans have been quick to turn on Rodgers, it has been made abundantly clear that his teammates and coaches are still with him all the way. If it is leaked that it is coordinated, or if it continues, this could spell civil war inside the Packers organization. In that scenario, it’s hard to see a GM without player support, and with loud disapproval from a good amount of Packer fans, wins the battle.
Keep on eye out for day three of Packers OTAs tomorrow. If these five don’t show up again, this Rodgers drama could get way more interesting. If one thing is for sure, it’s that either Rodgers or Gute is out for good the longer this progresses.
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