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Zulgad: Last laugh? Aaron Rodgers might despise Packers more than Vikings fans

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 23, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is pressured by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

When are the Green Bay Packers going to realize it’s over?

A week before the Packers are set to open training camp, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Green Bay offered quarterback Aaron Rodgers a two-year contract extension that would have tied him to the team for five more seasons and made him the highest-paid player in the NFL. Rodgers said no.

This leak likely came from a Packers organization that is desperate to make us believe that Rodgers is being unreasonable and that, despite drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round last season, still wants the 37-year-old. Who wouldn’t? The guy took the motivation from seeing his replacement selected with the 26th pick in the 2020 draft and turned it into his third MVP season.

The issue is that while the Packers want Rodgers, he has no interest in them. This is something Packers president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst don’t seem to be able to comprehend. How far is Rodgers willing to go to get out of Green Bay? He already skipped the entire offseason program, including the mandatory minicamp, and it appears increasingly likely he won’t be reporting for the beginning of training camp.

Rodgers jeopardizes losing his $14.7 million base salary for 2021, but Rodgers is wealthy enough and vindictive enough to forfeit money in order to show the Packers who’s in charge. Murphy has looked desperate and lost with every attempt he has made this offseason to control the situation. It won’t get any better next Monday when the Packers hold their annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field.

It’s a good bet there will be some hostility from Packers fans who think they run the club because they own a piece of paper that cost them too much and gets them too little.

Those are Vikings fans you hear laughing gleefully. I’d suggest reveling in the Packers’ misery might bring bad karma upon the Vikings faithful, but how much more can go wrong for a franchise that has found so many ways to meltdown when it matters most?

Besides, the Packers have had quarterback stability since 1992, when Green Bay GM Ron Wolf acquired Brett Favre from the Falcons. The Packers’ fortune was such that then-new GM Ted Thompson had Rodgers fall to him with the 24th pick in the 2005 draft. That was the same draft in which the Vikings picked seventh and 18th.

Those picks were used on wide receiver Troy Williamson and defensive end Erasmus James. Both played three seasons with the Vikings and were gone before Rodgers made his first start for the Packers in 2008.

The Packers, who are coming off back-to-back NFC North championships and 13-3 seasons, will enter training camp with five quarterbacks on their roster (not including Rodgers) and could have a competition between Love and Blake Bortles, who was taken third overall in the 2014 draft by Jacksonville.

While the Packers are crossing their fingers and hoping that Rodgers shows up, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is likely salivating over the prospect of facing Love or Bortles twice this season. Unless the Packers again have struck gold with Love, or unless Rodgers does an about face, life is about to get much more unpleasant for Wisconsin fans at the most important position in sports.

Don’t expect any sympathy cards from the Purple faithful.