NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers was not present on the first day of Green Bay Packers mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old quarterback is entangled in a holdout he said is tied to the team’s management of the roster and communication with the front office.
Rodgers has told members of the organisation he wants a trade and will not play in Green Bay again.
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However, team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst insist there is no move coming for the reigning MVP, despite inquiries from multiple teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.
Head coach Matt LaFleur said all he can do is focus on the players who show up.
“You’d love everybody to be here,” LaFleur said.
“It is what it is, man, and we’ll focus and we’ll control and work on the guys that are here and try to help them become the best to their ability and coach the heck out of them.”
Meanwhile, receiver Davante Adams and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari made it clear they stand firmly behind Rodgers.
“I’ve got his back through everything so he knows that, at the end of the day, if there’s ever a wonder if he’s lost a team-mate or something because of all that’s come out, he knows where I stand,” said Adams, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who led the NFL with 18 touchdowns catches last season.
“I’ll stand on the [bleeping] mountain and scream on the mountaintop that I’ve got his back.”
“For me, I care about Aaron Rodgers from a friend perspective,” three-time Pro Bowl selection Bakhtiari said.
“Whatever he wants to do, whatever the situation that comes out, I will never hold any grudge against him. That is my friend. That is someone that I have appreciated, and he has done a lot for this organization and a lot for me as an individual.
“Now, as a team-mate, I would be idiotic to say that I don’t want the MVP back. He’s the MVP of the league last year. He’s done amazing things from the quarterback perspective, our quarterback position, but not only for the franchise. So absolutely.”
Because the minicamp is mandatory, Rodgers is subject up to $93,805 in fines if he misses the entire three-day camp.
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