The NFL playoff picture is a mess – here are reasons to believe in and doubt every team in the field
A recent run of upsets has cast doubt on which teams in the NFL are true contenders. Here's the case for – and against – the current playoff field.The Tennessee Titans hold the edge in the AFC with an 8-2 record. The Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens trail at 6-3, leading a crowded field that includes the Kansas City Chiefs (6-4), Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3-1), New England Patriots (6-4) and the Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals, who all own 5-4 records.
One of the biggest mysteries of the NFL offseason just gained a little bit of clarity.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is close to an agreement with the Green Bay Packers on a reworked contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones, seemingly bringing at least a temporary end to the months-long stalemate between the reigning NFL MVP and the franchise he has been with for 16 seasons. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been finalized.
ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the development.
Packers' Aaron Rodgers (toe) to start vs. Rams; may not practice beforehand
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters Monday Rodgers is on track to be in the lineup for this coming Sunday's contest against the 7-3 Los Angeles Rams ahead of Green Bay's bye.The Packers lost Pro Bowl offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL he suffered in Minnesota, but head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters Monday Rodgers is on track to be in the lineup for this coming Sunday's contest against the 7-3 Los Angeles Rams ahead of Green Bay's bye.
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Under terms of the agreement, according to ESPN, the final year of Rodgers' existing contract would be voided, leaving only two remaining. Green Bay would not be allowed to place the franchise or transition tag on Rodgers, and the team would agree to review the contract at the end of the season, per ESPN.
Neither team president Mark Murphy nor general manager Brian Gutekunst would address earlier reports Monday that Rodgers was poised to return for this season when asked following the Packers' shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field.
"We have been working tirelessly with Aaron and his representatives,” Gutekunst said Monday. “We’re hopeful for a positive resolution."
Green Bay Packers retain faith in Mason Crosby, 'absolutely will not' change kickers this season
Mason Crosby has missed eight of his last 14 field goal attempts, a stunning slide that would cause many teams to question its kicker.LaFleur didn’t hesitate to send Crosby onto the field for a 54-yard field goal. The veteran kicker, embattled in his 15th season, split the uprights to give the Packers a 3-0 lead over Minnesota.
Murphy added that the Packers are committed to Rodgers beyond the 2021 season. Murphy also said he was unsure whether the quarterback would participate in training camp this week. Veterans are due to report Tuesday.
Video: Pelissero: Packers working on bringing Randall Cobb back to Green Bay (NFL)
Should Rodgers opt not to attend any portion of training camp, he would incur a $50,000 fine for each day he misses.
Rodgers, 37, skipped the team's entire offseason workout program, including mandatory minicamp, for the first time in his career amid reports of his discontent with the Packers' front office. Though he seldom addressed the matter during the late spring and early summer, Rodgers indicated in a "SportsCenter" interview with Kenny Mayne that his objections were more rooted in personal matters than financial ones.
"I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization," Rodgers said. "History is important, legacy of so many people who've come before you, but the people. That's the most important thing. The people make the organization. The people make the business. Sometimes that gets forgotten. Culture is built brick by brick, the foundation of it by the people. Not by the organization, not by the building, not by the corporation. It's built by the people.
Aaron Rodgers calls Wall Street Journal piece on his toe “disinformation,” misidentifies who wrote it
As per Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ comments to media Wednesday, which involved him showing off his injured toe on a Zoom press conference, that injury is a fractured toe. Those comments came after Rodgers told Pat McAfee Tuesday that he had “no lingering effects, other than the COVID toe”; Andrew Beaton of The Read more The post Aaron Rodgers calls Wall Street Journal piece on his toe “disinformation,” misidentifies who wrote it appeared first on Awful Announcing.
"I've been fortunate enough to play with a number of amazing, amazing people, and got to work for some amazing people as well. And it's those people that build the foundation of those entities. I think sometimes we forget that, you know."
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Rodgers said he did not object to the team trading up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of last April's NFL draft, but he was unhappy with how Gutekunst handled the situation. Guiding the Packers to a second consecutive NFC championship game berth while earning MVP honors for a third time, however, further complicated matters, Rodgers acknowledged.
"With my situation, look, it's never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan," Rodgers said on SportsCenter in May. "I love Jordan; he's a great kid. [It's been] a lot of fun to work together. Love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. An incredible 16 years. It's just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It's about character, it's about culture, it's about doing things the right way."
Matt LaFleur Announces Official Decision on Aaron Rodgers for Sunday
The quarterback's broken toe forced him to miss all three practices this week. View the original article to see embedded media.Aaron Rodgers will start Sunday against the Rams despite not practicing on Friday, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur confirmed, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The quarterback, who missed all three practices this week, was seen relaying calls to Jordan Love during Friday's practice. Rodgers's playing status was up in the air as controversy took his world by storm, this time about what his toe injury actually was.
Gutekunst has reiterated throughout the last three months that the team would not trade Rodgers, maintaining that the franchise sees a path forward with its disgruntled star.
Rodgers has three years remaining on the four-year, $134 million contract extension he signed in 2018, but the deal contains no guaranteed money past this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, left, watches as offensive tackle Jarron Jones (74), center, and tight end Zach Gentry (81) laugh as they warm up during an NFL football practice, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Pittsburgh.
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Dallas Cowboys players and coaches during training camp practice at the Marriott Residence Inn.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Aaron Rodgers closing in on reworked contract with Green Bay Packers as part of 2021 return
Aaron Rodgers' record vs. Bears: How the Packers have 'owned' their rivals for two decades .
The Packers quarterback was merely spitting facts when he delivered his statement in Week 6.Rodgers has made several headlines this year, but one specific moment during Week 6 added another page in Rodgers' legend: After a fourth-quarter touchdown run that essentially sealed the Packers win over Chicago, Rodgers turned to the stands, gazed upon many, many middle fingers and delivered a fairly accurate and declarative statement: