Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers found a reason to smile this weekend by attending the Kentucky Derby with his fiancee, actress Shailene Woodley. His appearance at the derby comes as Rodgers is reportedly trying to leave the Packers and there are rumors about teams interested in trading for him. The 37-year-old Rodgers' frustration with the Packers reportedly dates back to last year, when the Packers drafted his possible replacement, Jordan Love.
Rodgers appeared in a photo with Woodley, Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and Woodley's The Spectacular Now co-star, Miles Teller. Bakhtiari's fiancee, Frankie Shebby, posted the photo on her Instagram page Saturday morning, reports the New York Post. Once he arrived at Churchill Downs, Rodgers declined to speak with reporters. NBC's Mike Tirico said Rogers told him he was "disappointed that news has come out of his rift with the Packers."
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Back on Thursday, multiple outlets reported that Rodgers told people within the Packers organization that he no longer wants to play for the team. Team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst, and head coach Matt LaFleur all reportedly flew out separately to meet him during the offseason. Rodgers also reportedly asked his agent to fly to Green Bay to hammer out a new contract with the team. Other NFL teams reportedly asked about a trade, but the Packers turned them down. The team also reportedly offered Rodgers an extension, but this also didn't come to fruition. Rodgers has three years left on his contract, but no guaranteed money.
"We've been working through this for a little while now, and I just think it may take some time," Gutekunst told reporters at the NFL draft in Cleveland this week. "But he's a guy that kind of makes this thing go. He gives us the best chance to win, and we're going to work towards that end." The GM also said they will not trade Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers at the Kentucky Derby. He declined to talk to NBC. Mike Tirico says Rodgers told him he was "disappointed that news has come out of this rift with the Packers." Tirico says Rodgers expressed how much he loves Green Bay.#AaronRodgers #Packers pic.twitter.com/BOM3p8LzFQ— Matt Hietpas (@MattyHip) May 1, 2021
Last year, the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick, which Rodgers was reportedly not happy with. Gutekunst admitted the team could have done better with "some of the communication issues" last year. "There's no doubt about it," he continued. "The draft's an interesting thing. It can kind of unfold differently than you think it's going to unfold, and it happens pretty fast. But certainly, I think, looking back on it sitting where we sit today there could have been some communication things we did better."
As for Rodgers' relationship with Woodley, it played out mostly in private. A few days before the two were linked, Rodgers tanked his "fiancee" during his 2020 NFL MVP award acceptance speech in February 2021. When Woodley stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 22, she confirmed the two are engaged.