Either Aaron Rodgers is playing hardball or a major shoe is about to drop in Green Bay.
The "disgruntled" veteran quarterback has told members of the Packers that he doesn't want to return to the team, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday.
Per Schefter, Rodgers is unhappy with Green Bay in part for not letting him know about a trade up in the first round of last year's NFL Draft to take quarterback Jordan Love instead of adding another offensive weapon.
While the Packers have no intention of trading him, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the San Francisco 49ers reached out Wednesday about a potential deal for the reigning NFL MVP.
Rodgers could just be trying to gain leverage for a potential contract extension (he has a potential opt-out after this season) or pushing Green Bay to upgrade the roster around him. But it sounds like there's at least a possibility he departs from Green Bay -- which could interest the New England Patriots.
The Patriots have an obvious need at QB after going 7-9 with Cam Newton last season following Tom Brady's departure. As our Tom Curran observed earlier this month, Rodgers' situation in Green Bay has some parallels to Brady's in New England before he fled to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last March.
So, it's not out of the question that Rodgers could be play for the Patriots. With Newton in place as the current starter, they could monitor the Rodgers saga and, if the QB really wants out, use their roughly $16 million in cap space to try to bring the 37-year-old into the fold.
Rodgers in New England still feels like a long shot, but the odds just got slightly better in light of this report.
UPDATE (3:58 p.m. ET): A Rodgers trade this weekend isn't out of the question, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.