Rodgers: Offseason moves a “wake-up call”


The Packers have taken care of their young stars this offseason, giving new contracts to quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

But they’ve also shown the calculated-to-the-point-of-cold side of the business, cutting players such as Charles Woodson and Desmond Bishop, and letting Greg Jennings walk away in free agency.

But Rodgers sees those moves as a way to keep the team fresh, as well. He pointed to drafting defensive end Datone Jones and bringing defensive tackle Johnny Jolly back for another shot, or drafting running backs in bulk as ways to add new life to the locker room.

“Some guys have been here, and I see these young guys coming in and pushing guys,” Rodgers said, as part of a wide-ranging Q and A with Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. “[Jones and Jolly,] those are two guys who bring an energy to that defensive line that needs it. Personality-wise, those guys are the funniest guys on the team, but every now and then they need a little kick in the pants, and sometimes it comes from bringing in a couple guys like that who can really raise the level of play of guys.

“You bring in a guy like Johnathan Franklin or Eddie Lacy, that raises the running back room. When you continually add guys to the mix that can compete right away from Day 1, everybody else has to pick up their game because you start worrying about your own job.

“When they’re cutting guys like Charles Woodson, and not bringing back Greg, who’s played a long time here, guys who had big roles for us, it has to be a wake-up call to some of our guys that this is about, “What have you done for me lately?” and “What can you do for me?” That’s the type of league that we’re in. That’s how our team looks at us. So you better perform, or you’re going to be looking for a job elsewhere.”

Of course, Rodgers isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and said he’s had to adjust to being the longest-tenured player on the roster.

But that kind of attention-getting is something successful teams need, and the Packers haven’t been shy about making those kinds of moves.

73 responses to “Rodgers: Offseason moves a “wake-up call”

  1. Lots of these guys will get picked up, late as injuries occur. With the salary cap not rising as expected, there seems to be a concensus around the league to wait and keep prices low…

  2. So draining close to 20% of the cap doesn’t make you a greedy, franchise destroyer … it’ll ‘keep the team fresh’ … got it, thanks.

  3. Just to be perfectly frank, Mr. Rodgers, the “calculated-to-the-point-of-cold side of the business” in which the team cuts players like Charles Woodson and Desmond Bishop and lets Greg Jennings walk away comes from one thing: Your Salary.

    The team can’t pay you $130.75 million, a $35 million signing bonus, and a $500,000 workout bonus without it costing them somewhere else. Your salary cost other players their jobs–simple as that. I know you’re a great quarterback. I hope you play good defense, too.

  4. “What have you done for me lately?” and “What can you do for me?” – have a taste of that Woodson, Bishop and Jennings !

  5. Maybe Rodgers will finally step up and be a leader now instead of focusing his energy on making cheesy commercials.

  6. green bay should get get rid of 53 starters to save salary cap room!!! also dont draft anyone good, what if they get hurt ? then there u are holding the bag.

  7. whats Pat White up to? also, if you can squeeze in a Jamarcus Russel story that would be great.

  8. Onward and forward. With Woodson, Bishop, and Jennings, it’s not about what you’ve done in the past, it’s about what are going to do in the future?

  9. I don’t know what he’s talking about. According to Rick spielman, all the packers do is shuffle people around.

    They didn’t draft anyone. We have no new players. Also, it’s unlikely that anyone in the Packers locked room could have improved. Only the yikes are allowed to do that.

    I mean, take a look at their Super Bowl winning streak.

  10. If football is a business than they are doing what’s best for their business. As Bill Walsh used to say it’s better to let them go a year early then keep them a year too long.

  11. While it is great to root for a team that is competitive year in and year out, it’s been really difficult to watch this team having left a Championship on the table, ala Holmgrens teams, post-1996.

    Something is missing. They need to identify what that is.


  12. The first game of the season will be the wake up call for this team. Beat the 49ers, and they will be a favorite in the NFC. Lose, and the questions will remain for the remainder of the season, even if they go to the playoffs again.

  13. Good management moves. They refuse to become one of those aging veteran teams. They continue to get young with well drafted talent, that keeps them ahead of the NFC north and a contender every year for the NFC. Other teams should learn from this, rather than signing veterans who were in their prime 5 years ago.

  14. vincelombardisghost says:
    Jun 18, 2013 9:48 AM
    Best QB in all of football.
    Perhaps, but when one player drains such a high % of your cap, it is difficult to put a robust team on the field. There are going to be weaknesses as a result and NFL coordinators are very good at finding them.

    Anybody know if there has ever been a contract that is based on % of cap or would that be a NFLPA no no? Sooner or later, I get a feeling that some of the QB contracts may go.

  15. I’m not even a GB fan, but I hate the constant bashing on here from jealousy and ignorance. Rodgers has been a total class act since he came into the NFL, and the haters just have to hate regardless of anything he says. Pretty pathetic.

  16. Its unfortunate to lose players you liked but Rodgers is correct in what he is saying. You can disagree with some moves but you cannot disagree that the Packers have been pretty good under Thompson.

    Those trying to say Rodgers contract is too high I believe are a tad bit jealous. What would you pay arguably one of the best players in the league? Surely more than Flacco right?
    Yet Rodgers took a couple mil. less. If he was arrogant as some claim this would never have happened, he is far from being a me player. Not to mention the Packers are well under the cap.

  17. Really, still with the “his contract depleats the team”? Why let facts get in the way of trolling? Salary cap hit in 2013, 9.75%, 2014 14.55%, 2015 15.12%, going all the way to 17% in the last year, if the salary cap does not increase.

    You might hate the team, Rodgers, Green Bay, Wisconsin, whatever, but at least come up with something new and true, not the same old, b.s. arguments

  18. An I missing something? They still haven’t fixed that defense. It’s good that with Rodger’s arm that they’re built to come back from behind. Because they’re going to fond themselves behind a lot, starting with their opening game at Candlestick.

  19. It must suck for Viking fans being stuck with Ponder and having to watch the best QB in football dominate the division. Highest career QB rating in history , highest playoff QB rating in history, lowest interception rate in history. Only thrown one pick six his entire career, never throws picks int he end zone, super bowl mvp, league mvp, it goes on and on……

  20. Ted Thompson’s team values depth and the quarteback position, and competes at the highest level every year, while consistently fielding one of the league’s youngest rosters. He does his job fearlessly. Plan your work and work your plan.

  21. Lot of viking trolls posting here. What a surprise. These lame “he costs the team too much” arguments are getting old. All of the elite qb’s draw huge salaries. Rodgers’ is just slightly higher because he’s just slightly better. It is as it should be…..although all of their salaries are f’n ridiculous.

  22. These statements sound like they are from a guy that just got paid….and kind of arrogant.
    We’ll see how good and how these changes will affect green bay. All I know is rodgers is emotional, hence what Greg Jennings said….

  23. ponderthedumpoffking says:Jun 18, 2013 10:13 AM

    I don’t know what he’s talking about. According to Rick spielman, all the packers do is shuffle people around.

    They didn’t draft anyone. We have no new players.

    Don’t be so down. Of course you added new players. You drafted a third-round DE in the first round. Then you drafted two Hall of Fame running backs. Then you traded the rest of your picks for a bunch of sixth- and seventh-round picks who I’m sure will make major contributions. Then there’s all those top free agents you signed…

    Now tell me again how the Vikings will be 4-12 this year.

  24. Rodgers is one Jared Allen sack/concussion from being on the bench. Green Bay better hope the O-Line switch isn’t going to mess things up….Jared Allen will hand baby baluga balaga whale with ease. Shariff Floyd is going to tear that o-line up!
    Vikings O-Line….arguably best in the league….they are #1 in the running game, can’t deny it.

  25. Not a Packers fan but there is no denying Rodgers skills and accomplishments to this point in his career. His dedication to the packers is obvious but he also understands that the NFL is “not for long” and that eventually he too will become the next Greg Jennings, Desmond Bishop, B.Favre, etc. and thus far it appears that when that time comes, he will handle it like the business it is. Like the many that have come before him……..the packer fans will love you when you’re on “the team” but will turn on you fast when TT says it’s time to go and the player chooses not to retire but to play for another team.

  26. harrisbarton says: Jun 18, 2013 11:03 AM

    An I missing something? They still haven’t fixed that defense. It’s good that with Rodger’s arm that they’re built to come back from behind. Because they’re going to fond themselves behind a lot, starting with their opening game at Candlestick.
    Except waiving Charles Woodson (addition by subtraction). Drafting defense end in the 1st round. 2 LB’s and a DT. Bringing in Johnny Jolly. Packers already have an amazing core in the secondary. It’s always been the guys up front that have been the core issue. Jones may be the catalyst that was needed. Then again they thought Neal was as well.

  27. Nice spin on a a poor off-season.

    The truth is the Packers had to make space to pay Rodgers and Matthews more. So other guys had to restructure, and others let go.

    But whatever the reason behind the business decisions, when it comes to on-field performance, Jennings, Woodson and Bishop are losses that have not been replaced.

  28. If he is so super and the Packers are so smart, how is it he has the same number of SB wins as Trent Dilfer and Doug Williams? I said it about Matt Ryan but it fits here too. If Reggie Jackson was “Mr. October” Aaron Rodgers is “Miss January”.

  29. Same Queen troll comments every time…
    “Pack has a bad defense.” – Packers had a higher ranked defense than the Queens last year, ranked at number eleven if I’m not mistaken.
    “Rodgers salary is a team killer and he’s greedy.” – No he’s not greedy, at least no more than anyone else. Would you take 50k a year if you knew you could earn 150k? Didn’t think so. Also, his contract is setup to prevent killing the cap.

    Love how I see all the trolls talking when EVERY ONE OF YOU wishes your team was as good as the Pack. Now that we cut a few expendable players we’re declining or jumping the shark? Please.
    These players we cut are expendable because they’re in the way of young players(happens when you can actually draft good players, looking at you Queens) on the roster, they’re injury prone, and they get paid too much. Could the blame be at Rodgers feet? Maybe it could if he wasn’t easily THE BEST QB IN THE NFL!
    Packers are the premiere franchise of the NFL, we own the North every year, we are better and will always be better than you. Deal with it.

  30. Funny how the Ravens were raked over the coals for letting Reed, Pollard, Boldin go and then Birk and Lewis retired and the Ravens to some …Gutted the team. Just getting rid of the old guys who weren’t performing with too high a salary. But for some reason only the Ravens were singled out to have made a big mistake…when only months ago we had an AGING defense. The Superbowl win proves Ozzie knows what he’s doing. IN OZZIE WE TRUST.

  31. @vikings28 Except that it can be denied… Guess who was #1 in rushing last year? Hint: Not the Queens. You have the best RB true, that’s a different statement though.

  32. I didn’t realize players read blogs like this one, but obviously they do because I see a lot of “we” being tossed out there.

    I’m not going to disagree with players, but I am going to disagree with the direction the Packers are going.

    Rodgers is a very good QB, the best. . . that’s a different argument for a different day. Maybe best QB RATING, but this isn’t a video game.

  33. Nothing like an Aaron Rodgers story to bring out the Viking trolls in droves. To give Ted Thompson pointers on how to structure a salary cap no less, how thoughtful of them.

    Keep in mind is that its the off season. The off season is an annual ritual of three events; Free Agency, the draft, and Viking trolls claiming activity in the first two is sure to deliver a Superbowl. Give them credit for consistency, they’ve been wrong for 52 straight years and counting.

  34. honestly I don’t care how much cap he takes because he’s the best qb in the league and green bay always has a shot when he’s out there. and all you people talking about not improving the D… have they don’t drafted a ton of front line players on D? its all about getting 1 or 2 of them to pop for the pass rush. remember how much better Cullen Jenkins made this same D. Just making an offense respect both sides and a pass rush balances everything out.

  35. As a fan of another team in the NFC…Green Bay’s defense has been on of the worst in last few years. Their o-line is terrible at run blocking and venerable to even average pass rush. He is a great QB without question but I don’t understand how teams (not just the Packers) now think paying one man so much equals a great team.

  36. It’s SO amusing to listen to people blather on as if Thompson can do no wrong while it is PAINFULLY clear his team was better 3 years ago.

  37. Lol@Contra
    You all have been saying for years that the packers are on the decline. Weird how they decline, yet keep winning and winning…and winning. The vikings are never on the incline. They overacheive every few years and that’s it. They never take it to the next level. EVER! That’s the difference between a well run organization and, well, your Vikings.

  38. Get off J. Finley’s case everyone. He had a v. good to excellent 2nd half of last season. No dropped balls after the mid-season bye. He got coached up. And while we’re at it…..get off of G. Harrell’s back too. He had a perfect preseason game. After screwing up the first 2 games and then screwing up the hand off during the reg. season, he’s learned his lesson. Harrell was great in college.

  39. Perhaps now we see why Rodgers has begun to reach out to Favre. He sees that ‘calculated to the point of cold side’ of business and realizes that not too far down the road, he will be the Aging QB Legend who has to make room for the Young QB Wunderkind.

  40. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Packers have been relatively lucky with their last two quarterbacks, regarding lost time injuries. In fact, I can’t remember the last time one of their quarterbacks lost an extended amount of time. But one day soon, their luck is going to drain like a cheap pinball machine. Rogers will go down with something that can’t be taped up, and they’ll be forced to win with whatever they have on the bench, which, from what I hear, isn’t jack squat.

  41. The hate is so beautiful. The jealous fans of loser teams reek of it.

    The NFC North basement? Really? About as likely as Ponder being named MVP or the Lions taking home the Lombardi trophy.

    And ooooo…the Niners in week one is a must win game? LOL…genius.

    The comment sections of this site have degraded into romper room at best and the monkey cage at the zoo at worst.

  42. really excited for this seasaon as the pack has unfinished business against sanfran, seattle, and rest of nfc. i am predicting 14-3 and a first round bye pack to super bowl!

  43. @smartestpackerfan Yeah he totally chokes every year! I mean there’s no way he’ll ever win a ring and a SB MVP award or anything…

  44. The Packers have an awful defense. Their OLine is the worst. They don’t have a running game at all. Just check out last season’s standings – see? They were… well yeah okay they won the division again, but if Rodgers goes down then they’ll REALLY be bad, whereas if Cutler goes down the Bears won’t… well if Peterson goes down the Vikings won’t… well if Megatron goes down the Lions won’t…
    Well anyway, the Packers won’t have Woodson and Jennings and Bishop this year! And yeah okay, Bishop and Jennings were out most of last year too, and Woodson was pretty much done, but still…
    So anyway, you can see the Packers are all but done, and the Vikings have three Hall of Famers who haven’t played a down yet, so GB has no chance, right? So yeah, fershor!

  45. Viking fans hate on every single Packer player until they get cut.
    Then they spend all of their time tripping over themselves, hoping, said player, signs with their team.

    Never fails and it’s hilarious every time!

  46. Jun 18, 2013 2:03 PM

    Smartestpackerfan say:

    I love paying an overrate QB who chokes in the postseason every season 90% of our payroll! We want Favre back!

    Obviously smartestpackerfan wasn’t a fan when Rodgers not only won a Superbowl, but was named the game’s MVP. He must have not been watching when Rodgers continually threaded passes through defenders hands in the Packers hands. He must have not seen Rodgers get the ball into the hands of Jennings on a critical 3rd down. This is a guy that wants Favre back whose last pass as a Packer was intercepted. I hope this guys mommy doesn’t catch him using her computer………..

    Report comment

  47. Throw away draft picks for L.T. or Tebow, Jets style – then wonder where the depth and talent went?

    or be cut throat and get rid of older/aging players – load up on draft picks – acquire a ton of young/fresh players… continue competing/winning even with close to a dozen players on IR (seemingly every year now)?

    I think I’d rather bite a few “c’mon – we let (insert 30 yr old player’s name) go?” bullets than watch my team fall apart (like the 2010/2011 vikes – 2012 jets).

  48. I love how Rick Spielman sees the Cowboys draft board that lists Datone Jones as a 3rd round pick and takes that as gospel. Didn’t the Cowboys draft their very own consensus 3rd rounder in the first round this year, C Travis Frederick.

    Do you think that maybe they had Datone Jones in the 3rd round because they are looking for 4-3 defensive lineman and not 3-4 DEs anymore.

    How about this Shariff Floyd who was supposed to be a top 3 pick yet he fell all the way to the early 20’s. Is he gonna be another Erasmus James, Kenechi Udeze, Demetrius Underwood or will he acually be worth a damn like Kevin Williams. Time will tell.

  49. GenXJay says:
    Jun 18, 2013 9:47 AM
    ShAaron has a lot to elaborate on since no one is gunning for his job. Shows his arrogance.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————– as long as kristina ponder is throwing footballs accross the river with his noodle arm aaron looks great. are you and all the other viqueen fan’s still upset your team passed on rodgers twice on draft day?

  50. whatjusthapped says:
    Jun 18, 2013 1:01 PM
    Nothing like an Aaron Rodgers story to bring out the Viking trolls in droves. To give Ted Thompson pointers on how to structure a salary cap no less, how thoughtful of them.

    Keep in mind is that its the off season. The off season is an annual ritual of three events; Free Agency, the draft, and Viking trolls claiming activity in the first two is sure to deliver a Superbowl. Give them credit for consistency, they’ve been wrong for 52 straight years and counting.

    EXACTLY!…. and by week 4 you listen to K-fan and all you hear is about how bad the season is and how the rubes can’t wait until the draft

  51. i laugh at all these bears fans stating how san fran exposed us and how they seem to forget that san fran beat them 32-7….. and bears fans, you had under 200 yards of offense… oh and how the packers have role playing wr’s and no number 1? you have brandon marshall, no other recievers, and a diabetic retard chucking it to em…

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