The refusal of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to say whether he has spoken to former coach Mike McCarthy since the release of last week’s bombshell from Tyler Dunne of BleacherReport.com speaks volumes. Logic and common sense suggest that Rodgers hasn’t spoken to McCarthy at all, and that Rodgers presumably realizes admitting this would tend to make the allegations regarding a chronically fractured relationship between the two men more credible.
Along those same lines, the lingering silence of the Packers tends to make some or all of the report seem more credible. And, at some level, Rodgers has to be upset that the Packers haven’t shouted from the roof tops, “Fake news!”
Here’s how I processed the situation during Wednesday’s #PFTPM. If someone reported that I had been feuding with my former boss at NBC for years and that the boss of my former boss had specifically told me, when hiring a new boss, “Don’t be the problem,” and if I thought it all was a “smear attack” fueled by disgruntled former colleagues and and overly ambitious reporter and if I had taken great pains to say so on the record, I’d be very upset if NBC said nothing at all about any aspect of the situation.
When it comes to the reporting regarding the highest paid and most important employee of the Green Bay Packers, the fact that the Packers haven’t issued any type of denial has to bother Rodgers. The fact that CEO Mark Murphy hasn’t gone public to flatly deny that he told Rodgers “don’t be the problem” makes it worse.
So here’s where we are, from the perspective of Rodgers and the Packers. Day one: A blistering report is published. Day two: PFT reports that the Packers privately deny the specific allegation that Murphy told Rodgers “don’t be the problem” and that only Rodgers (but not the team) is expected to publicly deny it. Days three and four: Nothing. Day five: Rodgers launches a full-blown assault on the story, attacking former teammates Jermichael Finley and Greg Jennings for using false claims about Rodgers to stay relevant and claiming that Dunne embraced false allegations to advance his career. Day six: Nothing. Day seven: Rodgers refuses to say whether he has spoken to McCarthy in the week since the story was published, and receiver Davante Adams contends that multiple players who logically would have been contacted to comment on the situation as part of the exhaustive reporting weren’t. (Even if they quite possibly were.)
Looking at the situation broadly and comprehensively, the silence of the Packers becomes, from Rodgers’ perspective, curious at best and troubling at worst. While it’s safe to assume that the organization simply hopes to look toward the future, Rodgers remains stuck in the quicksand of the past — and the Packers are standing nearby with a rope, whistling.