Aaron Rodgers has spoken.
Like other high-profile players who are against the proposed CBA, the Packers’ franchise quarterback has shared his opposition to the deal. Unlike those other players, Rodgers’ position has extra credibility because he’s involved in union leadership, as the Green Bay player representative.
Rodgers has taken to Twitter to explain his position. Here’s what he wrote.
“I voted no last night,” Rodgers said. “My decision to vote no is based off of the conversations I have had with the men in my locker room I’m tasked to represent. This deal will affect every player that ever plays this game and we have made this decision with only an abbreviated version of the deal and this isn’t good enough. Although I do see that there are many things in the proposal that improve the lives and care for past, present, and future NFL players, there are issues with others.
“16 games to me, was never something to be negotiated. The owners made it clear that the 17th game is about paying for the ‘added’ benefits, and had nothing to do with positive feedback received about any extra risks involved with the added regular season game (also an extra game for every 2 seed moving forward on Wild Card weekend, i.e. [Packers] 2019 = no bye).
“There were also many issues raised about the workplace, the workload and the offseason program. Some have been addressed, while others have not. With an extra game added to the schedule, added risk, and longer stretches before and after the bye week, we felt it was important to address adding more offseason recovery time. The ideas discussed would not add cost for teams, in fact if anything, would lessen some of them.
“My involvement has been far less than the negotiating team, the EC and the owners in these conversations, and I’m sensitive to that and appreciate the time and sacrifices made. My involvement as a player rep, and a 15 year player in this great game though, allows me this platform to share my opinion, and at the same time, requires me to speak on behalf of the sentiment I hear from my teammates.
“The value of our players and the strength of the NFLPA can only be realized, if we ourselves know and believe in our worth. I respect the democratic nature of this process and have been, and will continue to talk with my teammates on the Packers, and my colleagues across the league.”
Rodgers’ primary concern seems to come from the lack of information provided to the board of player representatives regarding the details of the deal. But he’s also trying to reduce the offseason program dramatically; per one source aware of the dynamics of the discussions, Rodgers would like the league to wipe out the offseason program entirely.
Of course, for established players like Rodgers, there’s an easy alternative to the league scrapping the offseason program. It’s voluntary, so he doesn’t have to show up for anything other than the annual three-day mandatory minicamp.
(He easily could skip that, too. The fines for missing the event represent pressed peanut sweepings in comparison to what he earns.)
Regardless, Rodgers has shared his views. And because he’s directly involved in the union process, his views merit more consideration than those from stars who choose to drop a drive-by deuce onto a deal that they spent none of their personal time working to understand and negotiate.