Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has spoken to the media for the first time since the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love in round one. And Rodgers balanced diplomacy and candor in addressing the situation.
“General reaction at first was surprise,” Rodgers said, “like many people. I’m not going to say I was thrilled with the pick.”
But Rodgers made it clear that he respects the fact that the front office did what it believed it had to do.
“Obviously,” Rodgers said, “they thought that [Love] was such a great talent that they needed to go up and get him. . . . It’s what those guys are paid to do, to put together a roster for now and for the future as well.”
Rodgers said he looks forward to working with Love, citing the relationships Rodgers has developed with other backup quarterbacks. He added that Love bears no blame for being drafted by the Packers, and Rodgers pointed out that the two players have similar stories. Neither was heavily recruited out of college, and both have become more than many thought they would be.
Rodgers reiterated that he plans to play into his 40s, and that he’ll control what he can control regarding whether the Packers have a different plan.
“What I can control is how I play and making that decision at some point a very hard one,” Rodgers said. “If there comes a time when I feel like I can play at a high level and my body feels great, there are other guys that have gone on and played elsewhere.”
Asked whether he gets motivated by the apparent effort to replace him before he’s ready to go, Rodgers pointed only to his motivation to play into his 40s. He pointed out the importance of taking care of his body, making sure his legs continue to be reliable, and giving himself the ability to play as long as he can.
Whether that’s in Green Bay or elsewhere remains to be seen. Regardless, Rodgers made it clear that, if the team decides to turn the page before he’s ready to close the book, Rodgers will indeed finish his career in a new uniform.