It’s too late for Aaron Rodgers to downplay the fuse that he deliberately lit

Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers
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On Sunday, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spontaneously gave all of sports media a multi-day talking point by spontaneously raising the vague question of whether he’d played his last game in a Packers uniform. On Tuesday, Rodgers tried to take it away.

It’s too late for that.

“A lot of guys futures that are, you know, uncertain, myself included,” Rodgers said, in response to a question that had nothing to do with his future. Rodgers later said that “[t]here’s a lot of unknowns going into this offseason,” without identifying any of the unknowns.

His comments prompted multiple seasoned reporters who cover the team to sense something ominous in Rodgers’ words. For example, Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin, who knows Rodgers very well, said that Rodgers “sure sounded like a guy saying goodbye.”

In his regular Tuesday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers tried to bid farewell to any talk that he was saying goodbye.

“After the season that I had, potentially winning MVP, and we obviously made another good run, I don’t think that there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be back,” Rodgers said. “But there’s not many absolutes, as you guys know, in this business. To make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it.”

But in his final press conference of the 2019 season, Rodgers strongly implied an absolute statement about his status for 2020 when he said this after a loss to the 49ers in the NFC Championship: “The window is open for us, and that’s the exciting thing. I think we’re gonna be on the right side of one of these real soon.”

The difference, of course, is that the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love in April, giving up a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to get him. Entering the 2021 offseason after a stellar 2020, Rodgers has every right to want clarity regarding his future with the team given its deliberate decision to eschew an opportunity to add weapons when adding a quarterback.

Do the Packers envision one more year? Two more years? Three? Will Love eventually become the starter, or will he be traded away, like Jimmy Garoppolo was in New England, in the fourth season after he arrived as Tom Brady‘s potential replacement?

Rodgers wants a new contract. Intent on never incurring the wrath of Packers fans, he’ll act like he doesn’t. But he does. Because a new contract will give him the clarity he seeks. Alternative, the refusal to give him that contract will provide a different kind of clarity — and it will likely prompt Rodgers to begin making a plan for a future with a new team, possibly in 2021 but more likely in 2022.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, who confirmed that Rodgers wants a new contract during a Tuesday appearance on Peacock’s Brother From Another, made an excellent point regarding the dilemma created for reporters and analysts when Rodgers uses press conferences or other public settings to send messages. Any reporter who happens to notice the message and dares to articulate it ends up being lumped in by Rodgers into a bucket of clickbaiters and troublemakers who suddenly don’t know what they are talking about.

I’ve been there. During the 2016 season, Rodgers on multiple occasions raised concerns that traced directly to coach Mike McCarthy. Rodgers cited a “lack of juice” in a home loss to the Colts, explaining that the sideline lacked “the same kind of enthusiasm and encouragement.” After giving up 47 points in a loss to the Titans, Rodgers said, “There has to be that healthy fear as a player that if you don’t do your job they’ll get rid of you.”

Although Rodgers never tied those concerns back to McCarthy’s coaching of the team, I did. History proved that interpretation to be accurate. My reward, of course, was to have Rodgers complain at his locker about reporters who were interpreting his words as complaints about McCarthy.

“Especially guys like Mike Florio,” Rodgers said. “Don’t waste your time reading crap like that.”

Despite the fact that no good deed goes unpunished when it comes to Aaron Rodgers, I’ll say it again: He wants and deserves clarity regarding his future. He wants and deserves to know that he’s more than a year-to-year option. And if he finds out that he’s a year-to-year option (via a refusal to give him a new contract that cements the relationship through 2022 or 2023), that’s when he’ll want and deserve to start plotting his next move.

Then, when he sends unmistakable messages and reporters and analysts notice it and react to it, he can dust off Steve Urkel’s catch phrase and tell people not to waste their time reading or listening to crap like that.

58 responses to “It’s too late for Aaron Rodgers to downplay the fuse that he deliberately lit

  1. I’m guessing he also wants and deserves team management to stop being completely incompetent at drafting and signing free agents, to help him out with the goal of winning another Super Bowl.

    How many more years of getting close only to falter due to gaps in the roster and/or terrible coaching decisions will it take to get team management to respond?

  2. I for one think hes just trying to be real (rather than giving the politically correct generic response). That being said, a true leader needs to know the weight their words carry, and “being real” is quickly becoming toxic and will ruin that locker room!

  3. It is starting to sound like Brett Farve all over again. Yes and no, and yes and no. To many cry babies in football anymore. What happen to the mans game I watched growing up and fell in love with. This product on the field now days is nothing like bad in the day. Once they start this crying move them along NOBODY is bigger than the team.

  4. Rodgers started it with his own comments. This story is not going away anytime soon. He kind of reminds me of Cam Newton. All is well when he’s winning, but when Rodgers doesn’t, he pouts like a child.

  5. Yeah, Rodgers clearly started this after the loss to the Bucs, and acting like he didn’t makes him look foolish.

  6. Rodgers understands his stock will never be higher now. He’s the MVP and he’s not considered too old, and there are multiple potential contenders who would prefer a win-now QB than a rookie. He can not only have more say over which team GB trades with, but will have the leverage to demand a new contract is part of whoever wants him in 2021.

  7. He is unsure of his self after Brady took the wind, out of his sails and is looking for a pat on his back for accomplishments

  8. Imagine a boxer who had a 1-4 record to get to a championship fight. Would that boxer be considered one of the best boxers of all time? Never. Yet Rodgers is touted as one of the “greats”. While no one will ever convince Troy Aikmen otherwise, the reality is, championships matter and Rodgers is at 20% just to GET to the Championship game. Facts matter.

  9. What people want and deserve are two separate and distinct things. Sorry diva pants.

  10. Much Ado About Nothing or smoke/fire? Keep the talking heads going for days. Probably just frustration that they lost the game and they never draft any WR/TEs. He makes average guys stars, they leave, do little elsewhere, and the churn continues. If they drafted WRs like the Steelers have over the years (yes, many of them are severe head cases), he’d have another Championship belt or two. Yes, old enough to note the discount double check days.

  11. He knew exactly what he was doing when he chose his words so carefully.. Can you imagine Brady, Brees, or Manning saying something like that? That’s why Rogers can’t be mentioned in the same sentence says those three guys.

  12. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. They’ll pay him because in Green Bay there would be outrage if they didn’t. Jordan Love is not ready and may never be—you don’t know what you do or don’t have there. It’s not like the Garopollo/Brady situation where Jimmy G looked perfectly ready after a couple of years seasoning.

    What will happen is that Green Bay, with Rodgers, will have another couple runs and should be favorites to reappear in the NFC title game. If they break through into the SuperBowl and Rodgers adds a couple rings to the one he has already, I’ll tip my cap to him. He can walk away at 40 with some vindication.

  13. Any quarterback would doesnt take the open lane to the endzone for a huge score and likely win doesnt deserve a new contract.he just signed his new contract not long ago.if he wants to leave GB then trade him and get high draft picks or players for him but do not let him dictate to the team.Favre tried that and lost.

  14. Aaron Rodgers constantly sets himself up as the victim and criticizes others in a passive aggressive way then denies it. Terrific football player but a toxic human being.

  15. Rogers did not light a fuse, Just gave all the scribes and posters something to fill the electronic white space up with in this gap to the Super Bowl

  16. QBs should really only sign 2-3 year extensions if they’re gonna get upset about their status in the QB salary pecking order. These 5-year-plus contracts help teams keep the deals from sinking them, financially.

    I don’t blame Rogers for wanting clarity, but bringing this up right after their loss, and during a time when everyone is talking about how tight the salary cap will be in the coming season is just a really bad look.

  17. I love Rodgers. He thinks before he speaks, and then says what’s on his mind.

    For some reason, though, football fans tend to prefer clichés or a bunch of rah-rah nonsense. I guess that’s why he rubs some people the wrong way.

    He’s one of the best QBs in the game and he knows it. And, he’s not afraid to let his employers know it as well. He also has interests outside of football. For some people, that’s threatening or arrogant. To me, it’s intelligent.

  18. With our cap situation giving him a new contract could be very beneficial. I’m in no hurry for the Love era to start, that’s for sure.

  19. Rodgers loves to brew some verbal tea, then let everyone try to read the leaves. Even if the reading is correct, Rodgers can deny it. In this case, however, I think Rodgers was so upset about losing a game he expected to easily win, he got a little philosophical. He was, quite naturally, frustrated. He’ll be back next season in GB without a doubt.

  20. If he lit the fuse, then Green bay handed him the match when they drafted a first round QB.

    Don’t get me wrong – I agree with GB trying to find his replacement. It has to be done, and that’s just good business for the long run (assuming you make a good pick).

    But Rodgers reaction to it isn’t surprising (if kinda primadonna), either.

  21. 33yy says:
    January 27, 2021 at 9:22 am
    I love Rodgers. He thinks before he speaks, and then says what’s on his mind.

    For some reason, though, football fans tend to prefer clichés or a bunch of rah-rah nonsense. I guess that’s why he rubs some people the wrong way.

    He’s one of the best QBs in the game and he knows it. And, he’s not afraid to let his employers know it as well. He also has interests outside of football. For some people, that’s threatening or arrogant. To me, it’s intelligent.

    ————————————————

    Great he is smart. But he is not honorable. I’m old school and you play out the contract you have signed or get a better agent to negotiate escalator clauses. We are going to find out in the coming weeks and months the relationship he has with the coach and the organization is not all rainbows and unicorns. That was covered up by a 13-3 record this year. He is going to push for a trade just like Diggs did in Minnesota. If can’t make him stay if he doesn’t want to. Why would you want an unhappy employee? I didn’t want to see Diggs go but he was unhappy, still a fan of his but sometimes as a player you have to do what’s right for you. He’s pressing the new contract to get out of Green Bay plain and simple.

  22. He’s trying to get the Packers to make a big move by scaring them. Don’t like the guy but Brady did the same to the Pats in 2018 and it resulted in a Super Bowl.

  23. For better or worse he has always been out to get paid as well as possible. It’s not an endearing quality in a franchise QB but it’s a business and he never forgets that. Where it really looks bad is when he’s simultaneously complaining about how he’s underpaid while expecting guys making a fraction of what he does to do more, like last year when he was complaining about his rookie wide receivers not working hard enough in camp in the same conversation where he said he wished there was no cap at all so still more money could be paid to him.

  24. This is player vs. management playing out in slow motion. Last year, the team got Rodgers in line through a power play, drafting a QB in the first round and blind-siding their best player with the news. This year, Aaron is letting the whole world in on the message he has received, in his trademark passive aggressive style.

    Lafleur and the brass planted these seeds. Rodgers is handling this in a way that was 100% predictable. This guy was passed over 20 times on draft day. He used that slight as motivation, working to become one of the best in the business. And he did that under terrible circumstances working as the backup to Favre, who has been open about his policy of not helping other QBs who were “there to steal his job”.

    Team management decided to give Rodgers this reality check. I don’t think they realized how much times have changed, or how hip Rodgers is to his fan popularity and his real power. That’s exactly why fans of other NFC North teams were so gleeful when the Packers drafted Jordan Love. I’m surprised it took this long for the other shoe to drop, but that was probably me underestimating Rodgers, although not as much as team management. Did they really think Aaron Rodgers was going to shut up and “get with the program”?

  25. Super passive aggressive. And then he goes on Mcafee yesterday and acts like Geez Whats everyone talking about? I’ll be back. Lolol. I really believe drafting Jordan Love was 90% light a fire under Rodgers, and 10% the future. The lighting the fire worked as far as regular season play. Top two season of his career. Loss to TB cannot be explained. Aaron Rodgers has to figure out a way to win that game. That is not a game you can lose under any circumstances.

  26. Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Peyton Manning have all won NFL championships more recently than A-Aron.

  27. Many commenters have nailed it. This is about drafting Jordan Love.

    For some reason, I think there are some people that think Rodgers should be somewhat understanding about it and just do his best and eventually be a good mentor. Kind of like Alex Smith.

    That’s not Rodgers and GB should have known that.

    The NFL season will be over in 1 1/2 weeks and we won’t have football again for another 7 months. So drama, play yourself out! My popcorn is ready.

  28. The man doesn’t do anything by accident.

    It might not get the desired result, people may hate him for it, but this was shrewd and calculated.

  29. It is starting to sound like Brett Farve all over again.
    =====

    Inexplicably, it looks like its going to end the exact same way too.

  30. For better or worse he has always been out to get paid as well as possible. It’s not an endearing quality in a franchise QB but it’s a business and he never forgets that.
    =====

    The Packers were the ones that fell all over themselves to do the last deal. The knew what Mahomes was going to do to the market.

    Rodgers still had 3 years left on his deal at the time.

  31. Rodgers does not deserve clarity or a new contract. Two years ago he had to be the highest paid player so he negotiated an extension to a contract that would have expired right now. He got his extension and his albeit short lived highest paid player in the NFL status.

    This is a business and in good faith the Packers gave him the extension he wanted and provided him the status of highest paid player he wanted. Now it is his turn to live up to that contract he signed period. No one forced him to sign the contract.

    Suck it up cupcake. By the way, his record is 1-4 in NFC Championship games. His only win against a mediocre bears team. He begged to have a home game and he still couldn’t get it done. He had two three and outs after Tampa turnovers and in 10 goal to goal situations he ran the ball once. He made it clear in the post game interview he had a lot of control over what plays were being called. He said had he know they weren’t going for it on 4th down he would have called a different play. He has to own up to his record. You can blame the defense or special teams etc. Bottom line when it comes down to it he could never put other teams away in Championship games and in this one he had three opportunities to take the ball down and make a score to take the lead or tie the game and he could not get it done. Look in the mirror Aaron…

  32. Imagine a boxer who had a 1-4 record to get to a championship fight. Would that boxer be considered one of the best boxers of all time?
    ——
    You know there are 21 other players on a starting team right? Were calling the guy who had 3 picks and a 73 qbr in that game the best ever. And in the ultimate team sport, you’re making boxing comparisons? Ridiculous.

    Our loss Sunday is squarely on management. Same old story. Our special teams were terrible. Our pass defense pathetic. We had Kevin frickin King singled on Scotty Miller during an obvious HM play yet all we hear is Rodgers Rodgers Rodgers. Be smarter.

  33. Every time someone writes about this prima donna, you are playing right into his trap. To quote an okd Simpson’s episode, “Just don’t look” and he will go away.

  34. Anyone saying he should shut up and honor his contract is quite likely a hypocrite.

    If you discovered all of your contemporaries were making more money than you, would you at least broach the subject with your boss?

  35. Whether you’re a fan of Rodgers or not we need to realize the guy is human, and he’s not stupid. He explained his post game show comments on a show later on, once his emotions had subsided. He was being pragmatic about his position in GB and we all know the media loves to create headlines for themselves.

  36. I had a high maintenance girlfriend that pales in comparison to aaron. Buy him something pretty

  37. I love the comments. As someone who played full contact competitive football until after my 40th birthday it is extraordinarily easy to tell who has and has not actually played football at any type of competitive level. He will be back. For the remainder of his HOF career. He wants security.

  38. Florio is right nobody asked Aaron if he was coming back next season and why would they? Rodgers put it out there for a reason. I never thought Rodgers would become Favre after seeing how packer fans turned on him for causing drama & leaving. But it sure sounded like Favre.

  39. I never thought Rodgers would become Favre after seeing how packer fans turned on him for causing drama & leaving. But it sure sounded like Favre.
    =====

    Favre didn’t become a problem until after the Packers tried to block him from playing. The retirement stuff was a sideshow, but it never hurt the team. Nobody really doubted his desire to play from 2004-2007.

    I think Rodgers is a powder keg. WAY more potential to come unhinged. Sadly, for Rodgers though, I think he’s just going to hurt himself.

    The Packers don’t have to do anything for the next 3 years. Rodgers can ask to be traded, he can ask for more $$, all he can do is retire if he doesn’t get what he wants.

    The Packers will never repeat their mistakes from 2008.

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