Aaron Rodgers: Front office once confused Kenny Clark with someone who was getting cut

NFL: DEC 25 Browns at Packers
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During his first press conference of training camp in 2021, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers engaged in an extended airing of grievances. This year, he had less of a chip on his shoulder. However, Rodgers dropped a pretty significant bombshell late in his 18-minute chat with reporters.

Rodgers was asked about the year since his July 2021 press conference, and whether and to what extent things have changed regarding how players are treated.

“I think that there was a more concerted effort for [G.M. Brian Gutekunst] and his staff to be more visible, and to have better relationships with some of the guys,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s important. You know, as much as I respect, you know, the ideology of Billy Beane there where he didn’t want to get too close to a guy he’s got to get rid of, I think it’s easier to get cut by someone that you appreciate, that you can have face-to-face, eye-contact conversations and get released by or traded by than someone you have zero relationship with.”

The previous absence of relationships created at least one awkward moment, in 2018.

“There’s funny stories — not funny, actually — about like Kenny Clark coming in on cut day and somebody thinking he was a different guy who was gonna get cut,” Rodgers said. “And they told him, ‘Grab your playbook and head upstairs.’ And Kenny’s like, ‘What? I was a first-round pick. I’m getting cut? In my third year?

“Stuff like just can’t happen in an organization that’s run well. Because the relationships are the most important thing in this game. Because that’s what fuels the chemistry. And the chemistry fuels the cohesion of a team, and that makes a difference in those crunch-time moments when the game is on the line. And it starts at the top. And I think there was some great changes that begin to take place, and they’re continuing to take place, and then I’ve really enjoyed seeing this place take a step forward.”

It’s amazing to think that someone who worked for the team confused a first-round pick with a guy who was going to be cut. And, yes, if there’s a firewall between the front office and the locker room, things like this will happen.

Rodgers has tried to tear down that wall. It looks like he’s had some success. The real question is whether it will last after he’s gone.

20 responses to “Aaron Rodgers: Front office once confused Kenny Clark with someone who was getting cut

  1. Evidently those “crunch-time” moments aren’t in the playoffs.

  2. How many times has Rogers been “cut?” He thinks it’s easier to be cut by a front office person who you have a close relationship with, as opposed to the Billy Bean style. I’m a believer in the theory that it doesn’t matter as long as the communication and respectful handling of the cut is professionally accomplished.

  3. Nick Cage is right. We’re all clocking in every day. It’s better when we know each other in and our stories

  4. Rodgers always has a drama story. This could have just been an honest mistake. Who was this person that made the mistake? We don’t all need to be friends and have a relationship, do your job and don’t worry about everyone else. Maybe if Rodgers did that he wouldn’t miss open WRs in the playoffs in crunch time. He hasn’t gotten his job done when it matters and doesn’t like to be called out.

  5. That’s an egregious mistake he described, but speaking of professionalism, it’s not exactly professional to air your boss’s dirty laundry in the press, now is it Aaron?

    Besides, until he tries actually being a GM, he might want to reign in his level of judgement.

    It’s almost as if nobody’s allowed to be human but him.

  6. This guy just loves to yap. The biggest mistake this franchise made was re-signing him and not trading him away for picks.

    Now that he’s paid, he’s going to still try to control the narrative and not hold himself accountable which is what happened to Brady in postseasons from 2007-2012, which is dribble out 14 points in home playoff games, and act like it wasn’t him who didn’t play well.

    GB is porked for years because they have a primadonna QB entering his early 40s, who makes 60 million per year.

    Horrible decision making regardless of how talented Rodgers is. Once the ego goes, it goes. There’s no getting it back.

  7. “Relationships, chemistry, cohesion”. The key to success… then why did you skip OTAs?

  8. Constant process improvement – its just another reminder of why the Packers are the most successful franchise in NFL history.

  9. I tend to think this stuff happens more often, to more people, in more organizations than any of us want to admit. Plus, many of these managers often only see these players wearing a helmet, so mistaking a name/face can happen. Is it bad? Yeah, not ideal…..but I think considering the kind of paychecks A-Rog is cashing, he might want to shut his yap.

  10. How inept must the rest of the NFCN be to finish behind this “clown” team every season?

  11. How inept must the rest of the NFCN be to finish behind this “clown” team every season?

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Not surprising considering that winning the division is the only goal each year for the packers.

  12. Why don’t I just shut up and disappear. I’ve got one ring, think I’m a lot better than I am, and whine about everything. Barring a few of my worshippers, a lot of the Packer fans are fed up with my diva like attitude. I’m moving back to Cali.

  13. The NFL management-player relationships are just different today, and coaches and management need to adjust. Zimmer and Spielman didn’t and they’re sitting at home mowing grass right now. Gutey eventually will too if he doesn’t adjust.

  14. Wouldn’t it be unlikely for the person telling a player to grab his playbook and go upstairs (to see management) to himself be part of management? Isn’t that job for someone normally in the locker room, like a position coach or coaching assistant? Looks like yet another AR story that immediately starts to stink when subjected to even a cursory factual or logical examination.

    Just imagine the effect on team morale if the GM had the habit of loitering around the locker room on cut days, waiting for a guy to come out of the shower, just to personally ask him to come upstairs. I imagine the current process is meant to give the player the opportunity to avoid embarrassment by keeping things low-key in the hub-bub of the room rather than having everyone watching the Grim Reaper standing in the corner and freaking out if he takes a step in their direction.

  15. I’d rather hear the version of this story from the parties actually involved, Clark and the Packers, rather than a third-party with a personal agenda. There are always two sides to every story and the truth is usually near the middle. Besides, Rodgers is a confirmed liar.

  16. GB is porked for years because they have a primadonna QB entering his early 40s, who makes 60 million per year.

    Horrible decision making regardless of how talented Rodgers is. Once the ego goes, it goes. There’s no getting it back.
    ==========

    Rodgers yearly cap hits

    2022 – $28.5~
    2023 – $31.6~
    2024 – $40.7~
    2025 – $59.3~
    2026 – $53.6~

    He’ll be long gone before his numbers approach $60mil.

    Very team friendly deal early on. His number is 5th presently for 2022. Its not in the top 5 next year, and thats before Russ and Lamar Jackson ink their deals.

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