Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a lot to think about this offseason. Does he want to retire? Does he want to stay with the Packers? Or is he going to demand a trade and try to win a Super bowl elsewhere?
No matter what he does decide to do, Rodgers has vowed that he’s not going to drag the Packers around, unlike last season.
How unselfish of him. How uncharacteristic.
Aaron Rodgers says he’ll do the right thing by the Green Bay Packers
Rodgers has spent 17 seasons with the Packers. He’s cemented himself as the greatest Green Bay quarterback of all time, though Brett Favre and Bart Starr may want to make a case. However that shakes out, Rodgers is synonymous with the Packers’ organization. He also owes Green Bay much. Just as the Packers owe him for being arguably the best quarterback in the NFL over these past 17 seasons, he owes them for being the organization that took a shot on him as he was falling through the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. The Packers also put a ton of faith in him to eventually replace Favre.
Things got a bit ugly and awkward last season between the two sides, but Rodgers related recently on The Pat McAfee show that his relationship with general manager Brian Gutekunst, and the Packers as a whole, has greatly improved. He also said that any decision he does end up making wouldn’t be drawn out.
“One thing I would not do is retire and come back a year later. I feel like I’m at the place relationally with the Packers, especially with Brian (Gutekunst). It would be a simple conversation and whatever comes out of the conversation is moving forward,” Rodgers said, according to FOX 11 News. “There’s not going to be any weird standoff, war of silence or anything.”
It has been the year of ‘The Aaron Rodgers Show’
If Rodgers does stick to his word, it would be a rather unselfish move from a quarterback who has spent most of the last year making it all about himself. Green Bay’s 2021 season was basically a footnote to what could have been called “The Aaron Rodgers Show” and it seemed as if the quarterback wouldn’t have had it any other way.
It started when Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers was unhappy and wanted out on Draft Day 2021. Rodgers could have quickly come out and thrown cold water on that rumor; after all, Schefter said it was just an accumulation of information and not necessarily a report. Rodgers instead decided not to say anything at all, while in the meantime living a celebrity lifestyle out in the open. From his engagement to Hollywood actor Shailene Woodley to hosting Jeopardy!, to playing golf with Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson…Rodgers was everywhere.
Rodgers had the opportunity to clear the air and put the Packers at ease at any of those points. He chose not to do that, though, and instead drug things out until training camp. That’s when he showed up and hosted a press conference that was basically an airing of the grievances against the front office.
Right around that time is when the now infamous words “Yeah, I’ve been immunized” were uttered, which later became a media firestorm surrounding Green Bay when it came out that Rodgers wasn’t actually vaccinated when he tested positive for COVID-19.
Had that been the whole story, it likely would have blown over rather quickly, but from his initial diatribe on The Pat McAfee show to multiple follow-ups, Rodgers would not drop the topic.
He didn’t want to be political. He said he didn’t want to be a distraction or become a poster boy for one side of the aisle or the other. Despite those words, he sure didn’t seem to mind giving long-winded answers when McAfee goaded him into it, name-dropping Joe Rogan, or otherwise keeping a story in the news that arguably became bigger than the Packers’ play on the field.
To top it all off, with the Packers in a position to earn the No. 1 overall seed, which was a goal all season, Rodgers thought, for some reason, that it was a perfect time to field and answer questions about his future and potential retirement.
At every turn, Rodgers has made himself the story. To be clear, that’s not why the Packers ended up losing to the San Francisco 49ers in their first playoff game, but that lack of focus couldn’t have helped.
It’s time for the Packers to move on from Rodgers
It’s interesting and ironic that after a season in which Rodgers was so self-absorbed and self-centered, he’s come out and basically said that he’d be fair to the Packers no matter what decision he makes.
Where was that self-awareness when the team was facing a challenging game on the road at Kansas City? Rodgers was ranting about cancel culture and the woke mob from his couch just two days before.
Where was self-awareness when he decided to do a massive interview with ESPN the day before Green Bay’s playoff game? It was an interview in which he didn’t apologize for sicking his own “woke mob” against a female journalist he wrongly called out. It was an interview in which he called out The President of the United States.
Whatever happened to not wanting to be political?
Maybe it’s time for the Packers to move on from the Aaron Rodgers show. They could trade him right now and get a bevy of assets in return, which would help them retool instead of rebuild in the post-Rodgers era.
He’s spent a whole year thinking about his own interests instead of Green Bay’s. Perhaps it’s time for the Packers to do the same.