When some people have criticized Aaron Rodgers over the years, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith has almost always been in his corner. He has made it clear: Rodgers is “a bad man.” However, in light of Rodgers’ recent comments about his future with the Green Bay Packers, Smith has seemingly found himself frustrated with the legendary QB. In fact, he even said that Rodgers recently sounded “weak,” and he questioned his leadership.
Aaron Rodgers made shocking comments about his future with the Packers
Aaron Rodgers had an incredible season with the Green Bay Packers. Many people expect him to win the league MVP award for his play this year, too.
His strong play also ended up leading the Packers to a 13-3 record for the second consecutive season and to a second straight NFC Championship Game. However, although Rodgers threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the game, the Packers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-26.
He then said this after the game.
“[The Packers have] a lot of guys’ futures that are uncertain — myself included,” Rodgers said, according to ESPN. “That’s what’s sad about it, most, getting this far. Obviously, it’s going to be an end at some point, whether we make it past this one or not, but just the uncertainty’s tough and finality of it all.”
These comments then led to many people wondering if Rodgers could leave the Packers this offseason.
He, however, tried clarifying those comments a couple of days later.
He tried to clarify the comments about his future
Just a couple of days after making those eyebrow-raising comments, Rodgers appeared on The Pat McAfee Show and tried to clarify them.
“I don’t feel like I said anything that I hadn’t said before,” Rodgers said on the Jan. 26 episode. “It was more of a realization I think that ultimately my future is not necessarily in my control. … Obviously, 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, but there’s not many absolutes in this business. So, to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it, and I guess that’s why it went kind of nuts.”
He continued: “I’m 15 minutes from crying in the locker room with some of my teammates. … To me, a reality, not a certainty or an absolute, is that my future is not in my hands.”
These comments then led to a response from Stephen A. Smith.
Stephen A. Smith said Aaron Rodgers sounded ‘weak’
Stephen A. Smith appeared on the Jan. 27 episode of First Take, and he was not too happy about what Rodgers had to say.
“We should be very disappointed in Aaron Rodgers,” Smith said. “It hurts me to have to say that because I love this brother. He is something special to behold in my eyes. … I’m not going to lie to you; he sounded very, very weak talking yesterday. We understand that it’s out of your control. We understand that the Green Bay Packers have your rights, and you’re under a contract, and we get that. And if you don’t want to talk about it, don’t talk about it, but don’t dance around it; don’t shrink beneath that spotlight. Don’t do that. Just don’t say anything.”
Smith continued to reiterate that Rodgers is “dancing around the issue.”
“He’s not really owning up to how he truly feels,” Smith said. “I’m telling you, once upon a time, this man walked into Green Bay’s management and made suggestions, and they told him to ‘Shut the hell up and go play football. We make the decisions, you play football.’… Listening to Aaron Rodgers talk to [Pat McAfee], it was like, ‘Ok, I can’t help this. So, maybe I came across a little bit wrong, and now I’m starting to tap dance around it or whatever.’ Well, guess what? That’s not leadership.”
He continued: “The Green Bay Packers have not shown you the respect and deference I believe you deserve. … To me, he was just tap dancing around the issue, instead of either being quiet or saying, ‘Listen, I can’t go anywhere, but I don’t appreciate the way that I’ve been treated.’ … To me he was right in the middle, and that ain’t leadership.”
Stephen A. Smith has always been a massive Aaron Rodgers fan, but it doesn’t appear that he is too thrilled with how Rodgers has responded since the Packers’ devastating NFC Championship Game loss. This probably won’t be the last we hear of this.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference