Finally, Aaron Rodgers speaks.
The Packers quarterback confirmed he did not want to enter the 2021 season as a “lame duck quarterback,” and given his reputation with the organization, he felt he wanted a bigger voice in the room when it came to staff and a place at the table.
Rodgers spoke for the first time after training on Wednesday:
Some highlights from Rodgers’ insightful, refreshingly honest press conference:
– The Genesis: Rodgers said his problems with the Packers this off-season began with a conversation in February in which he expressed a desire to say more about things that directly affected his job. He said nothing really developed or changed on that front, which led to a conversation later in March:
“When I thought, ‘If you can’t commit to me beyond 2021 and I don’t participate in the recruiting process at the free agency, if I’m not a part of the future instead of letting me be lame? -Duck Quarterback, if you want to take a chance and move forward then go ahead and do it, “Rodgers said.
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– Rodgers said, among other things, he wanted to help the organization grow and learn from its mistakes; First and foremost, Rodgers wanted to help the organization learn from his opinion that the organization disrespected veterans en route out of Green Bay. He said he was in contact with several former packers to see how they were treated after leaving the organization.
He had a list: Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, to name a few players who were either disrespected, knocked down, or not signed on their way out of Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers says he’s been thinking about retiring. Enjoyed out of season. But when he got back into training he realized: “I know I can still play and I still want to play.”
At the same age, Brett Favre said goodbye by saying, “I know I can play, but I don’t think I want to.”
– Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 28, 2021
– Rodgers said several times that the Packers was never about the money with the team, and while extension talks were being held, he reiterated that it wasn’t about the money, it was about the safety of the team.
– To that end, Rodgers said the organization’s lack of discussion about his future with the organization after the 2021 season bothered him and was one of the main problems he had with the organization that off-season. He wouldn’t commit to playing with the Packers after 2021, but he would keep himself open to it.
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– Rodgers mentions that he was seriously considering retiring several times during the offseason and would refuse to acknowledge whether or not this year would be his last with the Packers. “It’s a business – it’s an incredible opportunity to play this game – but it’s tough business,” Rodgers said.
– On Relationship with Head Coach Matt LaFleur: “I love Matt and we had a lot of fun together.” Rodgers says he was not involved in discussions about hiring LaFleur, but their relationship is strong.
– About his relationship with General Manager Brian Gutekunst: “I would say it’s professional at this point.”
– On his silence this off-season: “I didn’t want to get a piss match with this organization,” Rodgers said. He said any leaks related to the drama or rift with the team weren’t from him, including the report on the bomb trade inquiry on Night 1 of the 2021 NFL draft.
Rodgers adjusts in Green Bay for another year, maybe his last, before moving from green and gold to possibly greener pastures.