In the Star Wars series Rebels, young Jedi-in-training Ezra Bridger was taken to the Jedi Temple to discover whether or not he was meant to be a Jedi. As he started the journey through the winding passages, he asked his master, “What am I looking for?” His master replied, “Nothing, and everything.” That perfectly describes what Packers’ fans, and football fans in general, learned from the Aaron Rodgers’ interview on ESPN last night. We learned nothing and everything.
[Not So] Breaking News: Rodgers Does Not Like The Front Office
After his football career is over, Aaron Rodgers may be looking at a career in politics. Only a politician could have said so much while saying so little in answer to direct questions. While Rodgers did not come out and explicitly say he did not like Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, he did omit his name (as well as others who work in the front office) when he listed the people and things he loved about Green Bay. This, of course, is not news to anyone, especially given the rumor that Rodgers wanted Gute fired. This rumor has since been dispelled, but its very existence is evidence that the three-time MVP has no love for the current Packers’ general manager.
“It’s About The People”
The main takeaway from Rodgers’ interview was that his displeasure with the organization comes from a philosophical point of view. Rodgers, seemingly speaking directly to Brian Gutekunst and the front office, said that the history of the Packers’ organization was built by individuals. He insinuated that the team needs to start treating individuals with more respect. Of course, he may have been thinking of the team’s lack of communication to him when they drafted Jordan Love. However, he also may have been thinking of former teammates who were let go before Rodgers felt they should or could have been. Jordy Nelson, Mike Daniels, Randall Cobb, and Jake Kumerow are names that come to mind.
In any case, while Rodgers has acknowledged that the NFL is a business in the past, he clearly desires for the Packers to stand out from other businesses in the way they treat their employees. Perhaps that is not such a bad thing?
Jordan Love “Is A Good Kid”
It is certainly strange to refer to a 25-year-old man as a “good kid,” but that is what Aaron Rodgers did when discussing Jordan Love. While Rodgers certainly wishes that the pick had been communicated better (and Gutekunst has expressed regret in this circumstance as well), he holds no ill will against Jordan Love.
This does provide Packers and football fans with some “new” information: Aaron Rodgers does not want Jordan Love traded. The notion that Rodgers wanted Love traded, of course, never came from Rodgers or anyone officially from his camp. However, the positive way in which Rodgers described his relationship with Love would suggest that Love being traded is not something he is demanding.
What Aaron Rodgers Did Not Say
Aside from leaving the names of front office personnel off of his list of people and things he loves about Green Bay, there are some other important things Rodgers did not say. First, he did not say he was going to retire. Aaron Rodgers will be playing football in 2021.
Second, he did not say that he wanted to be traded. If there was ever a time to ask for a trade, it would have been in this interview. However, Rodgers never said he wanted to be traded. From this omission, Packers’ fans should feel more confident that not only will Rodgers play football in 2021, he will be doing so for the Green Bay Packers.
Despite the optimism that may be in place for 2021, it should be noted that there is a long way to go. Aaron Rodgers may still skip many team activities this off-season, which will add more drama to the story. The Packers reportedly want to extend his contract, but whether or not they can come to terms has yet to be seen. If they cannot agree on a contract extension, it is possible, maybe even probable, that this will be Aaron Rodgers’ last season in Green Bay.