Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finally broke his silence Monday night in an appearance during Kenny Mayne’s ESPN swan song. Nothing Rodgers said should give Packers fans comfort.
Waxing philosophic about the importance of employees vs management, Rodgers confirmed his rift with Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst.
“I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization. History is important. Legacy of so many people who have come before you. But the people – that’s the most important thing – the people make an organization. People make a business and sometimes that gets forgotten. Culture is built brick by brick, the foundation of it, by the people. Not by the organization. Not by the building. Not by the corporation. It’s built by the people. “
Rodgers expressed frustration about the organization’s decision to draft quarterback Jordan Love at no. 26 in the 2020 NFL Draft. But Rodgers made a point to reiterate that his rift with Packers’ management has nothing to do with Love the player or person. “I love Jordan; he’s a great kid, a lot of fun to work together.”
Rodgers does, however, believe that by drafting Love the Packers were prematurely planning for the future instead of investing more in the present. He responded by putting up a spectacular season highlighted by 48 touchdowns, just five interceptions, the second-highest passer rating in NFL history (121.5) and, of course, the Most Valuable Player Award.
“A lot of this was put in motion last year, and the wrench was just kind of thrown into it when I won MVP and played the way I played last year,” Rodgers told Mayne. “This is just kind of, I think, a spill-out of all that. But it is about the people, and that’s the most important thing. Green Bay has always been about the people – from Curly Lambeau being owner and founder to the ’60s with Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the ’90s teams with coach Holmgren and Favrey [Brett Favre] and the Minister of Defense to the run that we’ve been on. It’s about the people.”
Rodgers is skipping this week’s voluntary OTAs in Green Bay, an event he typically attends. If Rodgers misses June’s minicamp, he will be fined $93,085. Unlike other holdouts, Rodgers isn’t looking for more money. He wants a complete cultural shift of the organization that would likely include the ousting of Gutekunst.
Mayne finished his conversation with Rodgers in more light-hearted fashion …in only the way he can.