If you’re expecting the horns to sound, the band to play and the confetti to fall, you’re in the wrong place – especially if you’re thinking all that will happen before or even after Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers signs what should be a record-breaking contract.
Don’t expect any of it. In fact, don’t even expect the team to say much once it occurs. Yes, the Packers PR department will issue the cursory press release with a quote from Rodgers, Coach Mike McCarthy, General Manager Ted Thompson and probably a few words from Packers President Mark Murphy about how relieved they all are that the negotiations are done and that they can now focus on what’s important for the franchise – getting back to work as a football team.
Oh, there will be attention once the announcement is made. The national media and NFL Network will swoop in to set up shop at 1265 Lombardi Avenue and then quietly part for better headline venues – such as Tampa Bay. No doubt the trade of Derrelle Revis to the Buccaneers will have plenty of legs in the days and weeks to come, while Rodgers’ story will most likely come and go as quietly as it has been prior to his signing.
And that’s the way the Packers like it.
Just ask Clay Matthews. Yesterday, he talked about the Packers way of conducting business with an almost reverent tone – saying that there are high expectations in Green Bay and that hype doesn’t describe it. Professionalism is a better word, Matthews said. He abides by it; Rodgers abides by it and so do the greatest majority of Packers players and personnel.
Here’s how Matthews described it (you can almost see Ted Thompson standing over him with watchful eye as Matthews talked):
“Obviously, you need to have athletic ability and be able to help this team, but for the most part, you look at the players up and down the board, it’s very rare that you are going to find a Packer get into trouble or saying something outlandish.
“We like to keep everything in-house, make sure we handle our business professionally. There is not a lot of buzz around these contract negotiations, as well as Aaron (Rodgers’) here in the near future. So I’m sure we will wake up one day and hopefully they will announce he is the highest-paid quarterback. In the meantime, you are not going to be hearing much grumbling from anyone.”
So, put the horns and confetti away, and tell the band to go home. Those things won’t be necessary. Clay Matthews signed his new $66 million contract in a quiet room with the door closed and then tweeted about how inconsequential his new-found riches were in light of all that transpired in Boston just a few days prior. His humility was appropriate and exactly what was needed at the moment.
I suspect that when Rodgers puts his signature to his new contract, the scene will be similar. Look for the press release, a few clips on the news and then it will be time to start thinking about the new season.
And that’s the Packers way.