It was hard to get excited about the future Green Bay Packers players during the draft. Any time the Packers were brought up, the only thing anyone could talk about was the Aaron Rodgers drama, and understandably so.
Personally, I don’t think it’s fair for Packers fans to have to sit through two of these breakups. Granted, the situations are a little different between what Rodgers is doing and what Brett Favre did, but drama between an all-time great QB and the franchise that we love is no fun.
This situation has Packers fans and the media split on who’s right and who’s wrong.
The truth is, both sides are in the wrong, and here’s why.
Why the Packers are at fault
I think this is fairly obvious. The Packers traded up to draft a quarterback in the first round of the draft in 2020. Whether they actually traded up for Jordan Love or settled for him after their actual targets were taken off the board, the optics still look bad.
They could have easily traded back or taken a guy like Michael Pittman whether they thought it was a reach or not.
On top of that, they didn’t give their franchise quarterback, one of the best to ever do it, a heads up. I understand this isn’t the NBA and teams don’t generally take input from players on personnel decisions, but this is a bit of a different situation. This is Aaron Rodgers, one of the best to ever do it.
Now, I’m not saying let him have a say on what goes on, but at least a heads up or ask his opinion on something. That doesn’t mean do what he says, but maybe make decisions with your MVP quarterback in mind. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst even said he’d welcome Rodgers’ input, but now it might be a case of ‘too little too late,’ and the damage is already done.
The same idea applies to the contract extension. Rodgers wanted a commitment from the Packers. After such a terrific season, why wouldn’t you want to commit to Rodgers and worry about what to do later? But again, maybe it’s just a little too late and the damage has been done.
But while we are on the subject, it’s important to remember that it’s Gute’s job to build for the future as well. I don’t think fans realize how often ‘going all in’ backfires and sets franchises back for years afterward. Yes, Rodgers is amazing, but the franchise has been successful for years in part because of Ted Thompson and Gute building for the future as well.
A year ago, Rodgers didn’t play at an MVP level. Plenty thought Father Time was catching up with him and he just wasn’t the same. You may also argue he played so well because the Packers took Jordan Love and he balled out out of spite.
As they say, the worst time to draft a quarterback is when you need one.
Why Rodgers is at fault
Oh boy, where do I even start with this? I don’t think it’s a secret that Rodgers has been a bit of diva in the past few years. Mostly, we didn’t care because he’s Aaron Freaking Rodgers. We can deal with a little bit of a headache as long as he produces as he has always done.
But at some point, it gets a little stale. It’s like the saying goes: If you run into a jerk in a day, that person is a jerk. If everyone you run into all day is a jerk, maybe you are the jerk.
I’ve always been a firm believer in the ideas that players play, coaches coach, and general managers build the team. I don’t think players should have any sort of power over personnel decisions. Can they have input? Sure. But should they be able to tell the GM who to draft and sign? Hell no. This isn’t the NBA where LeBron can single-handedly run a franchise because it’s the NBA.
Now rumors are flying all around about who leaked this info to Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport. There’s a lot of he said, she said going on. Rodgers mentioning to Mike Tirico off-camera that he’s disappointed that the news leaked seems a bit iffy to me.
It just happened to come out on the first day of the NFL Draft? Please. That was a calculated move that was meant to inflict as much damage to the Packers as possible. He wanted the Packers to feel how he felt the year before when they took Love in the first round.
I understand he was probably hurt that the Packers spent premium draft capital on his probable replacement instead of weapons for his last few seasons in Green Bay and that he might not get to control how his career ends in Green Bay. I get it. His ego is bruised.
But you’d think that would light a fire to prove the Packers wrong, as he did in 2020, and make them regret their pick by playing at that level for the next few years as well. Make the Packers make a decision on what to do with Love after because you’ve been balling out for four consecutive years.
Another odd report came from Ian Rapoport saying Rodgers was irked that the Packers cut ties with Jake Kumerow a day after he praised him publicly. Now, is he mad that they cut a player he liked or because they cut him a day after Rodgers praised him, making him look a little foolish? Either way, how ridiculous is it that you get upset that a fringe roster player who has done next to nothing in meaningful snaps gets cut. Give me a break.
It feels like he is throwing a temper tantrum, which is a weird look for a guy who all season long talked about living in the moment and controlling only what he can control. This feels like the opposite of what he was preaching in the middle of the season.
So now what?
As fans, it’s hard to sit and wait to see what’s going to happen. I’ve seen fans on Twitter that are ready to move on from Rodgers and his ‘antics,’ and I’ve seen people calling for Gute’s job over how this whole thing has been handled.
The truth is, we can’t do anything about it. We just get to sit here and watch it all unfold, and unfortunately, we might not be happy with what happens.
I hate to say it, but it feels like this really is the end of the Rodgers era. Both sides are at fault here and maybe it’s just best both to go their separate ways. The Packers could build for the future with Love while collecting massive amounts of resources in the future and Rodgers can go chase his second ring while getting a fresh start.
It’s very rare for a quarterback to spend their entire career with one team. We’ve seen it with Joe Montana, Favre, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and now, unfortunately, probably Rodgers as well.
If you need some comedic relief with the whole situation, take a few minutes and check out this tweet that humorously sums up the whole issue.