In his final few seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers opted against attending the voluntary organized team activities.
It didn't matter in 2020 or 2021, with Rodgers winning the NFL MVP award both years.
However, his decision to avoid OTAs became a bigger story last offseason. The Packers had lost Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and needed to rely on free-agent addition Sammy Watkins and rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.
Rodgers skipped OTAs, only attending the three-day mandatory minicamp last offseason.
"As much as there's conversation around the importance of me being here and how much that means to the young guys, the most important thing for the young guys right now is to learn the offense," Rodgers told reporters at minicamp last June.
"Like I've said many times, there's two offenses. There's the offense on paper and there's the offense that gets run on the field. They need to learn the offense on paper first, and once they get that down, we'll have plenty of time in training camp to get the other offense down."
Rodgers didn't believe it was necessary for him to attend OTAs last offseason despite needing to get reps with his new receivers.
Green Bay struggled offensively for much of the year, although Christian Watson enjoyed a dominant final eight games with eight total touchdowns. Rodgers not attending OTAs isn't to blame for the Packers' offensive struggles, but it would've helped had he been there.
Well, it seems Rodgers has changed his approach this offseason.
More Articles About Aaron Rodgers:
Aaron Rodgers delivers one final slap in the face to Packers
For the past few years, Rodgers skipped the Packers' OTAs. But as the New York Jets took to the practice field for the first time this week, Rodgers was there, throwing passes in his new Jets uniform.
What's changed? Sure, Rodgers is on a new team. But he knows the offense. Nathaniel Hackett is the Jets' offensive coordinator. He will run a similar system to the one Rodgers is used to from Green Bay.
Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are there. He doesn't need reps with them.
So, why is getting reps with Garrett Wilson, Mecole Hardman, and Corey Davis any more important than building chemistry with Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Sammy Watkins last offseason?
It is great to see Rodgers looking refreshed and genuinely happy to be in New York. A fresh start may be what he needed. From the Jets' perspective, having Rodgers at OTAs is huge. He is clearly all-in to win with the Jets.
But from a Packers' perspective, they have to wonder what's changed. Why were OTAs not important a year ago, only for Rodgers to be out there on the practice field with the Jets this spring?