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Aaron Rodgers has returned to the Packers. At some level, the Packers may be wishing he hadn’t.
Rodgers has swapped months of (mostly) silence for complete and unvarnished candor about his concerns. In his first press conference of 2021 training camp, Rodgers reviewed his issues with the organization.
At the core, and as widely believed, Rodgers thinks he should not be treated like a mere employee.
“The organization looks at me and my job as just to play,” Rodgers said. He explained that, given his unique circumstances, he should have “a little more input.”
He expressed frustration with the team’s failure to seek his opinion on matters such as players who will or won’t stay with the team.
“At least to be in the conversation makes it feel like you’re important, you’re respected,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said that his overriding goal was and is “trying to be a resource for the organization.”
He said he was offered more money, but that it wasn’t about the money. He admitted that he wanted more of a commitment, which meshes with what we’d said all along — he wanted the Packers to be tied to him beyond 2021, breaking the year-to-year approach that the Packers are currently taking with him. However, he said that the team had no conversations with him about a contract extension that would extend the commitment beyond May
Ultimately, he was asked whether he wanted to be with the Packers.
“I do,” Rodgers said. “I love my teammates, I love the city, I love my coaches.”
He nevertheless had his doubts. Rodgers admitted that retirement is “definitely something I thought about.” Recently, however, he decided to stay put.
“We got some things figured out in the last few days and now I’m here,” he said.
Rodgers, despite saying so many things that meshed with so much of what was reported regarding his situation, tried to blame the media for making too much out of his situation. He insisted he leaked nothing and that his agents didn’t, either. (I’ll believe the former, but not the latter.)
So what about 2022?
“I really don’t know,” Rodgers said. “Things in that direction haven’t really changed at all. . . . . There’s gonna be a lot of tough decisions at the end of the year. I’m just gonna enjoy this year.”
He admitted that he’s received no assurances that he’ll be traded in 2022.
“I’m not a victim here at all,” Rodgers said. “It’s a business.”
It definitely is. And he hasn’t been happy with the way the Packers have done business. Whether the Packers change the way they do business will go a long way toward determining whether he wants to stay.
Aaron Rodgers opens up about his issues with the Packers originally appeared on Pro Football Talk