When Aaron Rodgers arrived at Green Bay Packers training camp last week, I think it’s safe to say many were more interested in what he had to say than in seeing him throw a few passes in practice. Rodgers, of course, had essentially been toying with the Packers throughout the NFL offseason as he kept them (and everyone else) waiting to see whether or not he’d actually go through with his threat to never play another down in Green Bay.
As most know by now, the Packers agreed to a few concessions to get Rodgers to seemingly play just one more season in Green Bay before trading him, although what happens when this season ends is anyone’s guess. And, as expected, the biggest news thus far out of Packers camp isn’t anything he’s done in practice, but the comments he made about the organization in his first press conference of the summer.
The reigning NFL MVP seemingly put everything with which he’s been unhappy out on the table, and while some criticized him, he was praised by others. And one of those in the latter group was longtime NFL broadcaster, Cris Collinsworth.
Aaron Rodgers didn’t seem to hold back in his first press conference after arriving at Green Bay Packers training camp
In what was easily one of the most highly-anticipated press conferences in recent memory, Rodgers seemingly aired all of his grievances toward the Packers organization last week.
He said his issues with the team truly began when he expressed a desire to have more of a say in decisions that directly affected his job as the starting quarterback. Rodgers claimed he told the Packers that if they couldn’t commit to him after the 2021 season and wanted to take a chance at move forward (i.e., a trade), they should “go ahead and do it” as he didn’t want to be a “lame-duck quarterback.”
He says he contacted former Packers about how they were treated when they left the organization and wanted to help the franchise learn from its past mistakes. Rodgers assured everyone that his potential holdout was never about money and that he’d engaged in extension talks. He says he considered retirement and spoke on his relationships with head coach Matt LaFleur and general manager Brian Gutekunst.
Again, it seemed as if he got everything out there, minus acknowledging whether or not 2021 would be his last season in Green Bay anyway. But beyond that, Collinsworth seemed to love every minute of it.
Cris Collinsworth thanked Rodgers for his honesty
People were somewhat divisive following Rodgers’ press conference, but Collinsworth appears to have loved it, tweeting out the following:
“I wanted to thank Aaron Rodgers for that honest press conference. I hope it sets a new standard for athletes, business leaders, and politicians. Today’s fear of communication is unprecedented in our country, and damaging. We don’t have to agree, but we do have to communicate.”
Cris Collinsworth on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
As Rodgers’ comments divided people, Collinsworth’s did as well. Some said that had a lesser-known or, perhaps, more importantly, a less-talented quarterback said these things, he’d be trashed in the media and likely cut. And those people are probably right. But that’s professional sports for you. If you have talent, especially the kind of talent Rodgers possesses, there will always be a place for you.
Well, unless you’re Colin Kaepernick anyway. But we won’t get into all of that here.
The Packers play their first preseason game August 14
Regardless of whether or not you agree with how Rodgers has handled things, the simple truth is that he will be the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers in 2021. And he’ll have another great year. Now, whether or not that results in a second Super Bowl title remains to be seen. And that may be the only thing that will keep Rodgers in Green Bay past this season.
Rodgers & Co. play their first preseason game on Saturday, August 14, against the Houston Texans, and will then play the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills in the two Saturdays that follow. The Packers open up the 2021 regular season on Sunday, September 12, against the New Orleans Saints.
Schedule courtesy of NFL.com