(WFAN) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced on the Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday that his intention is to play for the Jets in 2023, but he knows he’s still under contract with Green Bay, which he explained is holding up the deal with trade demands.
In Rodgers' eyes, that hopefully isn't for long, because while that intent announcement took away the Packers’ leverage in the court of public opinion, Rodgers had even stronger words for the Green Bay front office that might have been the nail in its negotiating coffin.
“Let’s be honest -- they drafted Jordan (Love in 2020), and if I hadn’t won back-to-back MVPs, this conversation might have come sooner – but when I left Green Bay after the season, I felt like I wasn’t coming back,” Rodgers said. “Every regime wants their guys, and I totally understand that, because it’s a business. But now it’s time to do the right thing, and I don’t think there’s a scenario where they’ll say, ‘We want this and the Jets aren’t willing to give it to us, so we’ll take you back.’ That’s just not happening.”
Rodgers told McAfee he knew it was the end but was open to that changing, and the talk of what Green Bay might do in the offseason – i.e. not re-sign some of "Rodgers’ guys" – had no impact on anything.
What did seem to have some impact, though, was Rodgers seeing the writing on the wall based on how the current regime has run other star players out of town.
“Listen to their language and look at the track record, what happened with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, on and on," Rodgers said. "There’s just a way of doing things. If you don’t want to bring people back, that’s fine, it’s a business, but there’s a way to do things to let the man keep his dignity. Let’s put our actions where our words are at. That’s important to me, and now it’s me – I’m not offended by this, but coming to this reality has been bittersweet.”
Rodgers then reiterated that he especially felt toward the end of the season that everyone was ready to move on and there are no hard feelings or “bad guy” – and in fact, he thinks Love will have a strong career in Green Bay.
“I was interested in what the conversation would be, but they were kind of in the middle," Rodgers said. "Obviously, that changed, and they felt they had to take a hard line, but there isn’t a bad guy in the situation as long as everything gets resolved the right way. I want to play, and that means me moving on as well. We have to look at the reality – they want to move on and they don’t want me to come back. They’re ready to move on with Jordan and that’s fine – he’s a great kid, and had a great year getting better on the look team, he has a bright future ahead of him. I love that city and always will, but the facts are right now, they want to move on, and now, so do I.”
Then came a plea from Rodgers, who argued he may be the best player in franchise history.
“This is debatable, but I think I’m in the conversation for best player in franchise history," he said. "You look at guys like Brett (Favre) and Bart (Starr) and others, but I’m in the conversation. What’s not debatable is that I’m the longest-tenured Packer in history, and nobody bled green and gold like me. I love that city and the fans, and I never even tried to test free agency. My life is better because of my time in Green Bay, but now it’s about the reality of the situation. I know there’s people who want to move on, and I get it. I’m not upset about it – but the fact of the matter is, you have an aging face of the franchise that it’s time to do right by.”
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN.
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