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Aaron Rodgers has made it evident that he wants out of Green Bay. His relationship with the front office has deteriorated to the point that he is willing to leave his teammates and coaches behind, if that’s what it takes to get away.
On Monday night, the longtime Packers quarterback joined Kenny Mayne for the ESPN anchor’s final farewell on SportsCenter. In that interview, Rodgers made several interesting comments that shed some light on the current rift with the organization.
Apparently, Rodgers doesn’t have an issue with his backup, Jordan Love. In fact, he doesn’t even have an issue with Love being picked. He still loves his teammates and his coaching staff. The fans? Absolutely. But one notable aspect of the organization was left out — likely on purpose — and that’s any sort of love for the front office.
This comes down to philosophical differences and the overall culture of the franchise.
“With my situation, look it’s never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan,” Rodgers told Mayne. “I love Jordan; he’s a great kid. [We’ve had] a lot of fun to work together. Love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. An incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way.”
The plan from general manager Brian Gutekunst was to move on from Rodgers soon. Of course, that’s why Love was in play. But Rodgers had other plans. He won the MVP in 2020 and proved once again that he’s still one of the elites. That has caused the current rift in Green Bay.
“A lot of this was put in motion last year, and the wrench was just kind of thrown into it when I won MVP and played the way I played last year,” Rodgers later said. “This is just kind of, I think, a spill-out of all that. But it is about the people, and that’s the most important thing.
“Green Bay has always been about the people—from Curly Lambeau being owner and founder to the ’60s with Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the ’90s teams with coach [Mike] Holmgren and [Brett] Favre and the Minister of Defense [Reggie White] to the run that we’ve been on. It’s about the people.”
That last line is the kicker. Rodgers truly believes that the success of an organization comes down to the people involved in the day-to-day aspects of it. Everyone matters, and that culture is vital to creating sustainable success.
“I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization,” Rodgers said. “History is important. Legacy of so many people who’ve come before you. But the people, that’s the most important thing. People make an organization, people make a business, and sometimes that gets forgotten. Culture is built brick by brick, the foundation of it by the people. Not by the organization, not by the building, not by the corporation. It’s built by the people.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play with a number of amazing, amazing people and got to work for some amazing people as well. It’s those people that build foundation of those entities. I think sometimes we forget that.”
Oh yeah, we’re getting pretty deep into this. Mayne did an incredible job of pulling information out of Rodgers, which made for a revealing and informative interview. As the two worked their way through it, Mayne came out and asked Rodgers directly whether he wanted to be traded.
“Anything is on the table at this point,” Rodgers said.
Still, this doesn’t sound like a guy who is at the point of no return. In fact, I came away from this interview believing there’s still a chance for Rodgers to return to Green Bay. Will he? Eh, I still think it’s more likely he leaves, but there’s at least hope if you’re a Packers fan.
The best part of the interview came at the end though. I’ll let Mayne take it from here.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 25, 2021
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.