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One of the last media members to speak with Aaron Rodgers, following the news that he wants out of Green Bay, gave insight into the quarterback’s strained relationship with the Packers.
During an appearance on the “The Adam Schefter Podcast”, NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico, who ran into Rodgers at the Kentucky Derby this month, suggested that quarterbacks like Rodgers and Seattle’s Russell Wilson — who is rumored to be disgruntled himself — are influenced by quarterback Tom Brady’s successful move to Tampa Bay in March 2020.
“I think they saw Tom Brady go somewhere and the people around him were placed there to maximize success, and said, ‘Look, that can be me.’ In both situations, that’s been some of the issue around both teams,” Tirico said about Green Bay and Seattle.
“The people around Aaron Rodgers… maybe they wanted to be in that mode. And maybe it hit home because it happened in their backyard,” he added.
Rodgers’ rift with the Packers is believed to have started when the team drafted Rodgers’ eventual replacement, quarterback Jordan Love, in the 2020 NFL Draft. Additionally, in the 2021 NFL Draft, Green Bay didn’t select an offensive skill position player for Rodgers until the third round (Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers), assuming he stays for a 17th season.
Tirico alluded that Rodgers may be done with the way the Packers do business.
“If I had to capsulate my read on it, and this is not paraphrasing Aaron, it’s not one thing — it’s many things,” he said about Rodgers’ issues in Green Bay. “I don’t necessarily think it’s a money thing… I think the respect term internally is part of that.
“I don’t think the way things have played out over the last few years with the organization… let’s draft, develop and do things without splashy free agents… it’s been done one way for about 30 years… Is it the best way to win with a star quarterback and not put things together and make a run for it?
“That might not be the best situation for Aaron Rodgers at this point in his career. I think those are the seeds that have bubbled and developed over the past how many months.”
Despite the rift between Rodgers and the Packers, the team has maintained that they don’t plan to trade their star quarterback. Instead, coach Matt LaFleur said earlier this month that he “can’t fathom” Rodgers not suiting up in Green Bay.
Through attempts to smooth things over with Rodgers, the Packers reportedly proposed a new deal that would make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. However, money apparently isn’t a factor in the impending divorce.
Rodgers, for his part, has yet to address the situation head-on. The newly-engaged QB is currently under contract with the Packers through 2023, though it remains to be seen whether he will make it that far.
The Packers drafted Rodgers, now 37, with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
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