3x NFL MVP QB Aaron Rodgers says he felt estranged in the Packers locker room on the first day of training camp.
Aaron Rodgers is great. He might go down as the best quarterback to ever play the position. He has proven his skill-set time and time again ever since he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers back in 2005. His never-ending list of accolades includes a Super Bowl win, Super Bowl MVP, and 3x NFL League MVP, including the most recent one.
But just the fact that he is really, really good at what he does, does not help put behind everything that went down between him and the Packers front office in the 2021 NFL off-season.
Packers drafted QB Jordan Love, a potential successor to Aaron Rodgers
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected QB Jordan Love from Utah State with the twenty-sixth pick. Drafting a QB this early in a draft usually means that a team wants to move on from their current situation, which didn’t make sense because Rodgers was still on the top of his game.
This created doubt in the minds of the fans and the media, about the trust that the Packers organization had in their franchise QB, and Rodgers was obviously personally impacted by the decision as well.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) April 24, 2020
Packers had a disappointing end to the 2020-21 NFL season
The Green Bay Packers ended the NFL regular season sitting atop the NFC. They had the MVP on their team and things looked pretty good for Rodgers to lead the team to their second Super Bowl victory together. However, things did not pan out that way. After beating the Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Packers had to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game.
The Packers fell to the Buccaneers. The game ended with HC Matt LeFleur making the controversial decision of kicking a field goal on 4 & Goal when all they needed was a touchdown from the 8-yard line and two extra points.
After the game, Rodgers spoke to the media. He said, “A lot of guys’ futures, they’re uncertain, myself included. … Just gonna have to take some time away and clear my head and kind of see what’s going on with everything.” These quotes obviously stirred up a ton of speculation from fans and the media. It was then that the relationship between Rodgers and GM Brian Gutekunst started going downhill.
Aaron Rodgers after the game: “A lot of guys futures, they’re uncertain, myself included. … Just gonna have to take some time away and clear my head and kind of see what’s going on with everything.” pic.twitter.com/3GlzPU9EsZ
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 25, 2021
The 2021 off-season was a roller-coaster for Packers fans
The following off-season was filled with highs and lows. There were reports of other teams wanting to trade for Rodgers. Even though the Packers denied the possibility of the two parties parting way, one could not help but speculate. There were also talks about Rodgers retiring to take on a full-time gig as host of game show Jeopardy! Rodgers even compared Gutekunst to Jerry Krause, the GM who was responsible for both the growth and demise of the Chicago Bulls dynasty.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 5, 2021
The entire off-season played out and nothing happened. The draft went by and Rodgers was still QB1. Eventually, it was confirmed that Rodgers would return for another season with the Green Bay Packers
Talking about returning for training camp, on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers says that he felt like a “new kid at school” walking in the Packers locker room for the first time. It took him a while and a lot of familiar faces to get comfortable again, which is strange for a player of his stature. At about 1:30 in the video, Rodgers talks about how he felt like an outsider.
There is no doubt in the hearts of fans, that the reigning league MVP will pick up right where he left off and that the Packers will be one of the most successful teams in the league, yet again. But it will be foolish to not expect any sour grapes.