‘It’s about the people’
Aaron Rodgers has a problem with the philosophy of the company. This is what pushes him to stand out from the Green Bay Packers.
That’s how Rodgers summed it up Monday night, appearing on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and breaking his silence on a rift that has widened this offseason between the MVP quarterback and the Packers. While Rodgers stopped short of naming specific names or incidents, he unambiguously pointed to the Green Bay front office when he described what caused his standoff with the team. Appearing on “SportsCenter” to celebrate the final show of his friend and longtime ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne, it was Rodgers’ most expansive post to date about his problems with the Packers leadership.
“I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization,” Rodgers told Mayne. “And, you know, the story is important, the legacy of so many people who came before you. But folks, this is the most important thing. People make an organization. People do a business and sometimes it gets forgotten.
“You know, culture is built brick by brick – the foundation of it by the people. Not by organization, not by building, not by society. It is built by people. I had the lucky to play a number of amazing and amazing people and worked for amazing people. These are the people who build the foundation for these entities. I think sometimes we forget that, you know? ”
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Aaron Rodgers avoids business question and talks about Jordan Love
Asked by Mayne if he required an exchange, Rodgers did not respond, turning the conversation in a direction that appeared to point to general manager Brian Gutekunst. And more specifically, Gutekunst’s drafting of quarterback Jordan Love without Rodgers ever knowing that the organization was considering the idea of taking his successor in the first round of 2020.
“With my situation, look, it was never about a draft pick, picking Jordan,” Rodgers said. “I love Jordan. He’s a great kid. [It has been] a lot of fun working together. I love the coaching staff. I love my teammates. I love the Green Bay fan base. An incredible 16 years old. It’s just kind of a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it’s the people who make it work. It’s a question of character. It is a question of culture. It’s about doing things the right way. ”
Rodgers has spoken fondly of working with or for virtually everyone involved in the Packers franchise – but notably left the front office out of that mix. He also conceded something that sources close to Rodgers had been saying for months: that Rodgers believed the franchise’s front office was planning to leave him as soon as possible, but that he disrupted that plan by winning the MVP of the regular season.
“A lot of that was set in motion last year and the key was just thrown away when I won MVP and played the way I played last year,” Rodgers said. “So it’s kind of, I think, the overflow of it all. But it concerns people and that is the most important thing. Green Bay has always been at the heart of people. From Curly Lambeau as owner and founder to the 1960s with [Vince] Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those amazing names to ’90s teams with coach [Mike] Holmgren and [Brett Favre] and the Minister of Defense [Reggie White] to the race we did. It’s about people.
While Rodgers didn’t give any hints on what would solve the deadlock or what the future would bring, he notably skipped all of the team’s off-season activities to date, including virtual work and team activities. team organized in person that started on Monday. Its first mandatory report will be on June 8. If Rodgers doesn’t show up for it, it will technically be considered a holdout.