Three Takeaways from the Aaron Rodgers Interview
Aaron Rodgers trade rumors have been circling for a month now, but people were still not convinced that there was any problem between Rodgers and the Packers. Last night, however, Rodgers got interviewed by Kenny Mayne on ESPN and confirmed that there is indeed turmoil. There were a lot of interesting bits in the interview, so let’s take a look at the three biggest takeaways we have from it. The full interview can be found here:
The Front Office Can Be Wrong
One of the most fascinating questions Mayne asked Rodgers yesterday had to do about why fans tend to side with the front office in a lot of places. Whenever it becomes the front office against a player, it always seems like the player gets vilified, and Mayne asked Rodgers if he thinks it’s strange. Rodgers replied by focusing on the people aspect of organizations – both football and non-football related.
“I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization… But the people, that’s the most important thing. People make an organization, people make a business, and sometimes that gets forgotten.”Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers then goes on to talk about how he has played with some amazing people, and how it’s those people that build an organization, not management. This is important, as Rodgers had a chance to defend his front office, who he has been rumored to be disgruntled with, and refused to do so. This would be a theme throughout the interview.
This response also shows how players view themselves as the identity of the team. And you can’t fault Rodgers for believing this. After all, when we think of the Green Bay Packers, we think of Aaron Rodgers, we think of Davante Adams. We look at the star players and consider them as the team. We don’t look at Brian Gutekunst or Matt LeFleur as the face of the team. Yet, when one of these stars speaks out, whether it’s because they want a new contract, or don’t approve of how the team has treated them, fans tend to side with the management. This is what Rodgers means by people forget what really makes an organization.
The Rift is Real
While Rodgers did not explicitly state that he wants to be traded, Rodgers did express frustrations with the team, and specifically the front office. Rodgers went on to praise many parts about the Packers, from his teammates to the coaching staff, to the fanbase. He even mentioned that he thinks Jordan Love is a great kid, and that his problem isn’t with him specifically. What Rodgers did not praise, however, was the front office. He did, however, critique the way the Packers have done things.
“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.”Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers continues by saying he believes the way he played last season threw a wrench into these plans.
“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 said during the interview. “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.”Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers reiterates how an organization should be about the people, and this gives us insight into what he believes “doing things the right way” means. By referencing last year, Rodgers is talking about the decision to draft Love. While he has no issue with Love the person, he does have an issue with the philosophy of drafting Love. He also points out how by winning MVP, he messed the timeline of the plan to move on from him.
What Rodgers is saying here is that his underlying issue with the Packers is with the front office and general manager Brian Gutekunst. It’s been reported that they blindsided him by drafting Love, by not telling him they were planning on drafting him. Rodgers is the face of the team, and management could not trust him with this kind of information. The fact that management was ready to get a replacement in for Rodgers and didn’t treat him right through this process, and that’s the root of the frustration. By saying this, Rodgers has confirmed that there is a rift between him and management. He has not publicly demanded a trade, but these quotes do show that he is unhappy with the Packers.
Kenny Mayne Got the Last Laugh
It was the final time we will be seeing Kenny Mayne on SportCenter, and he finished it perfectly.
Mayne has been at ESPN since 1994 and spent nearly 30 years with the network. If this is the final time we hear him on television, this was indeed the perfect sendoff.