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#pounditThursday, June 17, 2021

Aaron Rodgers

Pat McAfee narrates great Aaron Rodgers MVP video

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers on Saturday was named NFL MVP for the third time in his career, putting him in exclusive company.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback became the sixth player in NFL history to win MVP for the third time. He joins Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Peyton Manning (5 MVPs) and former teammate Brett Favre as the only players to win at least three MVPs.

Rodgers is friendly with former NFL punter-turned-sports entertainment host Pat McAfee and joins McAfee’s radio show weekly. McAfee did something nice for Rodgers and narrated a video announcing the quarterback’s MVP award. Here it is:

If there’s anyone you want narrating an award video for you, McAfee is definitely the guy. He is a legendary storyteller.

Report: Aaron Rodgers dating Shailene Woodley

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers was linked to actress Shailene Woodley right around the time of his split with Danica Patrick, but those rumors died down rather quickly. They’re now heating back up again.

Rodgers and Woodley have been in a long-distance relationship and seeing each other for a while, according to E! News. A source told E! that the two have “kept things private and low key” but “continue to talk and see each other when they can.”

Patrick revealed last summer that she and Rodgers had gone their separate ways after dating for nearly two years. A gossip site claimed Rodgers and Woodley were spotted getting cozy not long after in Lake Tahoe. Rodgers was in Tahoe at the time taking part in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.

Rodgers typically tries to keep his private life under wraps, while Patrick has been a bit more open about the split. The former NASCAR driver fired back at trolls on social media at one point.

The original report about Rodgers and Woodley claimed Patrick is the one who introduced Rodgers to the actress, which left her feeling betrayed.

Report: Rams tried to trade for Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

The Los Angeles Rams got their quarterback in Matthew Stafford, but before making that trade, the organization had even loftier ambitions.

According to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, the Rams looked into making a “hard run” at Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. However, the Rams were told in no uncertain terms that Rodgers was not available for trade.

The Rams even looked at Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, but concluded that the asking price would be too high. That ultimately led them to trade Jared Goff and two first-round picks for Stafford.

If there was any doubt about how serious the Rams were about upgrading at quarterback, this should dispel it. The organization clearly took note of Rodgers’ recent comments and decided to at least sniff around. It’s no surprise that the Packers said no. It is, however, an indication of just how serious the Rams were about improving — and how other organizations viewed those comments Rodgers made after the NFC Championship loss.

Aaron Rodgers weighs in on viral video of him with beer case in pickup truck

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers weighed in on Friday on the video of him that went viral during the week.

A Packers fan named Amber Danette shared a video on her TikTok account that showed someone who looked like Rodgers riding in the back of a teammate’s pickup truck. The person held up a case of beer too for the camera.

Rodgers confirmed on Twitter that that was him in the video. He said it was teammate David Bakhtiari’s truck.

Bakhtiari sent a funny tweet about the matter too.

The video was taken right by Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers’ season just came to an end following a disappointing loss to Tampa Bay. Rodgers drew some questions about his future with his comments after the loss. He has since downplayed the likelihood of him leaving Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers downplays talk of his uncertain future with Packers

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers sent Green Bay Packers fans into a collective panic when he indicated on Sunday that his future with the franchise is in doubt, but the star quarterback is now trying to calm some of those nerves.

Rodgers made his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday, and he was asked about all the talk that he could leave the Packers this offseason. The two-time MVP said he expects to remain in Green Bay but understands that is up to the team, not him.

“Obviously after the season I had, potentially winning MVP and we obviously made another good run, I don’t think that there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be back.” Rodgers said. “But there’s not many absolutes in this business. To make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it.”

After the Packers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rodgers said his future with the Packers is “uncertain” just like that of several of his teammates. He said on Tuesday that he was simply speaking the truth, which is something fans are not accustomed to getting from athletes.

“I’m 15 minutes from crying in the locker room with some of my teammates. I come and sit down for this interview and they ask me questions and I give real answers. … To me, a reality — not a certainty or an absolute — is that my future is not in my hands,” Rodgers said. “That’s really the case for all of us as players.”

You can see Rodgers’ full comments below, but beware that the video contains some inappropriate language:

If Rodgers was only trying to make the point that the Packers might not want him back, it seems that question has been answered. CEO Mark Murphy had a blunt response this week when asked if Rodgers will remain with the team in 2021.

There’s a way Rodgers could force his way out of Green Bay, but it doesn’t sound like he plans to go that route. All signs point to him remaining with the Packers next season.

Packers’ CEO addresses Aaron Rodgers’ future with team

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers cast doubt on his future with the Green Bay Packers with some remarks he made following Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the team’s brass is not yet thinking about life without its star quarterback.

During an appearance on “The 5th Quarter Show” on WNFL in Green Bay on Monday, Packers CEO Mark Murphy had a very blunt response when asked about Rodgers’ future in Green Bay. He said the two-time NFL MVP is not going anywhere.

“We’re not idiots. Aaron Rodgers will be back, he’s our leader,” Murphy said, via WNFL’s Mark Daniels.

Of course, no one really thought any split between Rodgers and the Packers would be mutual. Although Green Bay traded up to draft Jordan Love in the first round last year, Rodgers is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He threw for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions. His 121.5 passer rating was the second-highest mark in NFL history behind his own 122.5 in 2011.

In the rare event that Rodgers leaves the Packers, it will almost certainly because he wants out. He’s under contract with the Packers for three more seasons, but there’s a way he could force Green Bay’s hand.

For what it’s worth, one Packers legend does not envision Rodgers in another uniform next season.

Brett Favre not buying talk of Aaron Rodgers possibly leaving Packers

Brett Favre

Most people are taking Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers seriously when he says his future with the organization is uncertain. Curiously, Brett Favre does not appear to be one of them.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, Favre downplayed Rodgers’ comments after the Packers’ NFC Championship loss, adding that Green Bay would never do anything to jeopardize Rodgers’ future with the organization.

“I wouldn’t pay much attention to it,” Favre said, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “I think frustration, disappointment, hurt, pain, all were in that soundbite. Look, there’s no way the Packers would do anything to jeopardize losing Aaron, unless Aaron just chooses to retire, which I would be shocked. The guy’s playing better now than he’s ever played, and without him, you certainly wouldn’t have been even close to where you were. And I think the same will go for next year, and really the next few years, if he chooses to play. I wouldn’t pay much attention to what he said. I’ve been there. It’s so — I mean, it hurts. It’s painful. The last thing you want to do is think about next year, because you just had a major disappointment, and that’s what you’re hearing in that soundbite.”

Favre’s take doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Packers already did something to alienate Rodgers by using their first-round pick in 2020 on Jordan Love, his heir apparent at the quarterback position. Favre even said at the time that the pick ran the risk of pushing Rodgers out of Green Bay before his career ended, so it’s not clear why Favre would change his stance now.

Favre was an emotional player who sometimes let his heart rule his head. Rodgers is much more calculated, and he would have been choosing his words carefully. Maybe Rodgers and the Packers stick together, but Favre’s notion that this whole thing should just be put aside as a product of the moment seems to miss the mark.

Photo: Flickr/Arnie Papp via CC-BY 2.0

Joe Thomas offers theory on Aaron Rodgers’ ominous remarks

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night spoke like a man who may have played his last snap for the Packers, but at least one future Hall of Famer does not think fans in Green Bay have anything to worry about.

Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas isn’t buying that Rodgers would actually force his way out of Green Bay. The way Thomas sees it, Rodgers was simply taking a shot at the Packers’ brass for trading up to draft a quarterback in the first round last year.

“R-E-L-A-X PACKER FANS!” Thomas wrote on Twitter Monday. “Aaron Rodgers knows
@packers aren’t stupid enough to move on from the best player in the NFL; who’s shown no signs of decline, and is under contract… this is him just taking a little shot at the GM who drafted a QB in 1st rd last year because he knows that Packer fans AND the NFL will jump quickly on these comments and remind everyone of the stupidity of moving up and drafting a QB when you have Rodgers and could have picked a different player that may have allowed you to win this game and then the SB.”

That certainly seems like the most likely outcome. While the Packers came up short with a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both they and Rodgers still had an excellent season. The situation isn’t like when Tom Brady had no weapons around him in New England last year and the Patriots sputtered out in the first round of the playoffs.

Rodgers did not commit to returning to Green Bay in 2021, but he is under contract for three more seasons. There’s still a way he could force the Packers to part ways with him, but it seems unlikely that he will go that route.

Here’s how Aaron Rodgers could force his way out of Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers made some comments during his press conference after the NFC Championship Game that have Packers fans feeling uneasy. If the star quarterback decides he wants out of Green Bay, he just might get his wish.

Rodgers is under contract with the Packers for three more seasons. Despite that, he would not commit to remaining with the team in 2021 following Sunday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 37-year-old called his future in Green Bay “uncertain.”

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted on “Get Up!” Monday morning, there is a scenario where Rodgers could force his way out of Green Bay. That would involve threatening to retire if he is not traded. Schefter speculated that Rodgers might want to play for a team like the Los Angeles Rams.

“They control him for three more seasons unless Aaron Rodgers says, ‘I’m not gonna play there anymore. I’m gonna retire. I’m gonna go rogue here and force my way out of there, and I want to be traded.’ … People think the Packers control him when, in fact, Aaron Rodgers can flip it rather quickly,” Schefter explained.

You can hear Schefer’s full remarks below:

All of this remains unlikely, but Rodgers could have easily said he will be back next season. There’s a reason he didn’t. Perhaps he was simply upset because the loss was so fresh. Or, maybe he saw what happened with Tom Brady and is starting to think about the potential of playing elsewhere.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur may have blown Sunday’s game with one of the worst decisions you will ever see. Rodgers said he understood the thought process behind it but that it wasn’t his decision. You have to wonder if he lost some confidence in his head coach after that.

Aaron Rodgers casts doubt on future with Packers after NFC Championship loss

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers raised eyebrows in terms of both what he said and how he said it after Sunday’s NFC Championship loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rodgers admitted his future was uncertain after Sunday’s loss, suggesting that he may not be leaning toward returning to Green Bay — or that the Packers might be ready to move on from him.

Multiple media members on the Zoom call took note of Rodgers’ tone as well. ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde, who has covered Rodgers for the quarterback’s entire career, said it sounded like a goodbye.

Matt Schneidman of The Athletic added that Rodgers is very careful with his words, and it was clear that the quarterback was uncertain about his future.

For whatever it’s worth, Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he “sure as hell hope(d)” Rodgers would return to the Packers for 2021.

Rodgers has three years remaining on his contract and no intention of retiring. He does likely have leverage if he wants to use it coming off one of his best seasons. The Packers drafted Rodgers’ heir apparent in Jordan Love in the 2020 draft, which immensely bothered Rodgers as well. It certainly sounds like he’s going to at least consider moving on in the aftermath of all this.