Aaron Rodgers’ most pressing concern about the NFL season is a fairly obvious one: will there be a season?
Rodgers is competing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Calif. He was interviewed during his round on Saturday and was asked what was top of mind for him regarding the upcoming NFL season.
“I think top of mind is, are we going to have a season? I think there’s a lot of things yet to be figured out. We’re hopeful. We’re hopeful it’s with fans and we can get all the testing procedures down the way want for the utmost amount of safety. I think we’re just waiting for the league and the [players association] to figure some things out.”
The NFL has tried to stick to its usual calendar as much as possible. They kept the free agency timeline the same and did not reschedule the draft. But there were no organized team activities, and many are unclear about what will happen with training camps. Rodgers is waiting on that too.
The 36-year-old quarterback helped his Packers to a 13-3 season in 2019 under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur. Rodgers passed for 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and four interceptions. And now he has another question to worry about: how long will he keep his starting job in Green Bay?
- Aaron Rodgers
Former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall had some harsh words for the Green Bay Packers.
Marshall was a guest on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” Thursday and was talking with the host about the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson. The conversation turned to the Packers, whom Cowherd ripped for, in his eyes, not being more aggressive with their moves. Marshall agreed.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) June 25, 2020
“It’s too late. Come on man, they should’ve won two Super Bowls in the last five years. To me, Aaron Rodgers is my favorite quarterback in the NFL, but you wasted this guy’s career,” Marshall said.
“You got one Super Bowl out of Aaron Rodgers? Are you kidding me? It’s too late! It’s too late.”
When you view it from a macro sense, yeah, you might think that a quarterback as talented as Rodgers should have more than one Super Bowl ring. But guess what? It’s not that simple. Do you know who his career has overlapped with? Quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger to name a few. He also will be competing with quarterbacks of the new era for those rings, like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson.
Luck was pretty darn good and never won one. Wilson is pretty darn good and only has one too. Brees’ career stacks up very well against Rodgers, and he only has one as well.
Super Bowl rings are valued as much as they are because they are hard to win. That’s what has made Tom Brady and New England’s run so impressive; they defied all odds and expectations in a difficult league of 32 teams that is well-balanced and designed to eliminate dynasties.
Let’s also not forget that Rodgers suffered major collarbone injuries in two of the nine seasons since winning his Super Bowl, taking away more than 20 percent of his chances to add another ring.
Maybe it’s not a matter of the Packers wasting Rodgers’ career so much as Rodgers’ career proves how difficult it is to win Super Bowls even when you have excellent players.
Of course, given Rodgers’ long-term plans, his chances of winning another Super Bowl should not be discounted.
H/T The Spun
The PGA Tour returned to competition on Thursday with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Texas. Nearly 150 golfers are hoping to win the first pro golf tournament in three months, but none will have a better introduction than Max Homa.
Aaron Rodgers, with his rapidly growing quarantine beard, decided to do the honor of giving Homa a first tee introduction for his first tournament back. Ironically, much of the intro featured Rodgers ripping on Homa’s mustache.
Now on the tee … @MaxHoma23
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 11, 2020
Rodgers and Homa are good friends and have played in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am together. While the intro was excellent, the real takeaway for many of us is that Rodgers is quickly gaining on Ryan Fitzpatrick in the facial hair department.
The offseason may not have gone as Rodgers hoped it would, but the Green Bay Packers star is clearly making the most of it.
Aaron Rodgers has admitted that he was not thrilled when the Green Bay Packers took a quarterback in the first round of the draft last month, but he has apparently not let that stand in the way of having a strong relationship with his head coach. At least, that’s what his head coach says.
Matt LaFleur was asked about his relationship with Rodgers during an appearance on ESPN Wisconsin’s “Wilde and Tausch” show Thursday morning, and the Packers coach insisted everything is fine. LaFleur said he and Rodgers have been speaking four times a week.
“We talk four times a week whenever we get those opportunities to meet in those individual meetings, and I feel really good about where we’re at. We both understand that this is a business,” LaFleur said, via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “When that whole thing went down it was just one of those situations where there were a couple of guys that had just previously been picked and Jordan was the next guy on the board.”
One reporter speculated after the draft that LaFleur may have been trying to send a message to Rodgers by picking Jordan Love in the first round, but that doesn’t sound like it was the case. Not only that, but LaFleur may not have even been responsible for the pick.
If anything, Rodgers would probably have a gripe with Green Bay’s front office. That could eventually lead to Brett Favre’s prediction coming true, but Rodgers understands how important it is for him and LaFleur to be on the same page in the short term. With teams already facing so many challenges this offseason, the last thing the Packers need is tension between their quarterback and head coach.
There has been a lot of disagreement over whether certain states should loosen stay-at-home restrictions and begin returning to normal life, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has given us a glimpse into the way he views the controversial topic.
In a conference call with the media on Friday, Rodgers hinted that he is in favor of stay-at-home orders being lifted. He compared quarantine orders to being under “house arrest.”
“I think we all were buying into the idea of quarantine to flatten the curve,” Rodgers said, as transcribed by TMZ. “And, I think there are a lot of questions now that it’s more of a house arrest to find a cure with people wondering exactly what that means as far as the future of the country and the freedoms we’re allowed to have at this point.”
Rodgers said he sees a lot of problems around the country that have been created by fear, and he is hoping people will use “common sense” going forward.
“I think the important thing to think about, though, which is more important than that is the state of the country and the fact that we have 36-plus million people on unemployment right now; you have obviously rising poverty levels to go along with the unemployment, you have suicide hotline is up 8,000 percent,” he added.
Not surprisingly, Rodgers said he is “very hopeful” the NFL season will proceed as scheduled.
While some states have reopened for business more quickly and aggressively than others, it seems like professional sports will resume in the very near future. The governor of California had initially said he did not envision sports resuming during the summer, but the administration indicated on Monday that its stance has changed significantly.
- Aaron Rodgers
Love spoke with NFL Media’s Omar Ruiz for an interview and was asked if he felt pressure to justify Green Bay’s selection of him. He seems ready to meet the challenge.
Jordan Love on if there’s pressure to justify the Packers pick: “No matter where I would have landed, that was the goal for me. You ought to go out there & prove yourself… It’s a job, you’ve got to be able to keep that.” More of my 1 on 1 w/ him coming up on #NFLNow @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/SS0WytM9mZ
— Omar Ruiz (@OmarDRuiz) May 15, 2020
“No matter where I would have landed, that was the goal for me. You ought to go out there and prove yourself… It’s a job, you’ve got to be able to keep that,” Love said.
Rodgers spoke on Friday about the pick and admitted he was not “thrilled” about it, but said he did not hold hard feelings towards Love. Green Bay must believe in Love’s talent so much that they wanted to make sure to get him, even if they currently have a very capable quarterback.
Based on his mentality, Love sounds like he will be well-equipped to handle the pressure.
- Jordan Love
The Green Bay Packers may be in the early stages of thinking about life after Aaron Rodgers, but that does not mean the Pro Bowl quarterback intends to retire anytime soon.
Rodgers, 36, told reporters in a conference call on Friday that he still plans to play into his 40s.
Rodgers, age 36: "The goal is to play into my 40s. That hasn't changed."
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 15, 2020
If Rodgers follows through with that timeline, the Packers could end up having to make an uncomfortable decision. They traded up to draft former Utah State star Jordan Love in the first round of the draft this year, and you don’t do that for a player you envision as a backup quarterback five years down the road. Rodgers will have just turned 40 when his current contract with Green Bay expires after the 2023 season, so that will be the latest point at which the team has to choose between him and Love.
Rodgers also indicated that he would still like to finish his career with the Packers, but he is not ruling out playing elsewhere.
Will Aaron Rodgers finish his career in GB? Rodgers reinforced the adage "you can only control what you can control… what I can control is how I play."
Said if he can "play at a high level and my body feels great, then there's other guys that have gone on & played elsewhere."
— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) May 15, 2020
Anyone who watched what unfolded with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots knows you cannot rule out Rodgers playing for another team. While Rodgers has had some injuries in recent years, Brady and Drew Brees have proven that NFL quarterbacks can still play at a high level into their 40s. There’s no reason to think Rodgers can’t do the same if he maintains his passion for the game.
Brett Favre seems to think Rodgers is all but certain to leave Green Bay now, but the Packers may be hoping their decision to draft Love motivates Rodgers the same way the Patriots motivated Brady when they drafted Jimmy Garoppolo back in 2014. Brady went on to lead New England to three Super Bowls after that. If trading up to draft Love lights a fire under Rodgers, it will have been worth it for the Packers.