After an entire offseason of rumors and uncertainty, Aaron Rodgers returned to the Packers on Wednesday and gave a heartfelt press conference at the start of training camp.
Rodgers has disagreed with the property and said he considered retiring last offseason, but is expected to play in 2021.
A major point of emphasis with Rodgers and the Packers’ front office was his lack of involvement in drafting throughout his 16-year tenure with the team. And things came to a boil in 2020 when quarterback Jordan Love, his presumed and eventual replacement, was selected.
“Green Bay is not a great vacation destination,” Rodgers said. “People come here to play with me and play with our team knowing that they can win a championship here and the fact that they haven’t used me in those discussions was something I wanted to change in the future.”
Rodgers said no changes were made when he emphasized his desire to participate in the draft and by March he was frustrated with his lack of commitment to the 37-year-old going forward.
Rodgers and the Packers reached an agreement in terms of his contract in order to bring him back to training camp, for ESPN. But it would leave Rodgers the option of leaving Green Bay in 2022.
“If you can’t commit to me after 2021, and I’m not part of the recruiting process and free agency … if I’m not part of the future, then instead of letting me be a pathetic quarterback if you want to make a change and move on. go ahead, do it “.
Rodgers added that around the 2021 draft a contract extension was discussed, but insisted it wasn’t about money.
“Post the draft, what basically happened was that [front office] I said ‘we’ll give you some money now, let’s see if we can give you some money,’ and I said from the beginning that it wasn’t about the money, “he said.
Rodgers went on to say that he was surprised there wasn’t a conversation about a possible extension for him earlier. However, the talks did not begin until management began to feel the pressure of a possible departure.
But Rodgers was also frustrated by other veteran players who he believes were not given the proper respect they deserve for ownership. He listed “high character” veterans such as Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and many more that he believes were not treated with the respect they deserved.
“Great locker room guys, guys of high character who weren’t offered a contract at all or were extremely humble or, maybe in my opinion, they weren’t given the respect by stepping out of those guys for their status and stature and high deserved character, “Rodgers said.
Despite all the disputes with the organization, Rodgers responded with a “Yes, I do” when asked if he wanted to stay with the Packers.
“I love this team, I love the fans, the opportunity to play at Lambeau Field has been a dream come true and to be in my 17th season is really special.”
The full press conference can be seen here:
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