QB Aaron Rodgers Breaks Silence on His Recent Rift With Green Bay Packers

Nearly a month after news broke that Aaron Rodgers wanted out of the Green Bay Packers organization and that a trade deal was close, the NFL quarterback spoke about his situation in Green Bay.

Rodgers said he's happy in Green Bay playing for the Packers and their fans, just not happy being a part of the team that's running the team.

Rodgers appeared on ESPN Monday night as part of Kenny Mayne's final SportsCenter farewell. The Packers quarterback said his recent rift with the organization wasn't the fact that they traded up to draft quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"With my situation, look it's never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan," Rodgers said Monday night. "I love Jordan; he's a great kid. [We've had] a lot of fun to work together. Love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. An incredible 16 years. 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."

The "culture" he referred to was team general manager Brian Gutekunst, who has admitted he should have let Rodgers know about the team's intentions to draft Love from Utah State in 2020.

Rodgers responded to the 2020 Draft by going 13-3, winning his third MVP award and getting his team on the doorstep of the Super Bowl, only to lose to eventual champion Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field.

"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. "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. Green Bay has always been about the people—from Curly Lambeau being owner and founder to the '60s with Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the '90s teams with coach [Mike] Holmgren and [Brett] Favre and the Minister of Defense [Reggie White] to the run that we've been on. It's about the people."

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers walks across the field in the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field on January 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Rodgers was drafted out of Cal-Berkeley in 2005 to be the eventual replacement of Brett Favre, who was later traded to the New York Jets, opening a spot for Rodgers.

Last month, just a few minutes before the 2021 NFL Draft, a story broke that Rodgers had been unhappy in Green Bay over the last season when he won the MVP. On Monday night, Rodgers threw praise at almost everyone in the team's organization. Everyone except Gutekunst.

"I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization. History is important, legacy of so many people who've come before you. But the people, that's the most important thing. People make an organization, people make a business and sometimes that gets forgotten," Rodgers said. "Culture is built brick by brick, the foundation of it by the people, not by the organization, not by the building, not by the corporation. It's built by the people.

"I've been fortunate enough to play a number of amazing, amazing people and got to work for some amazing people as well. It's those people that build foundation of those entities. I think sometimes we forget that."

It was reported earlier Monday that Rodgers had skipped the team's first offseason training activity (OTA), which are "voluntary" workouts, that will cost Rodgers about $500,000 in bonus money, according to ESPN. Rodgers confirmed the reports he'd skipped the OTAs. Should he skip further things like training camp and preseason games, he could face fines from the team.

The Packers open the season on September 12 at the New Orleans Saints.