To say training camp opened with a bang for the Green Bay Packers might be an understatement.
It opened more like a mushroom cloud.
At the conclusion of the opening practice of 2021 camp, Aaron Rodgers took the podium and finally aired his grievances about the organization that has employed him now for 17 seasons. It was a remarkable turnaround from the borderline childish passive aggressiveness that he displayed towards the team since news broke in April he was unhappy and wanted out.
It was Festivus in July as Rodgers listed his perceived issues with the Packers, from not showing departing veterans the proper respect to not being consulted about releasing who he thought was the second best receiver in camp last year. That player, Jake Kumerow, only caught two passes during the regular season last year for the record.
It was Rodgers’ most candid press conference and it was refreshing to hear what he really thought rather than trying to decrypt social media photos and clothing choices. The quarterback said he didn’t want to get into a public war of words with the team that has paid him a ton of money.
With all the dirty laundry out in the open, it’s now time to play some football. Rodgers says he’s not closing the door on being back in 2022 but he also didn’t sound overly optimistic the team would make the changes in how the organization is run he wants.
Regardless, Rodgers is here. We know he’s mad and while this story will hang over the entire season, we can at least finally turn our eyes to the feats of strength on the field.
In the end, that’s all everyone really wants.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel deserves credit for clapping back at Rodgers in saying a lot of the roster decisions the quarterback would have made (or at least suggested) ended up being the wrong call.
The only leverage Rodgers had in this whole ordeal was to retire, a nuclear option that at the very least did cross his mind. At the end of the day, he still wanted to play and had the “fire” to still do it. Let’s hope that fire can burn down the rest of the NFC North for one more year.
Meanwhile, the Packers’ best receiver broke off negotiations with the team in the midst of the Rodgers saga but reportedly is willing to re-engage after the season. Adams wants to be paid like the best receiver in the league, which he honestly is. This could be a replay of the Aaron Jones signing in terms of timing, but Adams made it clear he wants to get paid.
Nostalgic, player-pacifying moves don’t usually result in championships but Cobb can still play and it will be interesting to see how Matt LaFleur utilizes him with Amari Rodgers waiting in the wings.
The moose was clearly still camping out in deluded hopes Rodgers would be traded to Denver and, like many fans, still won’t accept that it isn’t happening.