Last week, Green Bay Packers receiver Romeo Doubs joined Maggie & Perloff, where he claimed that he never got to hang out with quarterback Aaron Rodgers during Doubs’ rookie season. Stating that “it’s always been football” with the four-time MVP, this created an obvious reaction from talking heads about Rodgers — who still has yet to decide to either retire or continue to play football in 2023.
Rodgers, on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, addressed his relationship with Doubs and attempted to diffuse the situation.
Well, it’s the same tired voices, I think, for the most part. It’s people that either aren’t playing or, you know, weren’t anywhere near my level still trying to have a name on TV or people that enjoy trying to run with a narrative that makes me look bad.
Listen, I’m 100 percent attendant on every team party. I don’t know that every person can say that on the squad. That’s a chance to hang out with me in those venues. I’m damn near 100 percent every single O-line dinner. We do some dinners on the road. So, I think I spend a lot of time with my teammates and I love that time.
Now, there’s obviously ones you’re closer with than others. Dave [Bakhtiari] and Randall [Cobb] are two of my closest friends on the team. I spend a lot of time with them. Bobby [Tonyan] and Allen [Lazard], spend a good amount with them of time as well. Two of my closest buddies on the team. Mason Crosby, you know, go over to his house. But what those guys have in common, especially Mase and Dave and Randall, is that they’re in their thirties. I’m 39 years old.
The things that I’m thinking about and doing and spending my time doing are a little probably different than the 21-, 22-year-old. After the day is done, I’m not going home to play video games all night on Twitch and all these different things young kids do, which is awesome. I have no problem with that. Hey, you spend your time wherever you want to spend it. I’m just not maybe having the same interests.
I love Romes. I enjoy playing with Romes. I enjoy our conversations. I enjoyed seeing his personality come out. But there’s two types of leaders: There’s leaders that want to be liked — first and foremost and respected second — and there’s leaders that want to be respected first and foremost and liked second.
For what it’s worth, it’s notable that the mentioned Bakhtiari, Cobb, Tonyan, Lazard and Crosby all have questionable standing with the team heading into 2023. Cobb, Tonyan, Lazard and Crosby are all set to be unrestricted free agents, with Lazard hinting that he had played his last game with the Packers following their loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 18. Bakhtiari is under contract but could become a cap casualty for the team this offseason despite general manager Brian Gutekunst claiming that the team wants him to be their left tackle next year.
Two weeks ago, Rodgers stated that he wouldn't want to be part of a rebuild, which is reasonable. Where the gray area begins is the reporting that Rodgers wants players like Cobb, Tonyan, Lazard and Crosby back in 2023, which in his mind could qualify the team as “rebuilding.”
Rodgers said that he’s going to take a few more weeks to make his decision and that the focus of the league should be on the Super Bowl, so don’t expect any end to the “will he, won’t he” drama anytime soon.