A former NFL general manager suggested Wednesday that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not well-liked among those who have played with and coached him over the years.
According to Matt Lombardo of FanSided, the ex-NFL GM said: "The guy's selfish. Teammates don't like him. Coaches don't like him. It's all about Aaron. They all deal with him, because he's a superstar. He helps guys make money and put food on the table for their kids, and people respect him for that."
Rodgers, who has spent his entire 16-year NFL career with the Packers, has told some within the organization that he no longer wants to play in Green Bay, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The 37-year-old Rodgers is coming off winning his third career NFL MVP award, but he did not report to the Packers for mandatory minicamp, increasing concern regarding whether he will ever play another down for the only NFL team he has ever known.
After posting fairly modest production in 2019, Rodgers rebounded with arguably the best statistical season of his career, as he completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions while also rushing for 149 yards and three scores in 2020.
Rodgers led the Packers to a 13-3 record, an NFC North title and the NFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season, but Green Bay once again fell short of the Super Bowl, losing at home to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The reasoning behind Rodgers' reported desire to leave Green Bay remains unclear. There was speculation that the Packers' decision to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft may have played a role, but that may not be the case.
During a recent appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter, Rodgers praised Love and followed it up with a somewhat cryptic response regarding why he is having issues with the organization:
"With my situation, look it's never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan. 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 fanbase 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 implication from Rodgers may be that he is unhappy that the Packers didn't inform him of the pick or ask him for his input ahead of taking Love, who is Rodgers' heir apparent.
Rodgers responded with an MVP performance in 2020, and the Packers are now in a position where they may have to become the first team in NFL history to trade a player the year after he won an MVP award.
Rodgers could be using his leverage to get something he wants, such as a new contract, but if the holdout continues into training camp, it will become a real possibility that he won't play for the Packers or perhaps at all in 2021.
Regarding Rodgers' holdout, the former NFL GM said: "The longer this goes on, it shows how selfish Aaron really is."
If Rodgers is serious about no longer playing in Green Bay, the starting job will belong to Love, who didn't take a single snap as a rookie last season.
That would conceivably damage the Packers' chances of contending for a Super Bowl in 2021, but there is a possibility it could turn out to be a positive, much like when the Packers selected Rodgers in the first round in 2005 and had him replace a Hall of Fame quarterback in Brett Favre three years later.