Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee debunked reports that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants to become the highest-paid player in the NFL on Friday.
Speaking about the subject on his Pat McAfee Show (beginning at the 7:40 mark), McAfee said he texted Rodgers to ask if it was true and was told it wasn't:
McAfee added that the reports about Rodgers demanding $50 million from the Packers were "categorically false."
Rumors of Rodgers' monetary demands surfaced Thursday when ESPN's Dianna Russini appeared on the Rich Eisen Show and said Rodgers wants to be the "highest-paid player in the NFL by a wide margin," which would put him in the neighborhood of $50 million per year:
Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow
She reported this morning an update on a when Aaron Rodgers could make a decision on his playing future and <a href="https://twitter.com/diannaESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@diannaESPN</a> joined us to explain what she's heard on the matter:<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/hLC5CMIVlc">pic.twitter.com/hLC5CMIVlc</a>
Rodgers won his second consecutive NFL MVP award last season, and there are questions regarding whether he will remain with the Packers.
After initially not reporting to training camp last year because of issues with the organization, Rodgers ultimately showed up and played out the season.
At the time, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Packers made some concessions to get Rodgers to play in 2021. Among them was voiding the 2023 year in Rodgers' contract to make him a free agent after 2022.
Schefter also reported last year that the Packers and Rodgers were in discussions about essentially allowing Rodgers to choose where he wants to play in 2022.
Earlier this week, however, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said agreeing to trade Rodgers if he wanted out after 2021 "was not something I told him," per ESPN's Rob Demovsky.
Rodgers has been outspoken about his belief that the Packers haven't always treated their top players with proper respect or given them the types of contracts they deserve in order to keep them in the fold.
Wide receiver Randall Cobb was among the players Rodgers specifically mentioned, and the Packers acquired him prior to the 2021 season in an apparent attempt to appease their disgruntled quarterback.
Former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings, who was Rodgers' teammate from 2006-12, called Rodgers a "very selfish guy" during an appearance on FS1's First Things First on Friday:
First Things First @FTFonFS1
"Aaron Rodgers has been a very selfish guy. ... I go back to personal experiences. His words to me were, 'don't be that guy.' All of a sudden, it's about the money."<br><br>— <a href="https://twitter.com/GregJennings?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GregJennings</a> on reports that Rodgers wants to be NFL's highest-paid player: <a href="https://t.co/UWYIoNZVUR">pic.twitter.com/UWYIoNZVUR</a>
In reference to the report that Rodgers wanted to be the highest-paid player in the NFL, Jennings suggested that Rodgers hasn't been practicing what he preaches.
Jennings said Rodgers once told him, "Don't be that guy," in reference to Jennings trying to land a big contract. If Rodgers is indeed trying to get a huge contract in his own right, it can be argued that it flies in the face of what he allegedly told Jennings.
With that said, Rodgers is only set to make $27.490 million in 2022, per Spotrac, which is extremely low considering what he brings to the table.
The 38-year-old veteran is the two-time defending NFL MVP and a four-time MVP overall, plus a 10-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champion.
He has also led the Packers to 13 wins in each of the past three seasons, although they have fallen short of the Super Bowl each time.
Even so, Rodgers gives the Packers the best opportunity to win a championship, and if he does want more money despite what he told McAfee, it is fair to say he deserves it.