Aaron Rodgers Says ‘Philosophy’ Caused Rift With Packers: ‘It’s About Character’

Quarterback Spoke To 'SportsCenter' Monday After Missing First Team Training Session

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field after the NFC championship NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. Morry Gash/AP Photo

Aaron Rodgers didn’t attend the first day of optional workouts for the Green Bay Packers on Monday. But his absence likely wasn’t a surprise for fans who’ve been following the rocky relationship between the star quarterback and his longtime team this offseason.

Rodgers spoke Monday night with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne about the ongoing schism.

“I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization. History is important, legacy of so many people who’ve come before you,” Rodgers said. “But the people, that’s the most important thing, the people make an organization.”

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Rodgers implied he hasn’t felt valued as a person, despite leading the team to two consecutive NFC title games and winning league MVP last season. It seems the problem has been brewing since last year, when the Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State in the first round of the NFL Draft.

“With my situation, it’s never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan. I love Jordan. He’s a great kid,” Rodgers said.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst acknowledged Rodgers wasn’t consulted on the pick. The move signaled Green Bay was thinking about its future after Rodgers, who’s been with the team for 16 years. It was eerily similar to when Rodgers himself was drafted as successor to quarterback Brett Favre in 2005.

While Rodgers loves his coaching staff, teammates and fans in Green Bay, the organization’s “philosophy” caused the rift, he said.

“It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way, and 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,” he said.

Rodgers declined to say what his future might hold, instead choosing to reflect on Mayne’s long career as a “SportsCenter” anchor. Monday was his last show.

The friends also discussed other topics during the interview, including the Ayurvedic cleanse that helped Rodgers shed 15 pounds this offseason.

It’s been a busy time for Rodgers. During his MVP acceptance speech, he announced his engagement to actor Shailene Woodley. The pair have since traveled to Mexico, Hawaii and Disney World. Rodgers joked to Mayne that the wedding will be “ostentatious” since he’s a “big floral guy.”

Rodgers also did a two-week stint as host of “Jeopardy!”

Meanwhile, the Packers have remained insistent that they want Rodgers to be their quarterback next season. The team recently held its rookie minicamp, and a mandatory minicamp begins June 15.