Green Bay Packers organized team activities are underway, and following their early sessions, there were plenty of Aaron Rodgers questions to go around. Last year’s MVP was absent from the OTAs, and the tension hasn’t subsided between No. 12 and the Packers front office.
While it is worth noting OTAs are voluntary, and many likely show up to collect a workout bonus, Rodgers had been a frequent attendee in the past.
Adrian Amos and Aaron Jones took to the podium on Tuesday following workouts and were asked about Rodgers. Both seemed to not put much stock into it all while recognizing the situation remains foggy.
There had been reports earlier this offseason that Rodgers had told potential Packers free agent targets that he wouldn’t be returning to Green Bay. It left many pondering what he had told his own teammates as Green Bay went out and re-signed Jones, gave David Bakhtiari a massive extension, and made other moves to keep the roster intact as well.
Would No. 12 really make it clear to others outside of the Packers that he isn’t coming back and to look elsewhere but not tell his own dudes?
Jones’ comments indicate quite clearly he never had a discussion with Rodgers about it. How can you not straight-up love the fact that this dude said it wouldn’t have influenced his decision anyway?
The cynics will point to the money, and the contract as the reason, the believer part inside us all want to point towards Jones’ genuine love for Green Bay and his teammates and coaches. Either way, it’s telling that Jones wanted to return regardless of the drama surrounding No. 12 and his disdain for the Packers front office.
It’s not to say he doesn’t have Rodgers’ back. But that whatever is going on with the MVP is separate from his feelings about the Packers and Green Bay.
Jones also took time to put things in perspective in his own life after his father, Alvin, passed away in April.
“The rest of my career will be dedicated to my father. He’s the reason I started playing football…I have a locker room full of brothers here who are making sure I’m OK. Some nights, I’m just there on their couch. That’s what this game is about, having your brothers around you.”
Tip of the cap to No. 33.
Amos sent out a fairly cryptic tweet that coincided with Rodgers’ appearance on Kenny Mayne’s farewell SportsCenter show.
This came after Mayne asked Rodgers on ESPN about his future with the Packers.
On Tuesday after OTAs, Amos was asked about the tweet and deflected away, saying it could’ve been about many things. Unless he thinks all of us have the word ‘idiot’ stamped on our foreheads, it’s pretty clear based on the time of the tweet and what had just occurred what he was referencing.
However, it was Amos who then shed some more light on the reality of the fiasco when asked if Rodgers will be back in his mind.
“I expect him to be, but I’m not going to go home and cry and if something else happens. … Of course, you want one of the greatest QBs on your team. But I’m not going to knock anybody for getting what they feel like they deserve.”
While the quote may not be groundbreaking or riveting, it’s another case like Jones, where some of these Packers players don’t seem as on edge or worried about how this will pan out as initially thought. Maybe they are good at hiding the anxiety of it, or maybe it needs to be taken at face value.
While the case of Rodgers differs from Brett Favre‘s waffling when the Packers ended up moving on from him, there is a parallel to be drawn to what’s going on right now. That is, when Favre announced his retirement then tried coming back, Mike McCarthy famously said, “The train has left the station,” and the Packers players followed suit with that idea.
Now, with Rodgers’ future with the franchise hanging in the balance, guys like Jones and Amos want No. 12 back but realize that if it’s not meant to be, they will move on. Their words hold a notion that differs from what many believed to be the case which was that these teammates of Rodgers would perhaps cater to him and “take his side” in this ordeal in a battle of player against the front office.
Instead, guys like Amos and Jones seem cool as a cucumber.
It wouldn’t have been surprising to see Jones and Amos plead for Rodgers to come back and rave about his importance to this team. There’s no doubt that they believe he’s critical to the operation in Green Bay. But instead, Jones said Rodgers’ decision wouldn’t have impacted his free-agent choice to come back and Amos said he wouldn’t cry about it if Rodgers is elsewhere this season.
It goes to show the belief this team has in the foundation, whether it’s blind faith or a valid one.