Aaron Rodgers Breaks Silence on ‘Spillout’ With Packers

Rodgers to Kenny Mayne

Getty Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a fumble in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California.

Aaron Rodgers has finally spoken, but don’t expect his words to ease the hearts and minds of an anxious Green Bay Packers fan base.

On Monday night, Rodgers gave his first on-camera interview with sports media since ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke news on April 29 of the rift that had developed between him and the Packers organization. The reigning NFL MVP agreed to appear late-night on SportsCenter strictly to pay homage to longtime ESPN sportscaster Kenny Mayne for his final episode, but it was inevitable he would have to face the situation in some capacity, even if merely to dodge and deflect.

Give it Mayne; he made a valiant effort at getting something concrete out of Rodgers in his interview even as the veteran quarterback insisted he was only on the show out of appreciation for Mayne. Rodgers dodged and joked his way through several direct questions early on, but Mayne did finally get the closest thing to an answer anyone has gotten from Rodgers on where he stands with the Packers.

Here’s what Rodgers told Mayne:

With my situation, look, it’s never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan. I love Jordan (Love). He’s a great kid, a lot of fun to work together. (I) love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base 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. 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 the way I played last year. So, this is just I think the spillout of all that. But look man, it is about the people and that’s the most important thing. Green Bay has always been about the people — from Curly Lambeau being owner and founder to the 60s with Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the 90s teams with Coach (Mike) Holmgren and Favrey (Brett Favre) and the Minister of Defense (Reggie White) to the run that we’ve been on. It’s about the people.

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Rodgers: ‘People Make an Organization’

The Packers brass has frequently described Rodgers as a pro’s pro, and he proved once again Monday night that his professional savvy extends to getting certain points across in the media without confessing any hard facts about the situation.

Rodgers knows Packers fans, at least some, have grown frustrated over the last month as he has left the reports unaddressed. Rodgers is also aware there will be some loyal to the Packers’ name and brand before siding with a player in a possible dispute. But he also told Mayne he thinks “sometimes people forget what really makes an organization.”

“History is important, legacy of so many people who have come before you,” Rodgers said. “But the people, that’s the most important thing. The people make an organization. The people make a business and sometimes that gets forgotten. Culture is built brick by brick, the foundation of it by the people. Not by the organization, not by the building, not by the corporation. It’s built by people. And I’ve been fortunate enough to play with a number of amazing, amazing people and got to work for some amazing people as well. And it’s those people that built the foundation of those entities, and I think we sometimes forget that.”

Suffice it to say, at least one of his Packers teammates was impressed.

Rodgers Avoids Denying Trade Request

Mayne did get one or two specific facts out of Rodgers on his final show. As ESPN’s Rob Demovsky had reported earlier Monday, Rodgers confirmed he was not in attendance for the start of the Packers’ voluntary offseason work. He didn’t give a reason why; though, there were several reasonable explanations that wouldn’t give cause for panic.

Then, there was Rodgers’ non-response to a question about whether he requested a trade. Mayne asked him directly if those reports were true and, rather than take the chance to shoot down something that would be easy to do if inaccurate, he was deliberately noncommital.

“Ken, I don’t know,” Rodgers said. “I’ve kind of said my piece in the last part.”

Aaron Rodgers talks Packers, pays tribute to Kenny Mayne on Mayne's final show | SportsCenterAaron Rodgers joins Kenny Mayne on his final SportsCenter show to talk a little about the Green Bay Packers situation and a lot about Mayne's influence, his legacy and their friendship. 0:00 Mayne tries to get Rodgers to talk about the Packers situation. 0:49 Rodgers pays a lengthy tribute to Mayne's career and their friendship.…2021-05-25T04:33:38Z

Could Rodgers’ refusal to strike down the trade rumors be an admission of truth? It could just as easily break the other way in that his refusal to confirm them suggests they are not true. In reality, the only thing that is clear is that both the Packers and Rodgers have vaguely acknowledged there is a “situation” playing out between them and only they have the specifics on when, where and how it could all end.

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