Aaron Rodgers is no longer the NFL Players Association representative for the Green Bay Packers.
The NFLPA announced Saturday afternoon the new player-elected representatives and alternates for each of their 32 teams and revealed veteran kicker Mason Crosby will now be repping the Packers on league matters. Crosby had served last year as an alternate to Rodgers, whose name was nowhere to be found among the Packers’ list of representatives.
Starting cornerback Jaire Alexander, offensive guard Lucas Patrick and linebacker Oren Burks were all named NFLPA alternates behind Crosby for the 2020 season.
Rodgers was among NFL leaders who strongly opposed the league’s new collective bargaining agreement when player reps met for negotiations earlier this year. The veteran Packers quarterback had taken issue with a number of points in the proposed 10-year labor deal and expressed frustration about the quality of communication throughout the process.
Rodgers was one of 14 reps who voted “no” on sending the CBA to a membership-wide player vote and later called it “disheartening” when he sent emails trying to engage his Packers teammates on the content of the CBA and received “next to no response.”
“I don’t feel like this is a negotiation that the player is going to look at when I’m done playing and go, ‘Man, I’m so glad this is what we decided on,'” Rodgers said on ESPN’s Wilde & Tausch in early March after player reps met to discuss the proposed CBA.
It is unclear whether Rodgers’ sour experience with the CBA negotiations was responsible for him not returning as the team’s player rep, but the NFLPA side of things does not change his status as a Packers leader nor does it signal anything about his playing future.
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Alexander’s Reputation Continues to Grow
While Rodgers’ departure from NFLPA matters wasn’t necessarily expected, there are few surprises about Crosby being elected to take his place.
Crosby and Rodgers are two of the only Packers players over the age of 35 — the third is Marcedes Lewis — with Crosby having spent just two fewer seasons than him in Green Bay. He is also tied to the Packers for the long-term future after inking a three-year contract extension with the team in February, making him an ideal representative.
The name that really stands out on the list, though, is Alexander.
It would be difficult to classify Alexander, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, as a rising star given he has established himself as a lockdown cornerback for the Packers, but his ascendence through the NFL ranks has hardly run its course. According to Pro Football Focus, Alexander was the league’s highest-graded cornerback through the first nine weeks with shutdown efforts against receivers like Calvin Ridley, Mike Evans and Will Fuller.
By the end of the year, Alexander could potentially have Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors attached to his name with another year still to go on his rookie contract, and it only speaks further to his growing reputation that his teammates picked him as one of their NFLPA player reps. Alexander may not find an interest in league politics, but it serves Packer Nation well to have a young leader not only thriving on the field but also showing leadership qualities off the field.