Packers’ Matt LaFleur Claps Back at Anti-Rodgers MVP Voter

LaFleur Responds Arkush

Getty Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the first quarter of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on December 12, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur doesn’t seem to have a high opinion of NFL MVP voters who base their decisions on anything other than “how somebody goes out and performs on a weekly basis.”

One day after Chicago sportswriter and MVP voter Hub Arkush told 670 The Score that he won’t vote for Aaron Rodgers as MVP because he is “the biggest jerk in the league,” LaFleur was asked about his thoughts on the voting criteria and had a few pointed things to say as someone who seemed to have heard the criticisms of his quarterback.

Here’s LaFleur’s exchange with Wisconsin radio host and sports director Greg Matzek ahead of Wednesday’s practice on January 5:

Matzek: In your opinion, should MVP voting be considered based upon solely what happens on the field versus things that happen off the field?

LaFleur: Yeah, absolutely, without a doubt. I don’t know what else could factor into it than how somebody goes out and performs on a weekly basis, and if people are going to judge people for differences of opinions or things that they have no idea what the heck they are talking about, then I think that just kind of discredits that award. We hold that award in high regard, I think most do, and I think it’s an absolute privilege to be able to vote for that award. And to consider anything else outside of what you see when that player is out there playing is a disservice to everybody.

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Arkush Blasted Rodgers for Offseason Drama

Arkush is one of 50 writers chosen by the Associated Press every year to select the league’s annual MVP winner, but he is also a longtime Bears insider who earlier this year watched Rodgers celebrate a touchdown at Soldier Field by shouting at front-row Bears fans that he has “owned them all of his life” and “still owns” them. Given the proximity bias, it would be easy to understand why, privately, he might consider voting against Rodgers.

Disappointingly, though, Arkush made it pretty clear that his disdain for Rodgers originates from his offseason antics with the Packers, which he claimed hurt the team.

“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,” Arkush said about Rodgers. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he is clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady. So from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not gonna be my choice.”

Rodgers’ Efficiency Makes Strong MVP Case

Rodgers continues to pull away as the odds-on MVP favorite in the final week of the 2021 regular season. According to OddsShark, the 38-year-old Packers quarterback is now being given -375 odds to win the award for a second straight year, while Tom Brady (+550), Jonathan Taylor (+1000) and Joe Burrow (+1800) have quite a bit of impressing to do in Week 18 if they want to challenge Rodgers’ standing.

The case for Rodgers isn’t just limited to the success of the Packers, who have won 13 games for a third consecutive season and clinched the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed for the second year in a row. He has been remarkable since coming off the reserve/COVID-19 list in Week 10, completing more than 70% of his passes (179 of 255) for 2,083 yards, 18 touchdowns and just one interception — all while playing on a broken pinky toe. The deeper you go into Rodgers’ efficiency metrics, the better he looks.

The winner of the 2021 NFL MVP award will be announced on February 2, one day before the Super Bowl is scheduled to be played.

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