Rodgers made his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, January 17, during which the 39-year-old signal caller asserted that he is capable of re-attaining MVP status in 2023 pending the “right situation.”
Gronkowski appeared the following day on FanDuel’s Up and Adams podcast and criticized Rodgers’ entire outlook on the remainder of his career. NFL reporter Dov Kleiman tweeted video of the tight end’s comments on Wednesday.
“I’m totally fine with everything he said except one major part — that’s the MVP again. He should have said, ‘I think I could win another Super Bowl,’ and then that would have been totally fine,” Gronkowski said. “Like bro, why are you thinking MVP? Don’t you want Super Bowls? Super Bowls, I think, are like five times greater than an MVP Award.”
“We all know that you’ve won the MVP a few times now, but what everyone would know even more is how many more Super Bowls you’ve won than MVPs,” Gronkowski continued. “So that’s why I’m just a little confused about that quote that he just had. I mean, it should be Super Bowls. You should never be thinking MVP.”
Gronkowski Compares Aaron Rodgers to Tom Brady in Comments
The full context of Rodgers’ MVP comments on Tuesday were as follows:
“A lot of people said I was washed [in 2019], couldn’t really play anymore, wasn’t the same, and then I won two MVPs in a row without really doing anything different. I’m sure there’s a lot of the same sentiment this year,” Rodgers told McAfee. “Do I still think I can play? Of course, of course. Can I play at a high level? Yeah, the highest. I think I can win MVP again in the right situation.”
Considering Gronkowski’s long-term personal and professional relationship with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, it’s difficult to read the tight end’s criticism of Rodgers as anything but a comparison to Gronkowski’s old teammate.
Brady has won the Super Bowl seven times, hoisting one Lombardi Trophy with the Bucs and six as a member of the New England Patriots. Gronkowski was his teammate for four of those titles in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.
As strange as it might seem, Gronkowski occupies a uniquely qualified space to criticize Rodgers — who, by the way, has a Super Bowl ring of his own — over the QB’s general football mentality. Gronkowski was a crucial cog for Brady along the way to more than half of his championship rings and watched up close one of the winningest players in the history of American team sports for 11 years.
Aaron Rodgers Needs Another Super Bowl Ring to Cement Legacy
Rodgers has already secured his place in history with a title and four MVP Awards across an 18-year NFL career. That includes 15 consecutive seasons as the Packers starting QB, during which the team won eight NFC North Division titles. He has been selected to 10 Pro Bowls and been named a first-team All-Pro on four occasions.
Rodgers has thrown for north of 59,000 yards, completed 475 touchdowns to just 105 interceptions, boasts a career quarterback rating of 103.6 and has racked up nearly 3,500 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns over the course of his career, per Pro Football Reference.
Rodgers’ regular season record (147-75-1) and his postseason record (12-10) will make his name nearly synonymous with the phrase “winning football” for generations to come. And yet, when it comes to winning on the biggest stage, he’ll never be regarded as the kind of winner Brady was — or even Gronkowski, for that matter, if whoever is having the debate wants to get technical about it.
But winning and losing are judged differently for quarterbacks, and Rodgers’ career really only needs one more exclamation point — a second Super Bowl ring. If he can get there again in Green Bay, or maybe even elsewhere in the league, then Rodgers will exit the game as one of the handful of QBs who can claim membership in the group “best to ever do it.”
If he can’t, then maybe Gronkowski’s criticisms of Rodgers’ mentality are fair, regardless of the source.