Aaron Rodgers Breaks Silence on Packers’ Pricey Defense

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Getty Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field on January 22, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in an interesting position when it comes to his team’s Super Bowl-caliber defense.

On the one hand, what quarterback wouldn’t crave and appreciate a group of guys on the other side of the football good enough to be legitimately regarded as one of the NFL’s best, if not its very best?

On the other hand, what quarterback wouldn’t want at least some of the more than $200 million Green Bay spent its defense this offseason allocated to the offensive side of the field, so as to provide him with a few top-notch weapons for his (potentially) declining years?

Rodgers himself got the bag from the Packers this offseason by leveraging his back-to-back MVP seasons and the ability to push his way out of the organization, had he chosen to do so. Rodgers cashed into the tune of nearly $151 million over the next three years, making his the highest annual contract in league history. As such, complaining that the front office doesn’t appear willing to part with any money, personnel or draft capital to secure him a No. 1 wide receiver would come off a bit egocentric and lacking in self-awareness.

The 38-year-old signal caller — recently ranked by ESPN as the best in the NFL ahead of the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Tom Brady — is too smart for that, especially after making misleading comments last season regarding his vaccination status and following that up with a subpar performance during what turned out yet again to be an early playoff exit at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.

Instead, Rodgers was highly complimentary of the Packers’ defense when he spoke about the unit last week. His comments were, however, made in the context of the difficult time he expects his young corps of wide receivers to have leading up to the regular season.

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Rodgers Praises Packers’ Defense, Hints at Wide Receiver Struggles

Aaron Rodgers Decision

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts as he walks off the field after defeating the Los Angeles Rams 36-28 at Lambeau Field on November 28, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Rodgers’ commentary came during an interview on the Wednesday, July 6 edition of the Pat McAfee Show.

“Physically … they definitely look the part,” Rodgers said of rookie wide receivers Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure — all of whom were drafted less than three months ago.

“There’s no better teacher for them on what NFL ball is going to be like then going against our top three corners,” Rodgers added, referring to Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas. “Those guys are gonna get a real quick initiation.”

He continued, in typical Rodgers’ fashion, with measured criticism delivered tactfully and with a twinge of optimism while complimenting Green Bay’s defense in the process.

“It could be a long training camp for the offense,” Rodgers said. “I like the way our defense is looking and playing, and just on paper it looks like they’re going to be pretty formidable, so it could be some growing pains for the offense, which could be great for us.”

Packers Spent More Than $200 Million on Defense During Offseason

Alexander Contract Update

GettyCornerback Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers reacts to a play during the first half of the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California.

The Packers’ front office did a good amount of wheeling and dealing on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, extending four players on multiyear deals to the tune of $212 million.

Green Bay made Alexander the highest-paid cornerback in the league based on annual average income with a four-year deal worth $84 million. Douglas, who joined the team during the middle of last season, signed a three-year contract worth $21 million that could reach $25.5 million with incentives by the time it’s all said and done.

Beyond that, the Packers brought back linebacker De’Vondre Campbell on a five-year deal for $50 million and signed pass rusher Preston Smith for four years at a total of $52.5 million.

With the defense now solidified, Green Bay has approximately $17 million in salary cap space yet to spend this offseason, should the franchise choose to do so. And while a contract in that range, or less, for a free agent wide receiver would pale in comparison to what Rodgers and some of the Packers’ defensive stars received this offseason — it could be the move that adds just enough talent to put Green Bay over the top and back into a Super Bowl for the first time in more than a decade.

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