26

July

Rodgers’ Mounting Disappointments

Rodgers Braun

Lately, Rodgers has dealt with more than his share of disappointments in former teammates and friends

It’s not often that we talk about non-football related topics on our shows, but earlier this week during our first installment of No Huddle Radio, we briefly discussed Ryan Braun’s recent suspension from Major League Baseball.

To catch everyone up, Braun reportedly tested positive for steroids in late 2011 and vehemently argued that the test result was “BS”.  Braun appealed the suspension and ultimately won, albeit on a technicality that stemmed from an issue with the chain of custody of the sample that he submitted.

The story was noteworthy here because of a tie that it has to the Packers’ organization.  A big tie.  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been friends and a business associate of Braun’s for some time.  Both are the faces of their franchises and revered by fans, or in many cases regarding Braun, were.

When Braun’s positive test surfaced and amidst his assertion that he had done nothing wrong, Rodgers publically went to bat for him.  Rodgers took to Twitter and posted some bold thoughts in support of his friend, using the term “idiots” to describe those who were judging Braun before he was found to be guilty.  Rodgers also tweeted to an individual who questioned his allegiance to Braun and bet a year’s salary that Braun was innocent.  Rodgers was basing his sentiments on what he had been told by Braun, at the time.  As I have said before, Rodgers did what most of us would have done.  He believed a friend, based on their merit alone.  That’s how true friendship works, right?  Most of us normally wouldn’t befriend someone that we didn’t feel that we could trust.  Rodgers clearly had that trust in Braun and his word.

That was before today, when Rodgers spoke on the issue and it is clear that he is less-than-thrilled with the situation and likely, Braun himself.  Here is a recap of those comments from CBS Sports.  Rodgers has often toed a very careful line when speaking about sensitive topics and this was no exception.  He was candid in stating his disappointment in the situation, but did leave us wondering what the state of his relationship with Braun would be from here forward.  Let’s not forget that Rodgers is trying to prepare for the 2013 season and likely wants to put this behind him and focus on football.

It is not often that Rodgers is involved with or connected to turmoil such as the Braun situation.  That, alone, is enough to fill a yearly quota of Rodgers-related drama.  Probably more.  Now add that his former teammate and current Minnesota Viking, Greg Jennings, is still sharing his candid thoughts about Rodgers and questioning Rodgers’ commitment to his team.  Here is an excerpt of Jennings’ comments from the Chicago Sun-Times.com:

“For me, I’m such a team person, I’m going to defer to my teammates.  I’m going to defer to the team, to the team, to the team.  And I think when you reach a point where you’re not deferring any longer, it’s no longer really about the team.. . .don’t get me wrong, ‘12’ is a great person, but when you hear all positives, all positives, all positives all the time, it’s hard for you to sit down when one of your teammates says, ‘Man, come on, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable for this.’ It’s hard for someone to see that now because all they’ve heard is I’m doing it the right way, I’m perfect. In actuality, we all have flaws.”

I’ll quickly dismiss Jennings’ assertion that Rodgers thinks he is perfect and not about the team as “bitter pill syndrome”.  As I have said before, I think Jennings is still feeling the sting of not getting a new contract to stay in Green Bay.  Back in 2011 when receiver James Jones was a free agent, Rodgers lobbied the team to keep Jones and while the Packer did let Jones test the free agent market, they ultimately brought him back on a three-year deal.  Jennings probably felt he was worth similar, or more, public support from Rodgers.  While Rodgers didn’t say much about bringing Jennings back prior to his signing with the Vikings, he did drape constant praise over the Jennings during their time together in Green Bay.  Rodgers is also and very likely disappointed in Jennings’ take on his dedication to the Packers.

Rodgers signed his mega-deal contract extension earlier during the offseason and perhaps Jennings feels that one of the reasons Rodgers didn’t go to bat for him was because he wanted the team to focus their financial efforts on his own contract.  Purely speculation on my part.  But when one player gets a new deal or a contract extension, teammates who are also waiting for their new deals are often found feeling passed over.  In this case, it’s no comparison between the team deciding to lock up one of the league’s best quarterbacks during the prime of his career, and a wide receiver who missed significant time and is approaching age 30.

With the salary cap space that the team has, it doesn’t seem as though one situation was even related to the other.  But still, this is how some NFL players think.  While Jennings is talking about deferring to the team, to the team, to the team, he is certainly not afraid to single himself out and continue to talk about his former team time and time again.  What about his new team, new team, new team?

During this offseason and now the preseason, Rodgers has faced plenty of disappointments.  Some of those are even directed at himself, as Rodgers eludes to wishing he had handled his support of Braun differently, in hindsight.  In the past, those questioning Rodgers and being critical of him have served as motivation for him on the field.  If that is the case, once again, we should see a very motivated Rodgers coming into this 2013 season.

 

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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11 Responses to “Rodgers’ Mounting Disappointments”

  1. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    ARod is smart to not respond to Jennings toolishness. GJ will learn the value of Rodgers (and Favruh) when he’s stuck on a 6-10 Vikings team whose QB can’t find his head from a hole in the ground.

    And I liked what Aaron had to say about the Braun situation. Classy and humble.

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  2. FITZCORE1252 says:

    Yep, I think Aaron handled himself great today, seemed very genuine.

    “Toolishness”, well done, meat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. BRinMilwaukee says:

    “What about his new team, new team, new team?” LOL!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. nick perry says:

    What drives me crazy is Ted T’s attempt to sign Jennings before he was actually a FA. He was offered 10 million by the Packers at some point before becoming a FA right? Jennings true colors came out then, wanting 12 million a year. During the 2012 season we start to hear insults by Jennings sister on twitter no less. Tweets about South Beach and warm weather. Jennings was going to be reunited with his old O-Coordinator. To many peoples surprise, Jennings didn’t even receive a call from Miami. IMO the writing was on the wall for the rest of the NFL. If Philbin, running a offense Jennings would excel in didn’t call, who might? Jennings was called by New England but when the Pats found out the $$$ Jennings wanted, they quickly hung up the phone. 29 teams never called about Jennings. The receiver STARVED Vikings were the only team to call. So sure was Jennings that he would get 12 million, and teams were set to throw tons of money at him he put his house up for sale. Jennings was out of Green Bay before the season ended. Now what we have is a bitter, self centered receiver in Minnesota where he can be the focus. Clearly one ring is enough for Jennings, and all that matters is the money. Jennings is showing us all that he’s nothing but a greedy, bitter man, that’s on the downside of his career. He also saw the writing on the wall with Cobb. Cobb was becoming the man in the Green Bay receiver corps. As for Jennings, he’s become injury prone and no longer has the speed or quickness he had only a few years ago, that shows up in his yards after the catch. I thank Jennings for his 4 catches in SB 45. His two TD’s and amazing 3rd down catch. I would have wished him well but he’s become such a ass I have a hard time doing that now. Now, I look forward to the Packers lifting another Lombardi Trophy without #85.

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    • nick perry says:

      I know I got off the subject of Rodgers guys, but I’m just sick and tired of Greg Jennings ridiculous remarks. Rodgers said exactly the right things IMO and as Jason pointed out, a motivated Rodgers is a dangerous man for opposing defenses.

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    • Stroh says:

      I would say its a little early to say Jennings is on the downside. I think he’s got a couple good years left in him, not that it’ll matter w/ Ponder throwing to him. And he won’t be the man in Minn either, that man is AP, and isn’t going to change anytime while Jennings is still in his prime. We’ll see if he is injury prone. If has more issues this year, then you can make that statement IMO. Either way the 10M was legit and very fair. He was a top 10 WR in the NFL, and still could be, but the depth of the Packers WR corps made Jennings expendable.

      I have to agree I’m getting a little pissed about his constant flow of chatter tho! He should keep his pie hole shot.

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      • Nick Perry says:

        Obviously AP will be the man, running the ball. I’m talking about catching the ball. 2011 he missed 4 games. Last year he missed what, 8 or 9? That’s kinda a good start towards being injury prone. 10 million was more than fair. Once Ted saw him go down in 2012 he let things play out and rightfully so. Now Jennings, he’s just plain disrespectful and bitter and the less Rodgers talks, the bigger idiot Jennings looks like. They were 9-2 without Jennings last season and IMO he saw the writing on the wall. Cobb was quickly becoming the man in Green Bay and Jennings didn’t like it. His yards per catch have been in decline that few years. You can blame, it on the number of games he didn’t get to play in but the fact is, his YPC are going down each year.

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        • Stroh says:

          He might be injury prone, I’m just not ready to say it w/ certainty yet. I understand about Jennings being the main receiver option, but really w/ Rudolph at TE, its not a given that Jennings is even the primary receiving option.

          I always respected Jennings and thought he was the kinda “Packer People” that would stick around for a full career. It saddens me that Jennings is having such problems dealing w/ not being a Packer any longer. Moving on from him was more or less Jennings choice. He could have taken the 10M before last year or even the 8M they offered this year and he would still be a Packer and Finley wouldn’t. Pretty much came down to his choice!

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  5. Jennings problem is that he didn’t jump on the $10 million (?)when the Packers offered it,that was probably market price for an injured receiver.He wasn’t the same guy when he came back & the packers had to move on at the position. Best we all move on now that he’s gone.

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    • Nick Perry says:

      No I believe that was just before the start of 2012 I believe. I know it was offered then removed from table. 10 million was the deal for a second but Jennings believed teams, warm weather teams would be standing in line. I get wanting the most for your family. The Packers offer as a whole wasn’t much less than the Vikings. Jennings wants to be the true #1 on the team as a receiver. He got his wish. Look if we can take abandon Marshall out of two games we’ll do it to Jennings. Ponder can’t make the pinpoint throws Rodgers does. Once Jennings get laid out because of a high or bad pass and as a #1 only catches 50 or 60 balls for 800 yards and 4 TD’s (my projection for him) he’ll see how great Green Bay and Rodgers are. Pack will win their second with Rodgers in next two years, this year or next…..watch it happen. GO PACK GO

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  6. Chad Lundberg says:

    Seriously, what the heck happened with Jennings? Throughout the years he spent with Green Bay, he was classy and a true Packer. Out of nowhere he just can’t stop running his mouth about just how glad he is to be out of Green Bay. I don’t believe Jennings is a bad person by any stretch, I don’t even believe he’s a dive like everyone keeps saying, but it’s as if the whole time he was in GB he was looking to get out and now that he is, he’s letting everybody know just how relieved he is.

    I’m so confused…

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