Cory's Corner: I Like Honest Aaron Rodgers

Not many people give credit for honesty anymore. 

People just expect professional sports players to say the company line — which isn't saying anything at all — and everything will be OK. 

I disagree. 

Aaron Rodgers was very honest about his future when he sat down with Kyle Brandt for his podcast on The Ringer. 

"You know, based on just the circumstances around everything when you just look at the facts," Rodgers said. "They traded up, they drafted (Jordan Love). I would say they like him, they want to play him."

It takes a big person to not only realize what just happened but also interpret it back to someone else. Rodgers could've said something like, "I'm still the starting quarterback in Green Bay as long as they keep making the No. 12 jersey. I'm the guy." There's nothing wrong with both of those sentences. However, what Rodgers actually said speaks volumes. 

He knows that since the Packers moved up to take Love at 26, his career clock is likely ticking. Now, there aren't a lot of players that would relish talking about their career mortality. Heck, the majority of them have to be pushed out at the end because their skill and production don't match what the team is paying them. 

Rodgers, 36, knows that he cannot be an elite quarterback for too much longer. He is a ways from his 2011 peak when he threw 45 touchdowns and just six picks, but he has thrown for over 8,000 yards and has amassed just six interceptions in the last two years. His career quarterback rating of 102.4 still leads Russell Wilson's 101.2. I hate the NFL Top 100 list, but the last two times he was ranked outside the top 10, he went on to win the MVP. He was recently named No. 16. 

I really think this year will be different for Rodgers. He is disappointed he didn't get more weapons around him. He is confused about the Love pick. But, what he does have is an excellent running game and an offensive line that has been solid. Rodgers has been one of the better play-action quarterbacks in the league and now he can really showcase that with an offense that is geared for the run. 

Rodgers could still be gone in a couple years. In 2022, his cap hit is $39.8 million and the Packers could save more than $22 million if they let him go or trade him after the 2021 season.

At first I thought that Rodgers' production would play a part in his career-long residency in Green Bay. However, after Love was given a 100-percent guaranteed contract, the writing is now on the wall for Rodgers.

And Rodgers owned it and knows it. He isn't hiding from anything. I would suspect his play to be superior this season and his leadership to be even better.

Remember, this is a guy that had a chip the size of California on his shoulders and after starting for 12 seasons, it just grew back. 

 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (24)

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DennisGreenBay's picture

August 04, 2020 at 06:55 am

AR is simply recognizing the huge white elephant in the room and pointing it out. Despite Matt LaFleur now saying he expects Rodgers to play here a really long time, the situation indicates otherwise. Obviously the Packers felt that Jordan love was a unique compelling opportunity and that’s why they gave up so much draft capital to get him, even though they desperately needed players at so many other positions. In today’s NFL, a recipe for success is drafting an outstanding quarterback who produces well during his rookie contract. They can surround him with talent because they’re getting him on the cheap for his first 4-5 years. If that’s what the Packers have in mind, they can’t accomplish that and keep Rodgers around for very long.

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splitpea1's picture

August 04, 2020 at 11:17 am

Very well-said; let's hope that talent materializes if that's what the Packers are thinking. No matter what, though, Rodgers' shoes are going to be awfully tough to fill and we're all going to miss him very much.

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Turophile's picture

August 04, 2020 at 07:02 am

.............."He is confused about the Love pick".

What a strange thing to say. He might be a bit put out by the Pack drafting for the future now, but why would he be confused ?

Elsewhere you quoted him saying
"They traded up, they drafted (Jordan Love). I would say they like him, they want to play him."
Nothing confusing there, since Rodgers is 37 this coming December.

A brief look at the cap situation even gives him a timeline. Rodgers can expect to start in 2020 and 2021 while Love learns the ropes, then there are two possibilities.

a) Love looks like he is a starter - Rodgers either retires or is traded between the end 0f the 2021 season and the start of the 2022 one.
b) Love does not look like a starter. The Packers try again for a QB in the 2022 draft and Rodgers is kept through 2022 to allow the latest new QB a year to learn NFL QB play.

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Guam's picture

August 04, 2020 at 07:46 am

Excellent summary Turophile and I believe you nailed the timeline. Rodgers might get to complete his contract if the hypothetical QB drafted in 2022 doesn't work out either. Drafting QB's is a difficult assignment and less than half of the first round QB's drafted in the last decade haven't signed second contracts with the team that drafted them, much less excelled sufficiently to replace a HOF QB. Time will tell.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 04, 2020 at 06:12 pm

Yes, and with Cap relief on the way, the pressure to trade Rodgers drops. That buys the Packers critical time one way or another.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 04, 2020 at 11:22 pm

Bingo. So what's all the hub bub for.

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gkarl's picture

August 04, 2020 at 07:27 am

Alot of the Love Story remains to be written but AR, like the intelligent guy I believe him to be, has a very good read on the situation. He's being honest with his answers and appears to be much more understanding of Love's situation in all this than Brett was when the roles were reversed. Proud that he's the QB of the GBP.

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dobber's picture

August 04, 2020 at 02:22 pm

I agree: ARod is smart, and has a view of his life beyond football where, if he manages his brand well, he can be a money-making media personality for the rest of his days. I think that's driving much of what he's saying and portraying in the public eye.

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nostradanus's picture

August 04, 2020 at 07:34 am

He knows what the deal is.
He’s going to want one more big contract and the Packers aren’t going to be the ones paying it.
I’m sure he can be an “effective “ QB into his 40’s but the Packers have sent a clear message “we are prepared to move on” you should be too.
No disrespect just business. Thank you for being a great packer and see you in the HOF.

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stockholder's picture

August 04, 2020 at 07:52 am

Divorce coming. ( Happy Aaron, Happy Life.) OK= The writing is on the wall. Next; Gutey gives Rodgers the booty. Sure they haven't taken his locker out yet. The "Need" for both is gone. Gutey is building a roster. Not a statue. The comfort blanket is money. Spending it is what any GM does best. This was about the money. Just like everything else in the Sports now. The challenge to be the best, is gone. Gutey has told you! And it's All over his desk. No wonder Boss is a four letter word. The universal sign language has found it's way to Lambeau. Flip him off Aaron.

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jannes bjornson's picture

August 04, 2020 at 03:25 pm

Ergo the Ja'Mon Moore pick with a number four...

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Tarynfor12's picture

August 04, 2020 at 11:49 am

Naturally everything he says now has a kind of, I love it here and I love the fans, it's like a family, and sentiments flow uncontrollably. Then the real feelings come out because the business side can only be over-shadowed for so long, reality steps in and it's all about money again.

In a year or more, likely two at the most, we'll all be sitting down and listening to Rodgers tell us how great it is to be part of his new team. How awesome the Org is and how he's looking forward to playing with the best group of guys he's had in his career. Sound familiar? Every QB says the same thing, as he's counting the millions from a new employer.

Rodgers sees the writing on the wall alright, and it's crystal clear. He'll make more money elsewhere, and he'll won't lose a wink of sleep taking it, and he's likely already feeling the angst to move on and get it, along with a lot of national coverage and talk.

Rodgers is out of GB, and he knows it, MLF said it, Gutey won't deny it, and only those who live in denial won't accept it...yet.

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flackcatcher's picture

August 04, 2020 at 06:15 pm

I see nothing. NOTHING.... :-)

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Nate-1980's picture

August 05, 2020 at 05:08 pm

What should he say ? I wouldn’t have allegiance to the packers if I were him either.. They haven’t gotten him enough weapons for years, and now draft a new qb..

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 04, 2020 at 11:55 am

I don't know why, once again, this author acts like Love getting a fully guaranteed contract is an indication of anything. The player who was picked at the same spot a year earlier, signed his contract which was 95% or 96% guaranteed. Love signed a 4 year contract. Unless he's a total bust, what are the chances he doesn't fulfill that contract? When is the last time a GB 1st round pick was cut before his rookie contract expired? I can't think of any, so what does it matter id Love's contract is fully guaranteed? He's going to get paid that money. It has zero affect on whether he eventually takes over for Rodgers. Zero.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 05, 2020 at 05:10 am

Agreed. In addition, the trend is for players taken lower in the first round to get a 100% guaranteed deal each draft or two. A few years ago, the 24th pick's deal was fully guaranteed while the 25th got 95%. The next year the 25th's deal was fully guaranteed but not the 26th's.

It really is unsurprising that the 26th pick's was fully guaranteed, regardless of whether it was a QB or some other position, or how well the team thought of that player.

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dobber's picture

August 04, 2020 at 02:35 pm

After the 2022 season, most of the rostered stars currently getting the majority of the Packers' cap room will have become FAs. We all are aware of the class of 2020, and the likelihood that few of them will be retained. Adams, the Smiths, Amos, and others come up after '21 and '22. There's the window we've been presuming the Packers have been playing in.

Management is charged with having current and future plans for making the team competitive. They might be well equipped with cap space after the 2021 and 2022 seasons, but we know you can't afford to buy your entire roster. You've got to have some draft capital in a rebuild, too. ARod brings the opportunity to secure more of that PLUS a bucketful of cap space (remember that if they cut or trade ARod as soon as next off-season, they make $5M back on the cap for 2021, but completely clear him from the cap in 2022). The key is that ARod has to continue to stay healthy, play well, and hold his value up until the Packers close the window by dealing him. ARod knows he's a commodity.

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Adorabelle's picture

August 04, 2020 at 03:04 pm

You can see why players hold out and go for every guaranteed penny they can get. Because even if you are Aaron Rodgers the team will search for when is the time to rid themselves of your contract.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 04, 2020 at 11:29 pm

Well put. The downside of being the highest paid player.

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Since'61's picture

August 04, 2020 at 07:54 pm

We had this conversation the day that the Packers drafted Love and for days after the draft. Most of us here posted that Rodgers has 2 more seasons in GB and then gone either via trade or as a cap casualty. Of course this is assuming that Love is ready to play by 2022. If Love is not ready that will extend Rodgers time in GB.

Love’s guaranteed contract does not mean that he will automatically play in 2,3 or 4 seasons. In which the Packers will need to draft another QB and Love will be a bust.

Gute or MLF may try to force the issue by trading Rodgers and giving their guy a shot. In which case Gute and MLF go as far as Love goes.

Rodgers is much closer to this situation than any of us. So it should be no surprise that he knows exactly what the deal is. Unless Love flops his days in GB are numbered. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Nate-1980's picture

August 05, 2020 at 05:12 pm

I don’t understand how so many posters on here undervalue Rodgers as much as they do.. They think HOF qbs just come around naturally.. Baffles me

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packersrule's picture

August 05, 2020 at 11:00 pm

They already know what they had in Aaron Rodger when they let Farve retire. The Packers might have 1 in 500 chance of getting other QB Rodger's level. They wasted most of the draft on players they wish into positions.

I have a bad feeling about this year for the first time in a long time. Hope is not a strategy, and a wish is not a plan.

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Since'61's picture

August 06, 2020 at 01:44 pm

I’m not sure that anyone here undervalues Rodgers but I think there are many who realize that this is a business and that teams have no loyalty to their players.

When regimes change as it has with Gute and MLF they want their own guys. Love is to Gute and MLF what Favre was to Wolf and Holmgren and Rodgers was to TT and MM.

If Love goes bust Rodgers probably stays beyond 2021 but if Love develops as the Packers hope Rodgers is worth draft picks and/or cap savings. It’s just business. No loyalty in the NFL except the owners greed. Thanks, Since ‘61

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bradluff's picture

August 10, 2020 at 03:41 am

Rodgers could still be gone in a couple years.
https://run3donline.com/

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