Packers QB Rodgers says he's 'frustrated and emotional' with lack of personnel influence
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has lingering discontent over some of the team's offseason moves and his lack of input regarding changes that directly impact him, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
Yahoo's Charles Robinson quoted a league source saying Rodgers is both "frustrated" and "emotional" over his lack of communication with the front office prior to major offseason moves, most prominently the firing of quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt and release of wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
"Both of those decisions [with Nelson and Van Pelt] were made without him," a league source close to Rodgers told Robinson. "In both situations, he had no influence with [the front office] before anything went down."
Per Robinson, the issue is something Rodgers is keeping on his mind as he prepares for his next contract extension.
"I know he's thinking about that stuff when it comes to the next contract because he should have earned a voice by now," the source continued, per Robinson. "In other places with quarterbacks, consideration is given to those guys. I think Aaron wants to be engaged in some decisions. But that's just not the way it works [in Green Bay]. I think that's obviously frustrating and it's going to keep coming out."
Rodgers, 34, still has two years remaining on his contract, which made him the league's highest paid quarterback when he signed it in 2013. His annual average of $22 million currently ranks ninth among NFL QBs, and his 2018 cap hit of $20.6 million ranks 15th.
The six-time Pro Bowler spoke to reporters for the first time this offseason on Tuesday as the Packers get their offseason conditioning program underway. On the subject of a contract extension, he said he thinks "there's interest on both sides in getting something done," but added there is "nothing to report right now" on the subject.
As to whether he desires more input on personnel decisions, Rodgers didn't address the Yahoo report specifically, but he noted the importance of having faith in the team's front office.
"You have to trust the process," he said. "And the process works. ...They're paying me to play quarterback to the best of my abilities, and their job descriptions are to handle those type of things, so I think you just act accordingly in those situations."
Rodgers also elaborated on the departures of players and coaches like Nelson and Van Pelt, saying it's difficult to see people he's built relationships with leave.
"From a personal standpoint, that's the toughest part," he said, "You're in this business for a long time and you start relationships with coaches and players. ... That's the toughest part about the whole thing is losing guys over the years."
Later Tuesday, Rodgers sent out a sarcastic tweet that appears to be aimed at the Yahoo report. He retweeted and commented on a Packers.com story about him by writing, "I feel like the title of this article needs more click bait. Come on GBP, make something up, or talk to some unnamed sources close to me or something to beef up the clicks," including the hashtags #relax and #fakenewstuesday.
Rodgers hasn't been shy about voicing his desire for more input on certain decisions, telling ESPN radio following the firing of Van Pelt in January that he wasn't consulted on the matter.
"I thought that was an interesting change, really without consulting me," he said. "There's a close connection between quarterback and quarterback coach. And that was an interesting decision."
After Nelson's release in March, Rodgers told Milwaukee radio station 102.9 The Hog, "I think it's pretty clear that players play and coaches coach and personnel people make their decisions. That's the way they want it."
Nelson was one of Rodgers' closest friends on the team and his most reliable receiver, having caught 24 more touchdowns (65) from Rodgers than any other player during the QB's career.