Rodgers expands on Love pick, Packers future
Aaron Rodgers expanded on his reaction to Green Bay’s first-round selection of quarterback Jordan Love — saying he “wasn’t elated” and was hoping for a receiver — and added he expects the Packers to move on from him at some point.
In a video podcast with Kyle Brandt of The Ringer, Rodgers was asked for his immediate reaction when he learned the Packers had traded up to draft Love 26th overall.
“I was like, ‘Oh, wow, OK,'” Rodgers recalled, adding that he then poured himself “about four fingers” worth of tequila. “I knew it was going to be one of those nights. …
“I wasn’t elated by the pick — especially being one game away from the Super Bowl (last season), felt like we were a couple players away — but at the same time, I understand it’s a business. I know that’s the reality.”
Rodgers said he had been eyeing several receivers in the first round, including LSU’s Justin Jefferson (who went 22nd to Minnesota), Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk (25th to San Francisco) and Clemson’s Tee Higgins (33rd to Cincinnati).
After the pick, Rodgers said he spoke with several friends that night, then called Love the next day to welcome him to the team, drawing on his own experience as a surprise first-round pick (24th overall) behind then-starter Brett Favre in 2005.
“I just wanted to make sure (Love) knew that, you know — I know what he was thinking. I know what he was going through,” Rodgers said. “And the last thing you want is to deal with any negativity around realizing a childhood dream. So I just told him, ‘Congrats man, I understand what you’re going through, man, it’s super exciting. I’m excited to work with you.’ Which I am. And I understand it’s a business.”
While acknowledging the similarities between Love’s circumstances and his own as a rookie, Rodgers disagreed with other comparisons between the two situations.
“In 2004, the Packers were 10-6, they lost in the first round of the playoffs,” he said. “We were 13-3 and one game from the Super Bowl, won a playoff game at home, obviously won our division. A little different circumstances.
“Not to mention Brett had talked about retiring a few years before that, and I’ve talked about playing into my 40s. So when people start talking about the parallels to this and that — well I fell to (the 24th pick) — they traded up and drafted Jordan.”
Rodgers, 36, is one year older than Favre was when Rodgers was drafted. Rodgers is entering his 16th season, while Favre was entering his 15th.
Favre played three more seasons for the Packers before moving on, eventually playing one year with the Jets and two with Minnesota. Rodgers acknowledges he’s now likely to play elsewhere at some point.
“I think that’s probably what happens,” Rodgers said. “Based on just the circumstances around everything. Just look at the facts — they traded up, they drafted him. I would say they like him, they want to play him. …
“I get it, I really do. I don’t harbor any ill will about it. Was I bummed out? Of course. Who wouldn’t be? I wanted to play my entire career in Green Bay.”
Rodgers is heading into the first season of a four-year, $134 million extension he signed in August 2018. He has cap hits of $21.6 million, $36.4 million, $39.9 million and $28.4 million over the next four seasons.
–Field Level Media