Aaron Rodgers generates headlines with just about everything he says and does, as well as what he doesn't say and doesn't do, how he plays, who he dates, where he goes, what he eats, what he tweets, etc. That comes with the territory of being the Green Bay Packers' superstar quarterback and a global sports icon, though it's no doubt an exhausting and probably exasperating reality.
Since the end of last season, when the Packers missed the playoffs for the first time in nine years, directly as a result of Rodgers being sidelined two months with a broken collarbone, the two-time NFL MVP has been, as usual, the subject of multiple stories – some football-related, some definitely not.
There’s been the tabloid-style coverage of his new relationship with former racecar driver/celebrity Danica Patrick; his recent trip to India and meeting with (new Packers fan!!) the Dalai Lama; his TV commercials, event appearances, golf game and social media posts, all attracting the typical digital frenzy.
And throughout the offseason, but especially over the last few weeks, there’s also been the major underlying story of a contract extension. Rodgers has two seasons left on the five-year, $110 million deal he signed in 2013 that, at the time, made him the highest paid player in the league.
Thanks to the annually increasing carousel of quarterback contracts, though, Rodgers has since dropped to ninth with an average salary of $22 million and, as perhaps the NFL’s best player, it’s almost a universal consensus that Green Bay will extend his deal to again make him the league’s top earner.
Both Rodgers and the Packers have said publicly that they want to come to terms – the quarterback wants to finish his career in Green Bay, the team saw last year how devastating his absence can be. However, recent reports have suggested a Rodgers extension is not a sure thing.
One in particular, from Yahoo! Sports, which cites unnamed sources, reports that Rodgers was displeased at some of the Packers’ personnel moves – including not retaining his quarterback coach, Alex Van Pelt, and cutting friend and receiver Jordy Nelson – and also unhappy that he wasn’t more closely involved in the decision-making discussion.
Rodgers addressed those rumors diplomatically in his first media availability Tuesday during Packers offseason workouts, though some of his comments conveyed a slightly different feeling. "Well, I think I know my role, and that's to play as well as I possibly can at quarterback," Rodgers said. "The team is going to try to put the right guys in place – the right coaches in place, the right players in place. You just have to trust the process as we've talked about over the years."
The Yahoo! Sports report quoted sources that said Rodgers’ frustration could impact negotiations on a contract extension. The quarterback’s appearance at the Packers’ voluntary offseason workouts would seem to speak louder that he does not intend to make this a contentious issue. And on Tuesday, Rodgers took to Twitter to send an explicit message about his thoughts on not only the Yahoo! story and its anonymous sources, but also his place at the center of the media’s ravenous, nonstop attention.
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. #dalailamaisapackersfan #bighitter #totalconsciousness #relax #fakenewstuesday #GBSnowday #meditation https://t.co/HnAvXBAsyl — Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) April 17, 2018
Rodgers doesn't usually insert himself directly into a story like this, but his tweet was a clear shot at the Yahoo! report, and it also included references to several other media narratives about him that have blown up over the years.
Far be it from us here to speculate about whether the message demonstrates Rodgers having thin skin or his tongue in his cheek, true feelings or total indifference. But we thought the headline of this story would at least satisfy his craving for more clickbait, which, by the way, Aaron, is actually one word.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.