GREEN BAY, Wis. - Aaron Rodgers elaborated for the first time Monday his issue with the Green Bay Packers' front office and insisted it was nothing more than what the culture has become in the organization.
Rodgers made an appearance on ESPN’s "SportsCenter" in longtime anchor Kenny Mayne’s final show. While the two tip-toed around the bush a bit, Rodgers was asked generally about the idea of fans taking management's side when it came to issues with players.
The Packers quarterback didn’t talk about the organization by name or mention the front office specifically but made clear in a philosophical point that organizations are built "by the people."
"I think sometimes people forget what really makes an organization," he said. "History is important and legacy of so many people who’ve come before you. But the people – that’s the most important thing. The people make an organization. People make a business and sometimes that gets forgotten. You know culture is built brick by brick. The foundation of it by the people. Not by the organization, not by the building, not by the corporation. It’s built by the people.
"I’ve been fortunate enough to play with a number of amazing, amazing people and got to work for amazing people as well. And it’s those people that build the foundation of those entities and I think sometimes we forget that."
Mayne asked in the middle if Rodgers was demanding a trade. But the reigning MVP didn’t answer the question. Instead, he expressed his love for second-year quarterback Jordan Love and for the coaching staff, teammates and fan base.
"Look, with my situation … it’s never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan [Love]. I love Jordan. He’s a great kid. Lotta fun to work together. I love the coaching staff, love my teammates," he said. "Love the fan base in Green Bay. Incredible 16 years. It’s just kind of about a philosophy. And maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It’s about character. It’s about a culture. It’s about doing things the right way. A lot of this was put in motion last year. The wrench was kind of just thrown into it when I won MVP and played the way I played last year. This is kinda just the spill out of all that.
"But look, it is about the people and that’s the most important thing. Green Bay has always been about the people from Curly Lambeau being owner and founder to the ‘60s with Lombardi with Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the ‘90s teams with coach [Mike] Holmgren and Favrey and the Minister of Defense [Reggie White] to the run that we’ve been on. It’s about the people."
Mayne had joked whether the Fan-Controlled Football League was an option for Rodgers. The quarterback said, "anything is on the table at this point."
Rodgers didn’t go into detail about what specifically was the culture issue at hand. Reports have previously said that the selection of Love and the release of Jake Kumerow were a part of the issue.
Green Bay has been adamant about not trading Rodgers and it doesn’t appear like any talks have materialized. Green Bay has brought in a few veteran quarterbacks into camp.
Rodgers confirmed in the interview he did not attend Monday’s organized team activities.