GREEN BAY, Wis. - Former Green Bay Packers general manager and Hall of Famer Ron Wolf is shocked by how much the league has changed since he was in it, calling those players who try and exhibit control outside of their positions "divas."
"There’s been a huge change and it started with Russell Wilson then went to [Deshaun] Watson and now we got Rodgers," Wolf said. "It appears that today's quarterbacks want to be more than quarterbacks. They're hired to play the position quarterback. That’s what they’re being paid for, and that’s what they’re being paid to do. These guys, they want to pick the coach, pick the players. It’s an interesting dilemma."
For Rodgers, the rift reportedly first surfaced in 2020 when Green Bay drafted Jordan Love, a quarterback, with its first-round pick that year instead of addressing Rodgers’ need for an offensive weapon.
Recent reports say the pivotal moment for Rodgers was when general manager Brian Gutekunst released receiver Jake Kumerow after the 2019 season shortly after the veteran quarterback shared his praise for the wideout.
Now it’s been reported that Rodgers will be willing to sit out offseason activities or even retire if Gutekunst remains as GM.
"All three of these guys have signed long-term contracts and they’re under contract," Wolf said. "So I’m sure at that time there wasn’t any holding a gun to their head saying you have to sign but now they’re not happy. They’re not happy with the team they signed a contract with."
He continued: "We have a lot of divas playing in the league right now. I fail to understand that all these guys have long-term deals. I can't believe the game has changed that remarkably."
When asked about high-profile players in any sport who try and leverage their position, Wolf said: "I never thought that anybody comes to a football game to watch an individual player. They come to a pro football game to root for their team."
Wolf served as GM for the Packers from 1991 to 2000 and is credited with turning the franchise around. He famously traded for Brett Favre in 1992 and oversaw a Super Bowl victory in 1997. The Packers’ record was 92-52 under Wolf.