Aaron Rodgers says a lot of things, usually on the Pat McAfee Show, that are fairly criticized. He made a return to the program after a two-week break yesterday to address the lingering uncertainty surrounding his future, and is now being criticized for something he didn't say — an impressive accomplishment reserved only for public figures.
Here's the portion of the interview that didn't sit well with the sports media commentator community.
"I think I can win MVP again in the right situation," Rodgers said. "Is that Green Bay or somewhere else, I'm not sure and there's more conversations to be had."
The perceived error here is that Rodgers talked about an individual accomplishment instead of a team one. If he were really serious, it's alleged, he'd have spoken about capturing another Super Bowl.
This is semantics. Reply-guy on Twitter stuff. Stugotz-level takery. Which somehow dismisses the simple fact that if Rogers does, in fact, play like an MVP, that will go a long way in the quest to win a Super Bowl. If he stays in Green Bay he'll have to play like the best quarterback in the league in order to overcome some roster deficiencies.
Look, do I like defending Rodgers? No. But in processing this stuff, one can begin to understand why he has such a cantankerous view of the media. He's giving honest answers only to be damned by the blank space.
Here's the thing, though. Minutes later, the free-thinking 39-year-old explicitly said there was no point in one last ride unless he thought he could win it all. He explained in a clip posted five minutes after the MVP comments hit the internet.
You can understand why Rodgers would believe he can't win with the media. He actually did say the thing he's being ripped for not saying. Think about how annoying that would be.
It's probably going to be quite a while until he makes a decision. There was an on-field regression last season and predicting what he's going to do feels like a good way to be loud wrong. It does seem explicitly clear that he'll only come back to the league or Green Bay if he trusts in his ability to play well and his team's collective ability to compete for a title.
It's weird being in this foxhole. But fair is fair and Rodgers is not getting an honest shake.
UPDATE: Even Rob Gronkowski fell into this trap during an appearance on Kay Adams' show.