Aaron Rodgers Benched In Season Opener Against Saints
To the dismay of Cheeseheads, the Aaron Rodgers saga doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers put on an embarrassing performance in their season opener against the New Orleans Saints, losing 38-3. To add insult to injury, Packers’ coach Matt LaFleur benched his star QB with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Rodgers finished the game going 15-28 for 133 yards, zero touchdowns and two picks.
While the decision to pull Rodgers from the game was made to prevent an unnecessary potential injury, it certainly isn’t a good look for the team, as it comes on the heels of an ongoing standoff between the quarterback and the Packers front office. Rodgers has publicly made known his years-long dissatisfaction with the organization’s offseason moves, notably the tendency to draft defensive players instead of selecting an offensive weapon.
This displeasure was echoed in a pregame interview with Erin Andrews, admitting that he strongly contemplated retiring at various points during the offseason. “I don’t feel like I have anything left to prove on the field,” he said. “I think it’s more about the enjoyment and the happiness and the quality of life that this game has afforded me over the years. And being able to 100 percent commit to everything that my job entails and there were many times during the offseason where I felt like I wasn’t able to fully do that. And until I was, it was a possibility.”
Rodgers also voiced his frustrations for not having more say in personnel decisions. “Nobody knows the squad like I do. Nobody knows the locker room like I do. Nobody knows the way guys respond in clutch situations on the field like I do,” he said. “How about I have a greater opportunity to speak to some of those decisions?”
Rodgers may have a point, as the selection of Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft doesn’t exactly signal the strongest commitment.
Nonetheless, Rodgers is coming off the best statistical season of his career, throwing for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions, good for a QBR of 121.5. He also posted a league-leading completion percentage of 70.7%.
This season is expected to be Rodgers’ final one with the Packers. Whether or not the two parties can find some sort of common ground remains to be seen.
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