Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre believes the reported schism between Aaron Rodgers and the franchise is real, and big enough that it is a long shot Rodgers will ever suit up for the legendary franchise again.
Reports leaked on the first day of the NFL Draft that Rodgers was miffed with the Packers, specifically their front office, and told some within the organization he’d never play for them again. In a radio interview with ESPN Wisconsin, Favre said he wasn’t optimistic Rodgers would return.
“I think I know Aaron fairly well,” Favre said, “and honestly I just don’t see him coming back and just saying, ‘All right, let’s just bury the hatchet, whatever caused the rift, and I’m just going to come back and play because I love the guys, I love the Green Bay fans’ — I assume he does — but his rift isn’t with the fans or the players. It’s with the front office. Will he just swallow his pride and come in? Maybe. But I don’t see that happening.”
Favre even envisioned how the situation will unfold.
“If there’s not a trade, my gut tells me that he’d rather sit out than play. That’s just my gut,” Favre said. “There’s no reason for me to say that other than that’s what my gut’s telling me, and I think you guys know Aaron fairly well enough to sort of feel the same way.”
Publicly, the Packers have committed to Rodgers being their quarterback in 2021 and beyond. The reigning league MVP led the Packers to a Super Bowl XLV victory in February 2011, but they haven’t been back to the title game since.
Among Rodgers’ reported grievances are that the Packers selected a quarterback, Jordan Love, in the first round of the 2020 draft rather than a wide receiver, and that he felt slighted that the team released receiver Jake Kumerow one day after he praised Kumerow in an interview.
Favre was in a similar situation with Rodgers waiting to take over behind him. Green Bay now has Love waiting in the wings. Three years after Rodgers was drafted, Favre was pushed out in a trade to the New York Jets as the Rodgers era began.
Favre said he hopes Rodgers can deliver another Super Bowl to Green Bay before the end of his time there.
“But the thing is, life’s too short,” he added. “I want him to be happy. He’s been there as long as I was there, and I know what that means, and he’s put up unbelievable numbers. Win another Super Bowl and then do what you want to do, whether it’s keep playing, play somewhere else, whatever. But win one more in Green Bay and go out the way you want to go out.”
Favre said he sent a text to Rodgers on Thursday when the news of him wanting out first broke.
Rodgers told Favre, “‘Thanks for checking on me. I’ll touch base with you after all this is over.'”
“And that was it,” Favre added. “We haven’t talked since.”