For a while, Aaron Rodgers' future with the Green Bay Packers was a self-described "beautiful mystery." As the relationship with the team unraveled over the course of the offseason, it was unclear if the defending league MVP was ever going to suit up for them again. As most of us simply needed to sit and wait to see how this situation was ultimately going to unfold, the person right in the thick of the drama -- second-year quarterback Jordan Love -- did have some inside knowledge directly from the source.
Rodgers said Wednesday that he kept in touch with Love throughout the offseason to keep him in the loop on where his head was at. As this saga waged on, the 37-year-old skipped out on the entirety of the Packers' offseason program, leaving Love to serve as the team's starter. That was a similar situation Rodgers found himself in earlier in his career as his predecessor, Brett Favre, skipped out on those workouts as well. However, Rodgers largely knew that Favre would return in those instances. Looking back on what he described as an "important time of growth," Rodgers said he tried to put himself in Love's shoes this offseason.
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"And then I just reached out; I reached out a number of times [to] check on him [and] see how he's doing," Rodgers said, via ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "I didn't hold things from him. I let him know where I was at mentally and what I was thinking about. And hopefully he appreciated that. I just felt that's what I would want in that situation, just to hear from the guy. And also, there's a love and an appreciation and a friendship there, just like it was with me and Brett. So I wanted to make sure I checked in with him and let him know I was thinking about him."
Even though there's the awkwardness of Love being drafted to replace Rodgers at some point, the two quarterbacks do seem to have a strong relationship. While the issues got to a fever pitch between Rodgers and the Packers when the team drafted Love, the unhappiness of the move on Rodgers' part had nothing to do with Love personally.
"I have a lot of respect and love for Jordan, and I understand it's got to be tough what he went through," Rodgers said. "I went through it for two years in the offseason, going in '06 and '07, I was the guy the entire offseason, going through quarterback school, going through most of the OTAs, taking all the reps, and then here comes Favrey coming back -- and obviously I'm back on the bench. Thankfully I went through that, and I can understand a little bit about what he's going through, so I just try to keep that in mind the entire time."
As things stand currently, Rodgers is locked and loaded to be the Packers quarterback for the 2021 season, leaving Love to ride the bench once again. However, this may be the final run with Rodgers in Green Bay before the two sides part next offseason, opening the door for Love to ascend into the starting spot in 2022.