Once upon a time, tight end Jermichael Finley was catching passes in a Green Bay Packers uniform with Aaron Rodgers on the other end of the throw, and it worked out well for all involved en route to a victory in Super Bowl XLV. But, in 2021, Finley is providing commentary on what he's seeing his former quarterback do and/or not do on the field, and he's not pulling any punches. After the Packers were walloped by the New Orleans Saints in the regular-season opener -- largely due to one of the worst games of Rodgers' otherwise illustrious career -- Finley is questioning the fire inside of the reigning league MVP.
"Bro, it's the National Football League," Finley told the "Keyshawn, J-Will & Max" show recently, via TMZ Sports. "Each offseason you've got to work like it's your last season. ... Actually, you can see it right through his helmet. The eyes and the face tells everything -- as a personality. And, I just don't see that NFL hunger and just the hunger to go win another championship."
Rodgers and the Packers spent most of the offseason in a deadlock over his future with the club and their decision to draft Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, a move Rodgers viewed as a slap in the face. The 37-year-old reportedly threatened to never take another snap for the Packers before the two sides agreed to a reworked contract that could ultimately make this season his last in Green Bay, and it's off to an abysmal start.
So much so that Finley notes Rodgers "looks tired" and has seemingly lost his "hunger" to play, calling for a change at QB if things don't quickly get back to form with the future Hall of Famer -- by Week 4, at the latest.
"If you don't see it, let's go to [Jordan] Love," Finley added. "You've got one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks sitting right behind Aaron Rodgers, so you might as well utilize him and get him going for the future."
Of course, there are many Packers fans who'll accuse Finley of being a turncoat, but he's shrugging them off.
"I'm not a hater," Finley said. "I'm looking out, actually. I just want the guys to do their best and play Packer football."
Rodgers admitted the loss to the Saints was a "kick to the you-know-where", and hearing his former wideout call for his potential benching in the near future probably carries the same level of ouch. He'll look to right the ship when the Packers play host to the Detroit Lions on "Monday Night Football", but should things go awry against an NFC North rival to land at 0-2 on the season, you can bet some will begin wondering if Finley has a point.