For the second year in a row, the Green Bay Packers came just one game away from the Super Bowl. While a 31-26 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game was certainly not how Green Bay wanted to end the season, things got even trickier during the postgame press conferences when star quarterback Aaron Rodgers told reporters that his future was "uncertain."
Rodgers, who went viral this week for this video, put together an MVP campaign in 2020, as he completed a career-high 70.7 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and threw just five interceptions. The Packers went 13-3 and won the NFC North for the second straight season, but now all of a sudden it appears Rodgers could potentially be looking to prove a point to the Packers. What happened? A former teammate claims that Rodgers is still upset with the team, and wants to make them pay.
Former Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang, who apparently is close with Rodgers, joined WXYT's "The Ticket" on Monday and said that he believes Rodgers is "hellbent on some revenge" toward ownership.
"I think he was quietly pissed when they took Jordan Love a year ago," Lang said, via Radio.com. "The one thing I'll say about Aaron Rodgers, pretty much the last 10 years of his career he's wanted that team to just go all-in for one year. 'Just give me some pieces, let's just go all-in, let's trade a future first if we have to get a couple guys. Let's just go all-in and try to win this thing.'
"And then last year, he hinted at them doing that, 'Hey, I'm excited, let's see who they can bring in,' and they bring in a quarterback. I think that was the ultimate slap to the face when you feel like you're one piece away from winning the whole thing."
While the Packers should have been in "win now" mode, some of the moves they made this past offseason reflected quite the opposite. As Lang pointed out, the Packers used their first-round pick on a quarterback -- which was definitely a position they did not need to upgrade. The other position group that didn't require a high draft pick was running back, but the Packers decided to use their second selection on running back AJ Dillon out of Boston College. Many fans were screaming for Green Bay to take a chance on a wide receiver in what was thought to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory when it came to talented wideouts. Even with their last two picks in the seventh round, the Packers opted not to draft a receiver. The Packers also could have taken a shot on someone like Antonio Brown or traded for another key offensive piece, but alas, it was not meant to be.
Rodgers is under contract with Green Bay through 2023, but now that he's 37 years old and the Packers have been unable to get over the hump to get back to the big game, the future Hall of Famer could be looking to have more control about what the Packers do in the front office.
"I think he's gonna make them pay, man," Lang said. "I think he's gonna want some sort of new deal where they guarantee a couple more years for him, security wise, being in Green Bay. I don't think he wants to go anywhere, but I think he's going to hold their feet to the fire and say, 'Hey, if you're going to keep me around, A) you're going to pay me, and B) you're going to bring in some players that I want to play with where we can take this next leap."
The Packers have been one of the NFL's elite teams over the past couple years, and Rodgers wants at least one more Super Bowl victory to add to his impressive resume. Lang hypothesizes that Rodgers' mysterious quote after Green Bay's last loss signals that he will want the franchise to start doing things more his way.
"Aaron Rodgers, sitting in the driver's seat right now coming off an MVP year," Lang said. "He just gets to sit back and plan his future out the way he wants to, and not a lot of guys have that authority or leverage."
At least one team has reportedly reached out to the Packers about potentially acquiring Rodgers, but the front office was having none of it. Rodgers appears to be looking for a change, but that doesn't mean wearing a different uniform.