Former Packers coach Mike Holmgren would’ve taken a different approach to handling the Aaron Rodgers situation — starting with the selection of quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Holmgren reacted to situation during a radio appearance on Friday, and explained why his former team is to blame for its now rocky relationship with Rodgers. It would have started with a warning that the team had interest in Love, who starred at Utah State.
“I would call [Rodgers] in, we’d sit down and not leave until we kind of had an understanding one way or the other,” Holmgren said Friday on ESPN Radio in Chicago.
The Rodgers-Packers rift is believed to have started when the team drafted Rodgers’ eventual replacement.
“They didn’t handle it very well, I don’t think… I would call him in [and say], this is how it’s gonna affect you. We’ve got to get ready for when you retire,” Holmgren said. “We’ve got to take care of the franchise, but nothing’s going to happen now. You’re the man, you’re the guy. Then, if he didn’t like that, now all of a sudden you’re in the current situation that you’re having.”
Holmgren — who had one of the most successful runs as head coach in Green Bay from 1992 to 1998, winning consecutive NFC championships and Super Bowl XXXI — recognized that the league has evolved, and players of Rodgers’ caliber should be more involved with team decisions. Something the quarterback has apparently grown frustrated with in Green Bay.
“It’s not good, that’s for sure,” Holmgren, who presided over Brett Favre’s glory years in Green Bay, said of the situation.
“I can’t imagine a relationship between the coach or management or whoever is making the decisions and the starting quarterback like that getting to this point. I just can’t imagine it. I wouldn’t allow it. It wouldn’t happen. But now, it has happened.”
Holmgren’s comments come on the heels of the latest news in the impending divorce between Rodgers and the Packers — that Rodgers reportedly warned Packers free agents he wouldn’t be in Green Bay for the 2021 season.
Green Bay, which has maintained they don’t plan on trading their star quarterback, offered Rodgers a new deal that would make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, according to The Athletic. However, sources told the outlet that the crippling relationship between Rodgers and Green Bay has little to do with money.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy addressed the situation in a statement on May 1, acknowledging there is an “issue” between the franchise and the three-time NFL MVP.
Murphy added that he, along with general manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur, visited Rodgers in-person this offseason to discuss the turmoil. The statement came amid another report that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay unless Gutekunst is fired.
Rodgers has not publicly addressed the situation. He is currently under contract with the Packers through 2023, and it’s a mystery as to whether or not he’ll finish it out.