In what was the worst kept secret in sports history, Aaron Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee show and announced to the world that he wants to play next season for the New York Jets.
There were some surprises along the way during the lengthy interview. Rodgers told McAfee that when he entered his darkness retreat a few weeks ago, he went into it with his mind mostly thinking he would retire.
When Rodgers emerged from the darkness, he sees the Green Bay Packers had been busy leaking to the press that they want to move on from Rodgers, and apparently that was all the motivation Rodgers needed to play next season: spite.
Rodgers made it pretty clear that he didn’t appreciate the way Green Bay spoke to him directly and apparently said things quite the opposite to members of the media. Rodgers also cited that the Packers told him to take as much time as he needed but they couldn’t even wait to speak with him on the other side of his darkness retreat to see where his head was at.
Rodgers told McAfee plenty of reasons why he felt his time with the Packers had come to an end, but there was one reason he left unspoken because it was one he couldn’t muster to say aloud.
He had slayed plenty of quarterbacks in his dominance of the Chicago Bears. Mike Glennon. Matt Barkley. Caleb Hanie. But there was one that strikes fear into the the very mind and soul of Aaron Rodgers.
The fear was palpable.
Chicago Bears fans near and far knew the reason that Rodgers announced he was fleeing the NFC North. That reason was Justin Fields.
As Rodgers departs Chicago Bears’ fans nightmares, he does give Bears fans one parting gift, and that is the gift of removing any drop of leverage the Packers had in trading him to the Jets. Rodgers has made his intentions clear. The Jets do not have to send mountains of first round picks to the Packers. They’ll send something respectable but they won’t have to pay like Denver did for Russell Wilson.
The Jordan Love era has begun in Green Bay and for once, it is the Green Bay Packers, not the Chicago Bears, who have the worst quarterback in the division.