Aaron Rodgers' days as the likable "Discount Double Check" quarterback seem to be over, after several former teammates exposed his reportedly combatative nature behind-the-scenes. However, Rodgers is not ready to welcome the villain phase of his career just yet. Instead, he's taking things into his own hands by throwing some tightly spiraled darts back at his critics.
On Monday, Rodgers gave the NFL equivalent of Ice Cube's "No Vaseline" when addressing the questions surrounding his leadership skills.
"This was a smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda whether they’re advancing their own careers or just trying to stir old stuff up," Rodgers said on Jason Wilde and Mark Tauscher's ESPN Milwaukee radio show.
The "smear attack" Rodgers is referring to was an in-depth article published by Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne. In the piece, Dunne spoke to several players and Packers sources in hopes of deciphering the mysteries surrounding Green Bay's fall from grace. Dunne reports that Rodgers' alleged beef with former head coach Mike McCarthy led to the demise of McCarthy's tenure with the Packers. However, many of those within the organization believe that the issues were one-sided and caused by Rodgers' ego. In fact, Rodgers' personality reportedly rubbed many in the organization the wrong way, which led Packers' president Mark Murphy to tell him "don’t be the problem" after informing Rodgers that Matt LaFleur would be his new coach.
Rodgers completely denies that the conversation with Murphy ever took place, stating "it’s ridiculous. It’s 100 percent patently false." He went on to explain that his problems with McCarthy were simply friction created by their mutual desire to win.
"It’s just two alpha males who are hyper-competitive and love winning and are both a little stubborn," Rodgers said. "But again, we talked through so many issues over the years, and that made us a lot stronger."
Rodgers then added more heat to the already scorching interview by addressing the "mostly irrelevant players" by name. Former-Packers Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley were vital members of the team's receiving core. However, since Dunne's report was published, the two became very vocal about the friction caused by Rodgers' attitude. As a result, Rodgers decided to personally ether both Jennings and Finley.
"If it’s not an article about me, do you ever hear their names anywhere else?" Rodgers asked. "You talk about me being sensitive and petty, at what point do you move on or stop telling the same stories?"