NFL legend Terry Bradshaw spent his entire 14-year career with one franchise: the Pittsburgh Steelers. It probably doesn't come as a major surprise that he doesn't really seeAaron Rodgers' side in the current debacle with the Green Bay Packers, though a look into the end of his own career should make him a bit more sympathetic.
“With him being that upset shows me just how weak he is,” Bradshaw said during an appearance on WFAN's Moose & Maggie. “Who the hell cares who you draft? He is a three-time MVP in the league and he’s worried about this guy they drafted last year.”
The Packers traded up in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to take Utah State's Jordan Love, making him the heir apparent to Rodgers. While there had been some lingering discontent about the team not making aggressive moves to help him on offense, taking a quarterback in the first round really set this Rodgers-Packers standoff in motion. After exploding in 2020 and winning the MVP award, Rodgers now has some significant leverage.
If anything, Packers fans seem to have the quarterback's side in this situation. Just this year, we saw that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers informed Tom Brady that they could take Kyle Trask, who they ultimately landed in the second round. Andy Dalton, who just became a Chicago Bear this offseason and is far from a superstar, was told about the team's plan to trade up for Justin Fields. Rodgers, who has 16 years, multiple MVP awards, and a Super Bowl in Green Bay, wasn't given the same courtesy last year when the Packers clearly coveted Love, and things may be different if general manager Brian Gutekunst had kept that line of communication open. While there are others who back Bradshaw here, most of the Twitter reaction is on Aaron Rodgers' side.
As Deadspin points out, Bradshaw looks very hypocritical here, because he had a similar, arguably worse blow up with the Pittsburgh Steelers and legendary coach Chuck Noll late in his career, when he was beset by injuries.
On February 29, 1984, a story in The Miami Herald was headlined BRADSHAW TO HIS COACH: KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, as Chuck Noll had said following the Steelers’ acquisition of quarterback David Woodley from Miami, “We’re not sure about Terry. We expect that it will be just like last year with respect that he hasn’t had any improvement.”
Bradshaw’s response? “If he wants opinions, he ought to call me and ask me and stop making all these comments. He ought to just keep his mouth shut and pay attention to the draft and not make statements about me until he’s absolutely certain what he’s saying.”
At the beginning of April, the news on Bradshaw from The Associated Press was that he “recently threw a football without pain, according to a physical therapist,” which is a hilariously transparent leak from the rehabbing quarterback’s side.
A couple of weeks later, Bradshaw was in Tampa to promote a water park, and told the Orlando Sentinel, “Chuck created the situation between us. The press kept hounding him about me, so he finally said, ‘If he can’t play, he’s no good to us. Then he said that I should get into finding my life’s work. Heck, I’m the one suffering because it’s my job on the line. He’s still coaching. … I can play for the Steelers even if Chuck hates me.”
The site also points out that while Bradshaw now says he embraced the quarterbacks that the Steelers drafted late in his career, that is far from the reality of the situation.
Of (Cliff) Stoudt, who was actually a fifth-round pick in 1977 and led Pittsburgh to a division title in 1983 — his first opportunity as a starter — Bradshaw said, “As for Cliff, well, you can talk a good game, but you’ve got to go out there and do it sooner or later. After the eighth or ninth game last year, he was lost.”
Stoudt’s departure to the USFL led the Steelers to trade for Woodley, and before having even met his new teammate, Bradshaw said, he was “not worth a half-million dollars a year, but the USFL created this market.”
So yes, Terry Bradshaw is free to say whatever he wants about Aaron Rodgers right now, but the rest of us are also free to point out that Bradshaw is being an extreme hypocrite when he does so.