While Aaron Rodgers' tenure with the Green Bay Packers has been defined by the incredibly high highs, uncertainty surrounding the quarterback did not begin with this offseason's holdout. When the team moved on from long time head coach Mike McCarthy, many believed a new coach with a modern system could help unlock Rodgers' late-career potential, but not all were sold on his fit with Matt LaFleur.
In general, LaFleur was not seen as a slam dunk to be the next great NFL coach when the Packers brought him in. The year before he became head coach, his offense with the Tennessee Titans didn't exactly light the world on fire, finishing 27th in scoring.
In an infamous 2019 article about Mike McCarthy's ouster for Bleacher Report, Tyler Dunne reported on a pretty jarring anecdote from a meeting between Rodgers and the late Mark Murphy, former Packers president and CEO. "Don't be the problem. Don't be the problem," Murphy told Rodgers, after telling him that the team was going with LaFleur, without his input.
Rodgers made an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show Wednesday to discuss the start of the Packers season, as well as the very busy offseason that he just had, including some tidbits about his ever-changing relationship with the team. During the show, he flatly denied ever having that conversation with Murphy, using some pretty salty language to really drive home the point.
Rodgers had a pretty muted individual season as he learned Matt LaFleur's offense in 2019, though the team reached the NFC Championship. After the season, the team took Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, which probably served to motivate the legendary quarterback.
In 2020, he put up one of his best seasons, winning the MVP award. Clearly, he did not become "the problem," at least where LaFleur and the offense are concerned.
"People who said we'd never be able to get along and coexist, and all of the bulls**t with the audible story. I'd say... quiet on that front isn't it?" Rodgers said when asked about his relationship with his head coach.
"This offseason was never about Matt and I. We had great conversations throughout the whole thing. I think there was some fear that maybe I wouldn't come back, on his side, which was warranted because I was thinking about not coming back, but him and I have always had a good relationship."
We'll see if the Green Bay Packers front office can bridge the gap with Aaron Rodgers the way that Matt LaFleur, now a good friend of the quarterback, has in pretty quick order since 2019.