Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers appear to be in a better place.
After years of break-up rumors, the quarterback signed a three-year extension that will likely keep him in Wisconsin until his retirement. On Wednesday, he struck a far different tone from last year’s critical press conference to start training camp.
While his relationship with the team has seemingly improved, he shared an anecdote showing past communication issues.
When explaining that general manager Brian Gutekunst and Green Bay’s front office has worked to bolster their connections with the players, Rodgers relayed a story from 2018 highlighting the need for improvement.
“There’s funny stories — not funny, actually — about, like Kenny Clark coming in on cut day and somebody thinking he was a different guy who was gonna get cut,” Rodgers said (h/t Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio). “And they told him, ‘Grab your playbook and head upstairs.’ And Kenny’s like, ‘What? I was a first-round pick. I’m getting cut? In my third year?”
Clark made 15 starts at defensive tackle in 2017, compiling 55 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. It’s a good thing Green Bay didn’t accidently cut the former No. 27 pick, as he’s since made the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2021.
While it’s an amusing blunder in hindsight, Rodgers also detailed why that miscue was unacceptable.
“Stuff like that just can’t happen in an organization that’s run well,” Rodgers said. “Because the relationships are the most important thing in this game. Because that’s what fuels the chemistry. And the chemistry fuels the cohesion of a team, and that makes a difference in those crunch-time moments when the game is on the line. And it starts at the top.”
Hopefully nothing like that happens again this summer.