Terry Bradshaw’s message to Aaron Rodgers amounts to a game-show catchphrase: You are the weakest link! Goodbye!
Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame quarterback and NFL on Fox analyst, expressed his disgust for the way Rodgers is handling his ugly relationship with the Packers. A year (or more) of tensions dating to the Packers’ decision to draft eventual successor Jordan Love in 2020 boiled over Friday when ESPN broke the news that Rodgers does not want to return to Green Bay.
“With him being that upset shows me just how weak he is,” Bradshaw said on the “Moose & Maggie” program on WFAN radio.
“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 [in the first round].”
Bradshaw admitted there might be more to the story than meets the eye.
“I don’t know what was said behind the scenes,” he said. “I don’t know if he said, ‘Look I’ll play [in 2020] and then I want out of here,’ and they said, ‘Fine.’ Then he is the MVP of the league. None of us know unless he told some insiders and they are saying it. I don’t hear it. For him to be upset, my God, I don’t understand that.”
Bradshaw won four Super Bowls in the 1970s but the Steelers still drafted Mark Malone in the first round in 1980, three years before Bradshaw retired. He was quick to point out Rodgers only has one ring.
“I had them coming at me from all angles,” Bradshaw said. “I embraced it. Because when we went to practice, I wasn’t worried about those guys. They didn’t scare me a bit. So I don’t understand why he is so upset at Green Bay.”
Rodgers would consider returning if general manager Brian Gutekunst – who rose through the Packers organization after beginning as a scout – is fired, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
“Are you kidding me?” Bradshaw said. “Really? Aaron, that’s where this is?
“Here’s what I would do: I wouldn’t budge. Let him gripe. Let him cry. Retire. You are . Go ahead and retire. See you later. I’m really strong about stuff like that. It just makes him look weak. How dare you draft somebody?”
Under contract through 2023, Rodgers’ only real leverage is the threat of holding out all season and pursuing non-football interests.
“Obviously he doesn’t need the money,” Bradshaw said. “Probably he should just retire and go [host] ‘Jeopardy.’ Either he gives in, or Green Bay don’t give in. Move on.”
Bradshaw isn’t sure whether Rodgers’ retirement alternative is an empty threat.
“I flat would call him on it,” Bradshaw said. “I have never hem-hawed about something so much in my life. … He has really put them in a pickle. Green Bay is really in a pickle, and if he retires then that takes care of that.”
Bradshaw had the same message for Russell Wilson, who let it be known months ago that he is unhappy with the Seahawks. Wilson has not been traded.
“Shut your mouth and play quarterback,” Bradshaw said. “You’re a blessed man to be making millions that all of us on this Zoom call would give anything to make that in a lifetime of earnings. I have no respect, I have no patience for people that do that.”
Bradshaw thinks it’s not a team-first attitude.
“Where does a player have the right to criticize the front office?” Bradshaw said. “When they are in fact the stars of the football [team] and making all this money, they think that empowers them to have a position and a place to say, ‘I want this. I want that.’ Quietly, they know what they need. To have a player make these demands, it drives me nuts.”
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