Is Aaron Rodgers taking a page out of Jerry Maguire with, “show me the money,” or does he want another shot at a Super Bowl ring? During an interview on the “Rich Eisen Show,” ESPN’s Dianna Russini stated Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants about $50 million per year. She said, “From the conversations I’ve had with a lot of people in the league,” which is a bit of a shock to everyone. You see, the assumption is that Rodgers is looking toward his legacy and wants another ring. That it’s not about money but a commitment to winning. I had a few questions concerning the report (covered on our Points on the Board show, Ep. 07)
I want to remind you; this woman represents ESPN. I can tell you first-hand when ESPN or a major network or league calls, most– if not all– answer. Even in the rare case the person or company does not, it’s a journalist’s job to call the individual directly, if possible, or his agent, to find out. If there is no response, you report that.
During the Eisen segment, Russini never stated she tried to contact him. Everything was about what people around the league were telling her. The point is that this reporter didn’t do her job. This continues to show the lack of standards in journalism today. Not just sports, but business, politics, etc.
When faced with the story, by Pat McAfee, an emerging social media and radio superstar, Rodgers came out and answered, via text with two words, “categorically false.” That speaks volumes about the quality of her report.
Yes, I can judge, having worked with and hired reporters for over ten years. I know what good journalism’s supposed to be. I know how this works, and trust me, it’s not rocket science. Don’t let anyone fool you because you don’t need a degree in journalism to be a reporter. Common sense and ethics are the two requisites required.
Every case is different. For example, ESPN broke the Tom Brady retirement, and Brady denied it. We knew why and I even tweeted about it. Brady wanted to make the announcement himself. Maybe Russini’s right, but it sounds off for someone talking about wanting to win and not be part of a rebuilding process. Then again, “show me the money,” goes a long way and we all have a number that makes us stop and reconsider. Maybe there is a dollar amount Rodgers has that he won’t budge from?
We all know the mainstream media has an ax to grind with Rodgers. Not going to Rodgers, but putting it on her sources is lazy journalism and let me tell you, sources lie. Only an idiot believes otherwise.
A source will lie for a variety of reasons. One example we’ve all seen are agents. Sometimes agents trying to play teams off one another to get their player a better contract, traded, etc., lie. It’s happened to my previous company, thus, I’ve seen it first-hand.
For all we know, it could be someone who wants to put Rodgers in a bad light. To show him as nothing more than a greedy individual, but that said, $50 million is actually in the ballpark of what he’s worth. The issue is if he wants a championship or an ego boost in being the highest-paid player – temporarily because there’s always someone who’ll use that salary as the starting point for theirs.
Look, we don’t know what Rodgers is. Some are trying to categorize him as conservative because of his stance on the COVID vaccine. However, he’s not a conservative champion stating as much. Is he an opportunist? A diva? Who knows, but he knows how to manipulate the media with words. That’s not good or bad, but savvy.
Individuals like Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James or Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr who refuse to speak truthfully on China. Even the NBA, which China ultimately rules because it’s becoming their most significant market, cower like a nerd in grade school pummeled by a bully. Why? The money is potentially massive, dwarfing what they do stateside. Greed drives them, while individuality drives Rodgers.
The media came to loathe Rodgers and lost it when he used those tactics, their tactics against them. Creating a narrative when he said, “immunized” and not “vaccinated.” That flipped the media’s self-stated belief of righteousness. What’s worse? Many lied by claiming “he lied.” Technically, he did not, which makes them angrier because Rodgers played them as they play us. I’m not saying he’s right, I’m telling you what happened.
Rodgers never said vaccinated, but immunized. Not everyone picked up on that difference in our so-called media and thus didn’t think to ask why he said he said it like that? I can tell you why they missed it – our sports media is substandard waiting for the news to come to them. They rarely investigate.
A reporter once told me he’s not an investigative reporter. Despite the fact, investigating stories is one tenet of reporting! Mostly, today’s media waits for that tweet or insider report to show them the way. The malicious ones with an ax to grind love to use “anonymous sources” to play others, including their own cohorts in the media. The race for views and ratings has turned our newsrooms into click-bait chasers first, facts second.
The MSM is livid because he used their tricks of playing on words to create a specific narrative. At that moment, the media openly turned on Aaron Rodgers, the football player, and tried to make him, Aaron Rodgers, the poster boy for anti-vaxxers. Moving forward, for every opportunity that presents itself, they will use it against him to damage the Rodgers’ brand. The MSM is petty.
Ironically, what saved him? Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly exposed how biased the media is in voting for awards, such as MVP. Full disclosure. I know Arkush and worked for him, and I’ll never say a bad word about him. Despite his honesty that exposed the media in how they operate and how he votes, he’s a good man … outside that belief.
Thus, the mainstream media’s arrogance shown through Arkush, and his ill-advised confession thwarted what would likely have been Rodgers not winning the MVP. He won his fourth MVP. I’m sure many in the media weren’t happy with not only Arkush but being forced to vote for him and not look vindictive. I’ve been involved in the NFL for nearly two decades and have worked with too many reporters to count and can tell you, had Arkush not spoken, Rodgers likely doesn’t win that MVP.
My question? Who lied? I don’t know Russini, but I know she’s respected, so I would lean to her source lying. Again, I’ve worked with beat reporters, know reporters, and former sports and politicians turned analysts. I’ve caught them in lies or half-truths. Too many times, they know what they’re reporting isn’t the truth, but a narrative they want you to believe.
The fact, former teammate and wide receiver, Greg Jennings threw Rodgers under the bus on “First Things First,” gives us a great example of what I’m talking about with those who have an ax to grind against him and letting that cloud their judgment.
God bless Jennings who had God-given talent we can only dream of. However, he’s also a classic case argument that the quarterback can make the receiver. Look at those stats under Rodgers and then without.
Once Jennings left Green Bay and without Rodgers, his numbers came back to earth and three years later he’s out of the league. It’s become obvious there’s no love lost in his views of Rodgers but In his defense, there’s no denying Rodgers is a diva and didn’t seem to care for Jennings toward the end of their run together. Yet, despite his anger toward his former quarterback, he could’ve easily called him or his agent and said, look, they’re asking me to comment. Is this true? He didn’t, and it’s obvious he didn’t do his own due diligence either.
Rodgers is at a point in his career, where he knows his legacy is on the line. To be seen as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game who tanks every playoff season minus one. He’s seen as a diva with reports to back it up and he’s approaching 20 years and only one Super Bowl ring.
For all his greatness, that will always be the knock on him. It’s a massive knock because legends are remembered by championships. Because of that, one would assume, he wants a chance to win another ring and not money. He’s likely set financially. The truth is that the Packers front office has failed to build a complete team during Rodgers’ era. Whether the rushing attack, defense, or special teams, they’ve never put it together outside of one season.
Rodgers’ large contract didn’t help either, but overall, many believe the team has been poorly run. We’ll find out soon enough where Rodgers stands and if he’s serious about pursuing a ring or satisfying his ego.
The lesson here? Okay, this is not 100% given, but generally, don’t trust a report like this, unless verified, and don’t forget, anonymous sources are no longer used in their proper context. Now they’re used by many who have no proof, no story but conjecture. The battle for a scoop is vicious and many pull it off by stating, “an anonymous source tells me…”