Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is clearly quite angry with Aaron Rodgers. It is no secret that Rodgers has fractured relationships with his football family. However, his former teammates haven’t had much to say about the start quarterback. Aside from the media hoopla over Rodgers’ lack of a relationship with former Packers gunslinger Brett Favre, little else is known about Rodgers sociability with his fellow gridiron warriors. The full picture of Rodgers as a teammate, friend, and human is beginning to take shape now that his former wideout, Jennings, is speaking up.
What Did Jennings Say?
Greg Jennings made waves when he revealed his relationship with Rodgers is “non-existent.” It is an alarming admission considering Jennings was Rodgers’ top pass catcher up until the arrival of Davante Adams. Jennings played for the Packers from ’06 to ’12. When reflecting on Rodgers’ success this season, Jennings revealed to the Pioneer Press that he does not have a relationship with Rodgers.
Jennings stated, “We don’t text, we don’t communicate like that. We haven’t had an official sit down, like bring it all in for a hug, since I left Green Bay. .. We had a great relationship [in Green Bay] … Our relationship now has been non-existent. I tried to reach out to refurbish it but haven’t had any success. The acceptance from his side has just not been there.”
Jennings ultimately departed the Packers in ’13 to play for the Minnesota Vikings, yet it appears as though he would have preferred that Rodgers kept in touch with him. Jennings started to refer to Rodgers as “12” during his time in Minnesota. This number is a reference to Rodgers’ number. Jennings would also refer to Rodgers as “the guy they have now” when asked questions about him during his tenure as a Viking.
A Lack of Accountability
Jennings appears to have a beef with Rodgers’ failure to take accountability for his professional shortcomings and personal failures. Jennings stated Rodgers is a “great person” yet insists the media over-focuses on the positives. Jennings paints the picture of Rodgers being presented as the league’s golden boy by a non-critical media.
“It’s hard for someone to see that now because all they’ve heard is ‘I’m doing it the right way, I’m perfect’. In actuality, we all have flaws,” Jennings stated during his interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The former star wideout went on to tell the Pioneer Press that when the Packers matched up with the Vikings, he reached out to Rodgers to rekindle their friendship. However, Rodgers was non-responsive, and did not reciprocate. It is possible Rodgers took offense to Jennings’ references to him as “that guy” and “number 12”, making the rebuff that much more understandable.
Jennings elaborated on his attempt to re-spark the relationship with Rodgers, stating, “When we played them going back to Lambeau and [at Minnesota], we talked and I apologized. Those were my feelings [at the time], but there was no need for me to say those things. It was done out of frustration, anger, because I wanted my career to remain and be knotted up like a nice little bow in Green Bay.”
Jennings is Still Relevant
At this point, readers might be wondering why Jennings’ opinion matters. After all, the former wideout is retired. However, Jennings’ opinion holds sway in the Green Bay community. Fans of the Packers listen closely when Jennings talks, especially when he touches on the highly sensitive topic of Rodgers. Cheeseheads have not forgotten that Rodgers demanded a trade this past offseason. Though Rodgers was not dealt, there is a chance he will play elsewhere next season.
Jennings retired five years ago yet he is still active in the NFL scene, working as a TV analyst. It is worth noting Jennings caught Rodgers’ first-ever NFL touchdown pass. Jennings also won a Super Bowl with Rodgers a decade ago.
Jennings has attempted to reconnect with Rodgers in the past. Jennings states he attempted to bridge the gap with the star quarterback several times in recent years. Jennings made those comments on Michael Irvin’s popular podcast earlier in the year.
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Jennings told Irving he extended an olive branch to Rodgers through direct messages on social media and even in-person. The two awkwardly ran into each other at a Milwaukee Bucks games three seasons ago. Jennings states he tapped Rodgers on the shoulder and insists Rodgers was defensive during the interaction.
Jennings is Not the Only Former Teammate Critical of Rodgers
Though most former Packers are tight-lipped about Rodgers simply because he has become such a controversial figure, Jermichael Finley, a former Packer tight-end has also spoken out. Finley was highlighted by Rodgers during an interview with ESPN, who stated he is bothered by the fact that Finley and Jennings are the only two former teammates to speak negatively about him. Rodgers went on to question why those two are incapable of moving on.