Plus, it gave us insight on Rodgers’ drink of choice when things get a little weird.
Typically a scotch man, Rodgers told NFL Media’s Kyle Brandt that he was watching the draft closely, perked up when the Packers traded up four picks to No. 26 overall ... and then reached for his bottle of tequila when Love was the pick.
“I was like, ‘Oh, wow, OK,’ ” Rodgers told Brandt for the first episode of a future Ringer/Spotify podcast. “I love scotch, but I’ve been drinking some sipping tequila lately as well. And once I got that text [that Love was the pick], I went to the pantry, I poured myself about four fingers [of tequila] and I knew it was going to be one of those nights where people start calling.”
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Rodgers said his response to people calling was: “Yeah, I am fine.” He admitted he wasn’t “elated” with the pick, instead hoping for a wide receiver. But with receivers going off the board in three of the previous five picks leading up to where Green Bay landed, that position was drained. No other wideouts went in Round 1.
Rodgers spoke about Love’s arrival with Green Bay media this offseason, but otherwise has stayed out of the spotlight. What he told Brandt about what he expects to unfold over the next few years was fascinating.
Aaron Rodgers expects Packers to move on from him eventually
Brandt asked Rodgers on the follow-up question to Love for how the two-time MVP expects the situation to play out two years down the road. They’ll either have to move on from Rodgers, Brandt suggested, or just not play their 2020 first-round pick.
Rodgers didn’t hesitate to suggest that Green Bay eventually will replace him as the starter with Love down the road.
“I think probably the former,” Rodgers said. “That’s probably what happens, based on the circumstances around everything.
“Just look at the facts: They traded up. They drafted him. I would say they like him. They want to play him.”
Naturally, on draft day, it was easy for many to immediately make the parallel to Rodgers’ own draft experience, having been taken after the Packers made the playoffs with Brett Favre at QB.
Rodgers said this situation was a “different environment” as a generation ago, rookies often sat for a year or two before they were ready to take over. That’s rare these days, as first-round QBs tend to get their shots to play earlier.
Asked by Brandt — a Chicago Bears fan — how it might feel to perhaps one day wear a Bears uniform, Rodgers punted.
“Oh, man,” Rodgers said, laughing, “that’s a tough thought right there, man.”
Rodgers reached out to Jordan Love the next day
After sipping his tequila and FaceTiming with people who called him the night of the draft, Rodgers said he reached out to Love the next day. He said he wanted Love to know that if there’s anyone who understands the position he’s in, it’s Rodgers.
“I know what he is going through,” Rodgers said. “The last thing you want is any negativity about realizing a childhood dream.
“I just told him, ‘Congrats, man. I understand what you’re going through. It’s super exciting. I’m excited to work with you,’ which I am.”
Rodgers admitted it wasn’t the scenario he envisioned heading into draft weekend, falling one game short of a Super Bowl following a 13-3 regular season. He also said he wanted to make sure that disappointment wasn’t directed at Love himself.
“Was I bummed out? Of course. Who wouldn't be?” Rodgers said. “I want to play my entire career in Green Bay. I love the city, I grew up there. Really, I got there when I was 21, and I’m 36 now. A lot changes during that time.
“But I get it. I see it completely clearly, and I’m not bitter about it. It kind of is what it is.”
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