Aside from saying he’s not “mentally or emotionally ready” to make decisions about his future with the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers also recently made a statement about his playing ability that four-time All-Pro Rob Gronkowski took issue with.
“Do I still think I can play? Of course. Of course,” Rodgers said in his first postseason appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show." “Can I play at a high level? Yeah. The highest. I think I can win MVP again in the right situation. Right situation, is that Green Bay or is that somewhere else? I’m not sure, but I don’t think you should shut down any opportunity.”
"I think I can win MVP again in the right situation.. is that Green Bay or somewhere else, I'm not sure and there's more conversations to be had"@AaronRodgers12 dives into the possibility of playing a 19th season #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/cMjcPKFs5Z
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 17, 2023
The retired tight end made an appearance on FanDuel TV’s “Up & Adams” and was asked his take on Rodgers’ statement.
“I’m totally fine with everything he said except for one major part — and that’s the ‘MVP again,’” Gronkowski said. “Bro, why are you thinking MVP? Don’t you want Super Bowls?”
He went on to critique Rodgers’ priorities, adding that “Super Bowls are, I think, five times greater than an MVP award.”
.@RobGronkowski shares his thoughts on Aaron Rodgers’ recent statement:⁰
“Why are you thinking MVP?… It should be Super Bowls, you should never be thinking MVPs…”⁰⁰📺: @FanDuelTV | @heykayadams pic.twitter.com/WGcN9VNuJs
— Up & Adams (@UpAndAdamsShow) January 18, 2023
It’s possible that Rodgers has a different perspective. He won a Super Bowl in 2011, his only appearance in the game, but has won four MVP awards.
It’s clear that the veteran quarterback places value in the MVP award, as he mentioned in response to his doubters. “A lot of people said I was washed, and then I won two MVPs without really doing anything different,” Rodgers said with a smile on Tuesday.
The inevitable Tom Brady mention
Gronkowski’s inclination to take issue with Rodgers’ stance is likely informed by Tom Brady’s leadership, under which he spent his entire 11-year NFL career. The duo won four Super Bowls together.
Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, has won the MVP award three times. He holds the record for most Super Bowl MVP awards with five.
Rodgers, 39, and Brady, 45, have both been centered in discussions about potential retirement.
Although Brady faced criticisms of selfishness when he famously decided to unretire, those aren’t the same criticisms that Rodgers may face for seeming to care more about individual accolades than team milestones.
What the two quarterbacks most notably have common is both sound like they want to play another season, but they're unsure of where they might do so.