What a strange year it was for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Heading into the 2021 NFL season, we hadn’t heard from Rodgers in months, only hearing through the grapevine that he was unhappy with the Packers organization, leading many to believe his days in a Green Bay uniform were numbered. Then, he showed up for training camp, aired his frustrations with the organization in a press conference rarely seen in sports, and got to work.
What followed was another season with amazing statistics, a third consecutive 13-win regular season, and another playoff disappointment.
And now, another regular-season MVP award.
Rodgers won his fourth NFL MVP award on Thursday night, his first back-to-back MVP.
“They’re all different,” Rodgers said. “The first one was really, really special because we came off winning the Super Bowl and I had my best season to date that next year. It seemed like we were a juggernaut chugging along and going to win another one. That obviously didn’t happen. The divisional round disappointment. But they’ve all been unique in their own ways. I think the latest one always feels the sweetest.”
It was another season filled with gaudy statistics for Rodgers, throwing for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. Rodgers finished the year with the league’s best touchdown to interception ratio and led the league in QBR (69.2). But it was the off-the-field drama, beginning even before the start of the regular season, that made Rodgers’ season so unique.
In November, Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, which informed the world that he was unvaccinated due to the amount of time he was required to sit out. He was hammered in the media for “misleading” the public regarding his vaccination status, after telling reporters in August that he was “immunized” against the virus.
In his weekly appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers discussed “cancel culture” and gave his thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the vaccine, infuriating many on the Left who prefer members of society to blindly follow their orders.
His outspoken ways caused one MVP voter to announce that Rodgers would not be receiving his vote for the league’s most valuable player, calling Rodgers “the biggest jerk in the league.”
“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,” Hub Arkush said on 670 The Score in Chicago. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he is clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady. So, from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not gonna be my choice.”
Arkush was asked if voters were allowed to consider off-the-field issues — like a player’s vaccination status — when deciding who to vote for.
“There’s no guidelines,” Arkush said. “We are told to pick the guy who we think is most valuable to his team. And I don’t think it says anywhere, ‘strictly on the field,’ although I do think he hurt his team on the field by the way he acted off the field. They’re gonna get the No. 1 seed anyway, but what if the difference had come down to the Chiefs game, where he lied about being vaccinated, ended up not playing and they got beat? I think all these things should be considerations.”
Fortunately, enough voters focused on Rodgers’ play on the field, allowing Rodgers to now trail only Peyton Manning for the most MVP awards in NFL history.
The future is once again murky for Rodgers, who made it clear following another early playoff exit that he has no intention of being part of a rebuild in Green Bay.
“I’d like to thank the Green Bay Packers, Mark, Brian, Russ, and our incredible fanbase,” Rodgers said after winning the award. “It’s been an amazing 17 years. So thankful for the memories and moments over the years.”
However Rodgers decides, he sure took NFL fans on one heck of a ride in his 17th season.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.