Aaron Rodgers may finally be happy again in Green Bay.
The frustrated quarterback cracked a smile during training camp on Thursday. Standing next to him was the recently acquired Randall Cobb, who Rodgers has spent eight seasons playing with. Photographers captured the smile and the reunion between the two players.
The nine-time Pro Bowler had a well-documented stand-off with the Packers’ front office this offseason. In a very personal press conference, Rodgers addressed many of the issues he had with the team’s brass. Including how the front office operates and how he wants to be more involved in those decisions moving forward.
Cobb, 30, was one of the “mistakes” Rodgers pointed to in the Packers’ failures to retain “core players.” He left the Packers in free agency in 2019 to join the Dallas Cowboys.
“Also, I wanted to help the organization maybe learn from some of the mistakes in the past, in my opinion, about the way some of the outgoing veterans were treated and just the fact that we didn’t retain a number of players that I feel like were core players to our foundation, our locker room,” Rodgers said during his presser. “High character guys, I’m talking about Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb, James Jones, John Kuhn, Brett Goode, TJ Lang, Bryan Bulaga, Casey Heyward, Micah Hyde.
“Guys who were exceptional players for us, great locker room guys, high character guys, many of them whom weren’t offered a contract at all or were extremely low-balled or were maybe, in my opinion, not given the respect on the way out that guys of their status and stature and high character deserve. And, then it kind of progressed from there into a commitment for the 2021 season and beyond, that really wasn’t given at any time.”
The Packers front office has already made an effort to keep Rodgers content in Green Bay. The first step in the right direction was trading for Cobb. In exchange for the 10-year vet, the Packers sent a sixth-round pick and had the Texans agree to pay $3 million of Cobb’s salary.
Cobb was a very steady weapon and security blanket in the slot for Rodgers over the years. During their time together, Cobb made 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns on 675 targets. Rodgers played a huge part in the front office’s decision for a reunion.
“I think that’s a big part of it,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said Thursday. “Obviously without Aaron, I don’t think we would probably be pursuing that. Randall’s still a really good player. Seeing him last night just kind of reminded me what an impact he’ll have in our locker room and for our football team.
“But this was a very important thing for Aaron, and that’s why we did it.”