The D-List (Milwaukee’s ESPN radio program in the morning) were talking this morning re whether the team’s/Mark Murphy’s recent words indicated that the team was softening its stance or not. In talking about it, they discussed how difficult it would be to go back now, and then pointed out that Ted Thompson told Aaron Rodgers the day after Favre retired that Rodgers was the guy, and TT apparently added “no matter what”.
First of all, why would you ever say “no matter what” and be so definitive about something that isn’t a very definitive thing. I think TT set himself up for some of this misery by saying this so soon after Favre retired. Now, I know Rodgers at the time was not only the most sensible option, but the only option, so I don’t blame the team for looking in his direction. But what if a draft pick came in and lit up camp or a veteran became available somehow who fit the system perfectly? But I think TT telling Rodgers he was the guy “no matter what” served to paint the team into a corner – especially should Favre want to play again, which of course is exactly what happened. I think a lot of this comes down to TT being stubborn and not wanting to go back on his promise to Rodgers. And I think that is partly why Rodgers was so certain back in June (read Steve’s previous post) that he was still the guy despite Favre’s growing itch. He was promised the starting job. And this is just part of why I feel badly for Aaron Rodgers.
But the bigger issue I have with this is that it was Ted Thompson who told Rodgers this. Listen, I’m glad we have a GM who seems to have an understanding of talent etc and that he’s really into his job. And despite my recent criticism of him, there are still many reasons why I think he’s a good GM. But it’s none of his business to declare a player a starter “no matter what”. That is Mike McCarthy’s decision. If McCarthy would have declared this back in March, I would have thought it was premature, especially if he said “no matter what”, but I wouldn’t have written a post about it because that’s his call. I just am frustrated that it was TT who apparently made this call to Rodgers immediately after Favre’s retirement to make this premature promise.
The only excuse I could see for this would be if TT was just fuming at the time because he had just learned that it was the Vikings and Favre’s interest in playing for the Vikings that prompted Favre to want to unretire.