- The Green Bay Packers’ decision to cut wide receiver Jordy Nelson was one of the more surprising moves of the NFL offseason.
- Aaron Rodgers expressed his surprise and disappointment with the move and was reportedly generally upset with the Packers for not consulting him on several team decisions.
- In the months since, Rodgers has brought up Nelson’s release several times, a hint that it still bothers him.
The Green Bay Packers made one of the more surprising moves of the NFL offseason when they released veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
Nelson had spent ten years with the Packers, posting four 1,000-plus yard seasons and three seasons with double-digit touchdowns. However, after a mediocre season in 2017, the Packers decided to move on, hoping to get younger and faster at the position.
The decision has not seemed to sit well with Rodgers. When the Packers cut Nelson, Rodgers posted an emotional farewell.
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Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me. No teammate exemplified what it means to be a packer quite like him. From living in GB full time, his incredible contributions to the city, state, and region, to his consistent, reliable play on the field. Definitely a sad day and the toughest part of this business. There will never be another quite like white lightning. #leader #brother #friend #baller #loyal #champion #legacy #intact #stillcanplayball #backshoulder #1stSBTD
Nelson eventually signed with the Oakland Raiders.
After Nelson was cut, Rodgers told Milwaukee radio station 102.9 The Hog that the Packers made it “pretty clear” that players don’t get a say in personnel decisions. Rodgers also may have been referring to the Packers’ decision to fire quarterback coach Alex Van Pelt earlier in the offseason, something he had expressed frustration over not being consulted about during the offseason.
Yahoo reported in April that sources close to Rodgers said he was frustrated by some of the Packers’ decisions in the offseason.
With OTAs now underway, the sting of losing his go-to receiver doesn’t seem to have subsided for Rodgers.
On Tuesday, Rodgers was asked about rumours that the Packers could sign wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was cut by the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason. Rodgers said the Packers made it clear that they don’t want older receivers, once again mentioning Nelson.
“We like young receivers, so I’m assuming that’s the way they are going to keep going,” Rodgers said (via Zach Heilprin of The Zone). “I don’t know why you’d cut Jordy and bring in Dez.
“But, he’s a talented player. He’s going to end up somewhere. If he ends up here, we’ll obviously welcome him with open arms and get him up to speed as quick as possible.”
While speaking at the Wisconsin High School Sports Awards in May, Rodgers talked about what fuels him to continue playing. He said he would like to be so good into his 40s that the Packers can’t move on, noting that doesn’t always happen for other players like Nelson, among others.
“As you’ve seen here recently with Jordy, but even you go back a few years, whether it’s Julius Peppers or A.J. Hawk or John Kuhn or Brett Favre,” Rodgers said, “the fairytale ending of starting a career and ending it with the same organisation rarely happens.”
If nothing else, it showed Rodgers didn’t necessarily see Nelson’s release coming and that he doesn’t want to suffer the same fate.
The Packers drafted three wide receivers this year and signed tight end Jimmy Graham in free agency. It’s clear they will have some work to do to make up for Nelson’s absence in Rodgers’ mind.
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