Author’s Note: I wrote this series after Aaron Rodgers returned to the Green Bay Packers after his standoff with the front office in 2021. Given his recent comments on The Pat McAfee Show, I thought it might be fun to revisit them.
On Wednesday, Aaron Rodgers held his first press conference with multiple reporters since his feud with the Green Bay Packers was made public. Of course, many of the questions were centered around what caused his fallout with the front office. Rodgers did not hold back his feelings at all. Among other things, Rodgers described how he felt certain players were disrespected by the organization. One of the things that he felt should have been different was bringing them back, especially since they could still contribute and wanted to stay (even for less money).
Here are the players Aaron Rodgers mentioned as veterans who were mistreated or disrespected on their way out of Green Bay:
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) July 28, 2021
Earlier, we took a look at how Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, and Julius Peppers performed after they left Green Bay. In part two of this series, we will analyze the production of Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb, and James Jones after their days in Green Bay were over.
Easily one of the most popular Packers” players over the past decade, Clay Matthews’ departure from Green Bay was not pretty. Nearly immediately after informing Matthews his services were no longer needed, the Packers gave his #52 to newly drafted Rashan Gary. Matthews had this to say on Twitter:
😑😑😑 The body’s not even cold yet lol
— Clay Matthews III (@ClayMatthews52) April 29, 2019
After leaving the Packers, Clay Matthews signed with the Los Angeles Rams. In his one season with them, he played in 13 games and had 8.0 sacks. In his final season with Green Bay, Matthews had 3.5 sacks. This number was certainly lower than expectations of him, but it must be remembered that the NFL instituted a new rule to protect the quarterbacks that year. Several of Matthews’ would-be sacks were called as roughing the passer. Clearly, he had it figured out by the next season.
Obviously, the Packers were set at edge rusher after Matthews left. Za’Darius and Preston Smith had solid first years with the Packers, which was the team’s first without Matthews. In addition, Rashan Gary has become a rising star in the NFL. Still, Gary only had two sacks in his rookie season. Having Matthews and his eight sacks would have been much more productive.
Randall Cobb’s departure from the Green Bay Packers has been revisiting a great deal this week. This is, in large part, due to the fact that the Packers traded a sixth round pick to bring him back to Green Bay this season. In a press conference on Thursday, general manager Brian Gutekunst admitted that the deal was made to appease Aaron Rodgers.
Davante Adams and Randall Cobb side-by-side in Packers jerseys 1️⃣7️⃣1️⃣8️⃣ pic.twitter.com/UB9t1qHGAw
— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) July 29, 2021
Obviously, Davante Adams, who has his own issues with the Packers’ front office, is happy with the deal as well. The trade, though, is a lot more than just bringing back an old friend. Randall Cobb is still a productive player.
After the Packers would not bring him back, Cobb signed with the Dallas Cowboys. In his one season with Dallas, Cobb played 15 games (six starts), caught 55 passes for 828 yards, and scored three touchdowns. Last season, of course, Cobb was with the Houston Texans. Fighting through injury, Cobb played 10 games and had 441 yards and three touchdowns.
Early signs at camp indicate that he is going to be the primary slot receiver in the Packers’ offense. He will also mentor the young Amari Rodgers, whom he has had a special relationship with since Rodgers’ father was Cobb’s coach in college.
Author’s Note: The Amari Rodgers experiment was a total failure. Cobb has spent the last two seasons with the Packers, but has not been a major factor in the offense.
One name that has been in the minds of Packers fans all offseason is James Jones. That is because ever since the Aaron Rodgers saga began, Jones has said the situation is fixable and that he would even mediate between the two parties.
Former #Packers WR James Jones believes the issues between Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers are “fixable.” pic.twitter.com/nHqKbjVsw6
— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) May 6, 2021
Just like Randall Cobb, James Jones was let go by the Packers only to be brought back again. Jones had a good year for the Packers in 2013 when he had 59 receptions for 817 yards and six touchdowns. After the season, though, the two sides could not agree on a contract. Jones ended up signing a three-year $11.3 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. That is less than $4 million per season. For whatever reason, the Packers did not want to pay it at the time.
After one season with Oakland, Jones was released and signed by the Packers again. In 2015, he had his best year in terms of receiving yards. Jones caught 50 passes for 890 yards and six touchdowns. His 17.8 yards per reception that year was the best of his career.
Green Bay, though, did not want to keep Jones any longer. The 2015 season was the last of his career.
With the exception of Clay Matthews who played defense, the two wide receiver mentioned here by Rodgers clearly were better with him than without him. There is an Aaron Rodgers factor when it comes to the production of receivers. More often than not, their chemistry can make up for a lot of things. Matthews was a great leader in the locker room and could have been a great mentor for the young Gary. Unfortunately, he was let go. Hopefully, Cobb can have the same kind of success Jones had in Green Bay after returning.
For More In The Series
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content
Follow me on Twitter at @theotherRobin19 and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!