Aaron Rodgers' hollow threat to Sean Payton reeks of hypocrisy

Aaron Rodgers responds to Sean Payton's scathing review of Nathaniel Hackett's coaching job

Aaron Rodgers, Sean Payton
Aaron Rodgers, Sean Payton / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos and New York Jets don't face each other until Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season, but it looks like both teams have already taken the gloves off. Sean Payton made some very harsh comments in an article to USA Today, written by Jarrett Bell, and those comments understandably drew some negative reactions for folks with the Jets.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh has responded to the comments. A number of other Jets players including former Denver Broncos right tackle Billy Turner have come out and spoken against Payton's comments. Turner called Payton a "f***ing bum" on his Instagram page, while wide receiver Randall Cobb asked (rhetorically) if the "Bountygate coach" made the comments in question before calling Payton "soft".

Saleh was much more diplomatic in his approach and took the high road while also defending Hackett, but Aaron Rodgers had some very deliberate words for Sean Payton when given the opportunity to speak on Payton's USA Today comments. In an interview with Peter Schrager, Rodgers called Sean Payton "insecure" about the job he took on and said that Payton made the comments that he did to make for an "easy fall" if things don't go well this season.

"I thought it was way out of line, inappropriate, and I think he needs to keep my coaches names out of his mouth."

Aaron Rodgers (via NFL)

I guess the first question we should all be asking after hearing the end of that quote from Aaron Rodgers is, or what?

What if Sean Payton doesn't keep Nathaniel Hackett's name out of his mouth? What is Aaron Rodgers going to do? Is he going to play harder when the Jets come to Denver? Is he going to force Payton to take a darkness retreat and think about what he did?

The reality is, Rodgers is defending a good friend. And frankly, I respect that. Rodgers, Turner, Cobb -- they're all sticking up for their buddy Hackett. Hackett has been a good friend to them and they all are getting the chance to work together in 2023 with the Jets after some good times together with the Packers.

I get it. It's Rodgers' friend.

The thing that I can't get past is the absolute hypocrisy littered throughout Aaron Rodgers' entire statement. Not to mention, simply the fact that Rodgers failed to include the most important aspect of Payton's quotes in the USA Today piece, which literally began with Payton saying he would be "ticked" off if the Broncos aren't a playoff team this year. I don't know that an "insecure" coach is going to paint that kind of target on his back. It seems to be the exact opposite of insecurity.

So what makes this hypocritical from Rodgers? Well, have a look for yourself.

I guess the moral of the story is, it's okay if Aaron Rodgers wants to call out his superiors in inappropriate, out of line ways, but it's not okay for Sean Payton to accurately (albeit harshly) describe a situation he stepped into. It's okay for Rodgers to make a huge deal in public about certain teammates, not having enough say in the Packers' roster decisions, telling The Pat McAfee Show all of the details he felt like regarding how things fell apart with the Packers, etc.

What makes all of this even more frustrating and hypocritical from Rodgers is this -- if Nathaniel Hackett is such a good friend and a coach you really want to go to bat like this for, why did Rodgers not come to Denver in 2022 when he had the chance? It's clear, at this point, that the Broncos hired Hackett to get to Rodgers. We've now seen the Jets execute the play the Broncos couldn't last year when they didn't have the ownership in place to give Rodgers the contract he desired at the time.


Rodgers could have really put his money where his mouth is by joining the Broncos last year to be the guy at QB for Hackett, but he didn't. And now that he's with the Jets, Rodgers has taken an unprecedented $35 million pay cut for the 2023 season. So he spurned the Broncos last offseason when Hackett got his head coaching gig, seemingly because the Packers offered him a massive pay day. But now he's giving that money up a year later? When he could have helped Hackett succeed as an NFL head coach in his first (and possibly only) opportunity?

I just don't see how Aaron Rodgers thinks he has a foot to stand on here. Again, I applaud him for standing up for his friend and coach. It's admirable. But Rodgers also has plenty of dirt on his hands for how things turned out in Denver last year when it's clear at this point that the plan was for him to join Hackett in the Mile High City, regardless of what people will say publicly.

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