Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't have a voice in a highly-circulated article written by Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report late last week.
One thing, however, became evident Monday when the Packers' signal-caller was given a platform to publicly respond to the article on The Wilde and Tausch radio show on ESPN Milwaukee: Rodgers wasn't holding back.
"The thing is about this article it's not a mystery, this was smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career, talking with mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda, rather they're advancing their own careers or just trying to stir old stuff up," Rodgers said. "Then what happens is the same tired media folks picking it up and talking about it. It's just emphasizing their opinion about me already.
"The crazy thing is there's super slanted opinions in that piece stated as fact. And there's quote-on-quote facts which are just outright lies. In some cases where you maybe ignore something like this or you don't even really gloss over it, I don't think you can in this case."
Rodgers primarily took exception to two main points of the article dealing with his relationship with former head coach Mike McCarthy and team president Mark Murphy. The quarterback said those specific areas contained "a number of inaccurate or incorrect opinions or facts."
"The first is the Mark Murphy conversation because part of it the article seems to want to say the Packers are worried about me as the leader of the football team moving forward," Rodgers said. "And before I get in to what actually happened on the conversation with Mark, I want to say two things. One, if they knew that then why would they offer me a contract last year? And two, if I really disliked Mike that much then why would I re-sign knowing that if I play well and we do what we do around here, it's going to be me and Mike my entire career."
When it came specifically to McCarthy, Rodgers expressed a desire for the Green Bay community to "honor" and "respect him the right way."
"We had a hell of a run," Rodgers said. "We had 13 years, four NFC championships, one Super Bowl, eight straight playoffs, 19 straight wins. So, instead of trashing this guy on the way out, let's remember the amazing times that we had together.
"Packer fans, remember this, especially those of you who live in Green Bay: Mike lives here. Mike has young kids here. So Mike has to be here. Think about how difficult it is for him. My favor that I would ask of you, strongly, is if you see Mike, shake his hand. Tell him thanks for the memories. Tell him thanks for the coaching job that he did. Tell him how much you appreciate him being a part of what we built here."
Rodgers also appeared to take issue with the article's sourcing, which featured former teammates on the record and a variety of unnamed people.
Two players willing to put their name next to their quotes were Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley, both of whom have spoken out publicly on Rodgers in the past.
"It bothers me that every time there's an article it's the same two people," Rodgers said. "And if there's not an article about me, do you ever hear their name anywhere else? Do they get interviews with people? Are they out there making comments? Are they making the rounds on the shows?
"I would say probably not. ... I would say at what point do you move on? You talk about me being sensitive and petty, at what point do you move on or stop telling the same stories? Like really? A conversation with Carlos Rogers on the field, making a joke, about his situation? That's what you're going to hold on to?"
In the meantime, Rodgers got ahead of the media questions that are sure to come as the team kicks off the voluntary offseason workout program under new head coach Matt LaFleur.
While Rodgers appeared to address numerous lingering concerns from last week's article, he could help many forget any leftover bad feelings by leading the Packers back to the postseason after two consecutive losing seasons.