Andrew Luck's shock retirement reverberated around the NFL this weekend, surprising locker rooms and quarterback rooms league wide. QBs from around the NFL offered their well wishes to the 29-year-old Colts QB, including two fellow No. 12s.
While Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was mostly understanding and plain in his soliloquy for Luck, Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers was more bothered by Luck's retirement, or at least the announcement of and reaction to the retirement.
Asked by Mad Dog Sports Radio's Adam Schein for his reaction to the Colts QB's decision on Saturday night, Rodgers took issue with the reporting behind it and the Indianapolis fans' gut reaction to it.
"Well, the surprise was obviously the first emotion. He's a young player, he's had a really, really good career," Rodgers told Schein on Monday. "But I think the second is a little disgust, maybe, at the way that it was handled. Him getting booed, the word leaking out the way that it did, I thought that was a little disgusting because here's a guy who's making a quality of life decision. And he's given a lot to the game, although he's not a 15-year vet, but he's put himself through a ton just to get back on the field."
The story was first broken Saturday night by ESPN, then confirmed by NFL Network and other outlets. Luck confirmed the news himself in a news conference immediately following the Colts' home preseason game against the Bears. Indianapolis had intended to announce the news later in the week, but the scoop on Saturday accelerated the timeline for a confirmation.
As for the select Colts fans who booed Luck as he walked off the Lucas Oil Stadium field for perhaps the last time, Rodgers defended the quarterback against his emotional detractors, saying Luck's pre-season retirement was actually beneficial to the team in the long run.
"I think what he did was actually very unselfish," Rodgers said. "Does he not start the season? He could be on IR, and then he's cashing a paycheck from the Colts without playing. But instead he's making the decision now so they can move forward with Jacoby [Brissett], and he's making a decision that's for his own quality of life and happiness, and I salute him for that.
"I enjoyed competing against him. He's a hell of a player, and I'm happy for whatever is next with Andrew."
Over the course of his seven-year career, Luck played Rodgers' Packers just twice. He beat them both times.