Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ teammates, Clay Mathews and Julius Peppers, along with his former teammate Mike Neal and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison have until August 25th to comply with the NFL’s request for an interview regarding its investigation into steroid claims made by an Al-Jazeera America report. If the players fail to comply, they will be suspended effectively August 26th. On Wednesday, Rodgers joined The Jim Rome Show and shared his thoughts on the league’s investigation into a report that’s been discredited and already been cleared by former player Peyton Manning.
“I think it’s pretty typical of how things have been going with [the NFL] lately. It sets a bad precedent. I think that any wild accusation accredited, legitimate or unlegimate, they’re going to try and bully these guys into testifying,” Rodgers said. “First of all, we stand by them 100 percent, our guys. It looks bad for the league, especially after Peyton got cleared and this thing has been, there’s been some holes shot at it, but I’m confident those guys have nothing to hide and they will work something out.
“I just think as far as the league goes, there’s been some negative things that have come their way and the way they’ve responded is maybe not been the best way to handle it.”
Rodgers was asked if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had too much power in terms of player punishment.
“If that is the case, we have nobody to blame but ourselves because we had the opportunity in the CBA to make some legitimate changes to that,” Rodgers said. “I think there’s probably too much pressure to come back to a deal when we had all the power on our side and that was something we should have had negotiated into the CBA, because this shouldn’t be someone who is judge, jury, and executioner.”
However, the 2-time NFL MVP didn’t think there was any chance Matthews or Peppers will miss a game or more for this.
“I mean there’s no way it’s going to cost them, I don’t think, in this case,” Rodgers said.
As Rodgers enters his 12th season in the league, at the age of 32, he feels every season is more important than the previous one.
“I think every year does as you get older in the league, you realize the end is coming at some point,” Rodgers said of this season’s importance. “You try to stave it off year after year and keep being an indispensable part of the team.”
Rodgers says there were some positives steps in the right direction as a team in 2015 after losing Jordy Nelson to a torn ACL, but he knows they have some cleaning up to do in order to be more successful this season.
“We had an injury last year to a star player and that rocked us in the preseason, but we bounced back and started 6-0 and then kind of hit a rough patch and didn’t deal with adversity well as a team. So I think we have to bounce back in that aspect and become a little mentally tougher this year,” Rodgers said. “But the exciting thing is that all 32 teams right now are in training camp and excited and have one goal, and I think what it really comes down to is which teams can come together on the field and execute the best and have good fortune staying healthy, and we believe were going to be one of those teams that’s going to be there in the end. It’s a matter of putting ourselves in position to make that run, and then when we get there, we can’t have the mistakes in the playoffs individually and collectively that we’ve had the last couple of years.”