© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY SportsGreen Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers had arguably the best season of his career in 2020, and it came after many wondered if the Green Bay Packers were in the early stages of moving on from him. In order to play as well as he did, Rodgers says he had to free himself of that narrative.
The Packers decided to use their first-round pick in last year's draft on former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. In an interview with Michael Silver of NFL.com this week, Rodgers said one of his most important tasks last offseason was pushing away negative thoughts after the draft.
"You know, especially after the draft, it was important for me mentally to get to a place of freedom with that - freedom from bitterness, freedom from expectations, freedom from future thinking - and I feel like I did," Rodgers told Silver. "It gave me a really good peace and calm about the season and to be able to focus."
Rodgers said he had to remind himself that certain things are out of his control and that he holds no ill will toward anyone in the Packers organization over the Love pick.
"I'm not fighting against it, and I haven't harbored any angst or frustration with anybody in the organization," he said. "I'm really content with where I'm at, and I feel like it's helped me to be very clear-minded all year."
This is not the first time Rodgers has admitted he was bothered by the Love pick. That is hardly a surprise, as any quarterback still playing at a high level would prefer that his team use a first-round pick on a player other than his potential replacement.
Rodgers threw for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season. His 121.5 passer rating is the second-highest mark in NFL history behind his own 122.5 in 2011. He's almost certainly going to win his second MVP Award.
If the Love pick motivates Rodgers to win another Super Bowl and keep playing at a high level, it will have been worth it for Green Bay. Tom Brady was clearly irritated after the New England Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo in 2014, and Brady went on to lead New England to three more Super Bowls after that. The 37-year-old Rodgers may be headed down the same path.
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