The New York Jets will acquire Aaron Rodgers, a man who has made known his disdain for the media
“Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport, they’re good at their jobs, but they don’t know [anything] about me.”
Since 2021, it has been abundantly clear that Aaron Rodgers despises the mainstream media.
His misleading statement that he was “immunized” for Covid-19 and the subsequent revelation that this did not, in fact, mean he had been vaccinated set in place the turf wars of NFL Reporters v. Rodgers.
The enmity is mutual. Reporters at Pro Football Talk, certain talk show hosts at ESPN, and some NFL Network alumni with popular YouTube platforms are the most virulent in their hatred, lambasting Rodgers’s character as if he were Deshaun Watson, Adrian Peterson, or even Aaron Hernandez.
A few weeks ago, on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers clarified that Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and Adam Schefter of ESPN do not know anything about him. He stated that they’re not in his inner circle, and they won’t be able to obtain information from his inner circle, either, because those guys aren’t talking.
That became pretty clear today when Rodgers stated that A.J. Hawk knew “since [last] Tuesday” what his plans were (albeit with plausible deniability), and he did not say a word to anyone, claiming he did not know anything.
Rodgers also took more direct shots, this time targeting Schefter and his colleague, Dianna Russini.
Aaron Rodgers crushes Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini: ‘Lose my number.’ https://t.co/spSgah7M4Q pic.twitter.com/4dY34pxOwi
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 15, 2023
Schefter confirmed that this is what Rodgers told him.
Confirming Aaron Rodgers’ report: pic.twitter.com/XRhhd58Qm5
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
Rodgers called Russini’s report that he had given a demand list to the Jets “ridiculous.”
Of course, one of Rodgers’s biggest fans threw in his own two cents.
Aaron Rodgers is getting more than a little petty by taking shots at Dianna Russini for reporting he has a wish list. He says he didn't make any demands. Hey, Aaron, she called it a "wish list" not a "demand list."
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 15, 2023
To be fair, it has seemed throughout this process that Russini is more plugged into what’s going on than other mainstream reporters. However, none of the reporters at NFL Network or ESPN were able to clarify the true situation.
Any attempts to frame this as “something we already knew” are disingenuous.
From Free Agency Frenzy: More and more thoughts on Aaron Rodgers following the breaking of silence on @PatMcAfeeShow. pic.twitter.com/zeP2zAhVCV
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2023
Reports coming from both Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport as recently as Monday stated that the Jets and Packers had no idea what Rodgers was going to do.
"Most important thing to know at this moment about Aaron Rodgers is that nothing happened today. He hasn't informed #Jets or #Gopackgo whether he wants to be traded to NY. The 2 teams have not worked out a deal. As of now, we continue to wait." – @RapSheet just now on @nflnetwork
— Play Like A Jet (@Playlikeajet1) March 13, 2023
‘To the best of my knowledge nothing is done yet’ @AdamSchefter on #Jets, #Packers Aaron Rodgers trade front + @diannaESPN said all the NYJ players tweeting about it is a good sign, but still no word: 📸 @ESPNNFL pic.twitter.com/csALPF1HJc
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) March 13, 2023
Schefter also drew the ire of Jets fans recently by beginning his announcement of the Chuck Clark trade with a trolling remark.
Adam Schefter woke up today and chose violence.
Schefter vs. #Jets Twitter. Fight. https://t.co/ciTbzTzFEI pic.twitter.com/vO3bg2Frbx
— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) March 9, 2023
Ultimately, as Rodgers stated, only one unlikely source has been perfectly accurate through this process: Trey Wingo, the former ESPN Radio host who has largely disappeared from the mainstream in recent years.
From Rodgers’s original conversation with the Jets, which dropped in the Twitterverse at 12:10 a.m. ET (and which I originally questioned the veracity of) to the current situation, Wingo has been plugged in.
Whether he has great sources with the Packers or is personally connected to Rodgers and/or the Jets, he is more accurate than Rapoport, Schefter, Russini, or anyone else.
Now, as some speculate that the Packers can dig in their heels indefinitely on trade compensation, Wingo claims that the trade is 99% finished.
Trey Wingo on @PFN365 also says Aaron Rodgers will be in New York next week 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/sbYbcbAYv9
— Optimistic Jets (@OptimisticJets) March 15, 2023
Meanwhile, Schefter and Russini are regrouping and trying to reshape the narrative.
Adam Schefter offers insight on his attempt to contact Aaron Rodgers pic.twitter.com/byK0iIbpzU
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 15, 2023
New York media coverage
Now that we know Rodgers has told the Packers he wants to come to the Jets, it will be interesting to see how the New York media will handle him. He is clearly someone who marches to the beat of his own drum.
If the Jets are going to mobilize around Rodgers in the quest for their first Super Bowl in over 50 years, they do not want to make him turn on them.
In fact, that seems to be exactly what pushed him toward the Jets in the first place: the Packers’ decision to move on without communicating that to him, which clearly lit a fire under him to continue playing.
Still, the Jets do not control the media that covers them. The national media will clearly spotlight Rodgers’s every move, likely spinning it to make him their continued favorite villain.
Will the local beat reporters also get “delete my number” texts from Rodgers?
If so, does that leave a path for lesser-known outlets to gain exclusive access to the future Jets quarterback?
The question is what Rodgers seeks in a reporter to deem them trustworthy. Clearly, his friendship with A.J. Hawk (and likely quite a bit of money) has motivated his appearances with Pat McAfee. McAfee himself is also a great platform for Rodgers because he is a fellow nonconformist in many ways.
Veracity and accuracy are clearly important to Rodgers (despite his own dabbling in semantics regarding his vaccination status). One of the problems for all media outlets is that waiting for confirmation is not what draws eyes, clicks, and money. A business that ignores the bottom line will likely not last very long.
This is why Rapoport and Schefter, who are, indeed, the two best NFL reporters in the business, could not just say “we don’t know” regarding Rodgers. They’re bound by their companies to draw eyes. Their way of saying “we don’t know” becomes “there is nothing to know,” which is already a spin in and of itself.
Who will win over Rodgers, and how? That’s a question every media member must ask themselves before venturing into covering him.
If it’s just about clicks and controversy, this is bound to get quite ugly. But if it’s about being the best source of real information, then the reporter who is able to convince Rodgers of their sincere motivation for the truth is the one who will find out what’s really going on in his mind.
Perhaps this should be a moment for all reporters and journalists to look in the mirror and reexamine their own values. Whatever they think of the messenger, the message itself is something to ponder.
Thanks Rivka, particularly love the final paragraph. The media does need to take a hard look in the mirror. Of course, sports media does not carry the same weight and import as the “news media”. A look at recent Gallup polls about trusting media shows that distrust of Congress and the media are neck-and-neck; not a good place to be.
I was not campaigning to have Aaron come to 1JD, I was firmly in the Carr camp. However, since it looked like it would indeed be Rodgers, I delved into him and his history.
His views on football, personal achievement, happiness, and fulfillment hit home with me, as does his openness to eastern philosophical concepts and psychedelics. Pigeon-holing ppl is a dangerous proposition (do unto others and all that), and christening Rodgers w “diva” or “drama queen” seems wholly unjust and a simplistic approach The fact that he marches to his own drum is what confounds media and fans alike.
Given how the instant scenario has played out who can blame him for despising the media? When clicks supersede accuracy trust is lost. I can only home that some reporters learn from this episode, especially those covering the Jets.
I honestly love how rodgers has treated shefter in particular. Looking back to the 2021 draft and how shefter put out a false made up report about rodgers retiring, or whatever the exact lie was, that totally took over the nfl news cycle. That day likely subconsciously added to the rodgers villainry in peoples minds. How he had to make everything about himself and steal the draft picks shine. Pretty sure i heard takes like that at that time. And even though shefter admitted that he had no source later on the dan patrick show, that was not a big story at all, id guess only journalists and a few fans remember that part.
Anyway… hey, hopefully someone at jetx or some independent youtuber can end up being rodgers trusted outlet, that would be something
Good article. Thank you!