When Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers parted ways last offseason, the expectation was that Rodgers would be competing for a Super Bowl with his new team, the NY Jets, while the Packers were likely headed for a rebuilding period with new quarterback Jordan Love.
10 months later, Rodgers' former team is headed to the Divisional Round of the playoffs while Rodgers and the Jets missed the postseason for the 13th consecutive season.
Of course, Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles just four plays into his Jets career, so it's not exactly a one-to-one comparison. But that doesn't take away from the success Matt LaFleur and the Packers have found this season.
Following his team's upset win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, LaFleur spoke about his team and their special "energy." More specifically, he seemed to take a shot at last year's team, highlighting the "different energy" with his current Packers team.
It didn't take long for fans to connect the dots, with many assuming this was a direct shot at Rodgers.
Did Matt LaFleur take a shot at Aaron Rodgers?
Now, it should be noted that there's no proof that LaFleur is alluding to Rodgers here. But it's hard not to draw your own conclusions, especially given how things ended for the four-time MVP in Green Bay.
Rodgers was frequently criticized during his time in Green Bay for being "selfish." Numerous reports emerged over the years that painted Rodgers as someone who was disliked by his teammates, especially after the Jordan Love draft pick.
While that hasn't been an issue for Rodgers with his new team, it's fair to suggest that LaFleur and the Packers were happy to turn over a new leaf and start fresh with Love this season.
Rodgers has made headlines in recent weeks for his off-field comments and newfound feud with Jimmy Kimmel. He hasn't exactly stayed out of the limelight, even following his injury. That said, it's hard to question his efforts as a teammate and leader this season.
Rodgers was voted "Most Inspirational" by his teammates for the effort he showed in his comeback attempt last year. He's very clearly one of the most respected and revered players in the Jets' locker room.
Whatever bad reputation Rodgers had as a teammate in Green Bay has been put to rest in New York. Rodgers has been a model teammate and locker room leader since stepping foot in Florham Park.
So, did LaFleur take a subtle shot at his former quarterback? Is he making a statement about the Packers organization post-Rodgers? That's up for interpretation, I suppose.
What is clear, however, is that both sides are very clearly happy to have moved on.
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