Last Thursday, hours before the NFL Draft, Adam Schefter reported : Aaron Rodgers “is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team.”
What followed has been nothing short of a media maelstrom of misinformation, conjecture and bad reporting. Scour the thousands of articles written in the last week and you will be able to count the number of direct sources on one hand. The only report that has come directly from Rodgers is that he’s disappointed the news got out in the first place.
Of course, it’s natural that there will be a high level of excitement around an explosive report on a future, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. If a website reports on this topic, as this one is now, the admin will be getting a few more clicks than the article that would have been written about the teams recent third round selection. However, the conflicting information being reported from major media sources has sent fans and pundits into a frenzy.
After the Schefter report, the story has gone every which way but loose, conflating different reports making both parties (Packers and Rodgers) look as shady as possible. Now unless fans are to be incredibly naive, one should operate under the assumption that teams and agents purposefully leak inaccurate information to move the story in their favor. Pat McAfee Show fans were warned of this in an interview with former Miami Marlins President, Dave Samson, when he said that he and the team would directly leak misinformation about players to sway a report in their favor.
However, neither the Packers or Rodgers leaked information to Schefter. Today, after an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, Schefter had a directly contradicting message to his original ESPN report.
“When people guess at where stories come from, more often than not they are wrong,” said Schefter. “And in this case, they are wrong. This was an accumulation, all during the offseason, of just listening to people talk and observing… Dan, there was not a source” He goes on to say that he decided to break the news on draft day because it didn’t matter when the story broke.
Following the original story, fans have divided themselves between staying loyal to Rodgers or the Packers. The reports will continue to come out, but fans should reserve judgement until information comes directly from the Packers or Rodgers.