Aaron Rodgers was a critical part of Greg Jennings’ past, but it remains to be seen if the quarterback will ever factor into the former receiver’s future.
While reflecting on Rodgers’ recent NFL milestone, Jennings — who played for the Packers from 2006 to 2012 — told the Pioneer Press that his current relationship with Green Bay’s quarterback “has been non-existent.”
“We don’t text, we don’t communicate like that,” Jennings said. “We haven’t had an official sit down, like bring it all in for a hug, since I left Green Bay. .. We had a great relationship [in Green Bay] … Our relationship now has been non-existent. I tried to reach out to refurbish it but haven’t had any success. The acceptance from his side has just not been there.”
In 2013, the same year Jennings signed with the Vikings in free agency, the receiver spoke critically about the Packers and Rodgers. He would often refer to Rodgers by his number, “12,” or “the guy they have now” in interviews.
“Don’t get me wrong, ‘12’ is a great person. But when you hear all positives, all positives, all positives all the time, it’s hard for you to sit down when one of your teammates says ‘Man, come on, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable for this.’ It’s hard for someone to see that now because all they’ve heard is I’m doing it the right way, I’m perfect. In actuality, we all have flaws,” Jennings said to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune at the time.
Jennings, now 38, also told the Pioneer Press that when the Vikings played the Packers he extended an olive branch to Rodgers, also 38.
“When we played them going back to Lambeau and [at Minnesota], we talked and I apologized,” Jennings said. “Those were my feelings [at the time], but there was no need for me to say those things. It was done out of frustration, anger, because I wanted my career to remain and be knotted up like a nice little bow in Green Bay.”
Jennings retired in 2016 and is currently an NFL analyst. There will forever be a link between the two. Jennings caught the quarterback’s first touchdown pass.
“It’s definitely a trivia question,” Jennings said, who noted the two have cordial interactions when they run into each now. “It was a big deal for him but it wasn’t a big deal for me then because all of that season I had big touchdown catches from Brett Favre. So when it was Aaron’s first, shoot, we’re losing. It never dawned on me like, ‘Shoot, that was his first touchdown pass.’”
And, for those trivia buffs, that moment took place on Nov. 29, 2007, in what would be a Packers loss to the Cowboys. Rodgers, meanwhile, has since bypassed Favre’s team record of 442 touchdown passes.
This isn’t the first time that Jennings has spoken about trying to reconnect with Rodgers. During an appearance on Michael Irvin’s podcast earlier this year, Jennings discussed previous attempts at reconciliation.
“I’ve tried. I’ve tried when I called my first game in Green Bay, I tried over social media, in DM, I’ve tried even in person I ran into him at a Bucks game about three years ago, playoff game and he was there. And I reached over and tapped him on the shoulder, and that experience I’m not going to go into, but it was like I knew by his response it was like okay he has to defend himself right now, and I wasn’t coming to attack him. I was just coming to say what’s up man, like I’ve been texting you. And you know, I get it. When I reflect on it, being a realist, what I said, regardless if it was true or not, it hurt,” Jennings said, according to The Spun.
Two years prior, Rodgers addressed past chatter from Jennings, as well as another former teammate-turned-critic, Jermichael Finely.
“It bothers me that every time there’s an article, it’s the same two people,” Rodgers said on ESPN Milwaukee at the time. “And if there’s not an article about me, do you ever hear their name anywhere else?
“At what point do you move on? You talk about me being sensitive and petty, at what point do you move on or stop telling the same stories?”