In the leadup to their charitable golf faceoff, Tom Brady has poked fun at Aaron Rodgers.
“I do think (Rodgers) would probably like to go for it a little more often than he has in the past,” the Buccaneers quarterback ribbed his Packers counterpart on Monday.
But when it comes to Rodgers’ protracted dispute with Packers management, Brady says he won’t be advising Rodgers.
“I’m not one to give Aaron advice on certain things like that,” Brady told USA TODAY Sports by phone. “I mean, I respect Aaron a lot. Aaron’s going to make the choices he feels are best for him. Everyone has different dynamics in their work.”
Rodgers has thrown for 51,245 yards and 412 touchdowns en route to 126 wins in 190 starts for the franchise that selected him with the 24th overall pick of the 2005 NFL draft. His resume touts nine Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl title and three MVP awards—most recently during a prolific 2020 NFL campaign in which he completed over 70% of passes while throwing 48 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
But Rodgers has balked at general manager Brian Gutekunst’s leadership, including the Packers selecting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft without alerting Rodgers beforehand. As tensions mounted, Rodgers skipped OTAs and mandatory minicamp this month for the first time in his career. Packers leadership says it does not intend to trade Rodgers, who remains under contract through 2023.
Brady won six Super Bowls in 20 seasons with the New England Patriots before signing with Tampa Bay during the 2020 offseason. He guided a talent-laden roster to the Super Bowl in his first season in Tampa. Off-field culture matters in the pursuit of championships, Brady said.
“It comes from a lot of hard work, a lot of discipline, a lot of teamwork, a lot of communication with all aspects of the organization that the organization buys in,” Brady told USA TODAY Sports. “I think part of why I enjoy this so much is it challenges you more than just physically but emotionally and mentally. All these aspects of yourself, you’re expected to grow and learn from. That’s how I’ve chosen to deal with it.
“Everyone else has different choices. But I have a lot of respect for Aaron and everything he’s accomplished in the league.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.