Aaron Rodgers slammed ESPN’s Dianna Russini during his hour-long appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. But the reporter stood by her story.
Apparently, Rodgers wants to parse the word demand or discuss whether he wrote down names on a piece of paper. He went after Russini and her co-worker Adam Schefter moments after he said he wanted to play for the Jets, ending his time with the Packers.
“Ask Schefter what I texted him when he somehow got my number and texted me,” Rodgers said on the McAfee podcast. “I didn’t respond to Dianna Russini, I think her name is? She got my number as well. But like, I would say the same thing that I told Schefty. Lose my number, nice try. I’ll speak for myself. I’m sure there will be people that have their sources, but from what I’ve seen, I had a sheet of paper when I met with the Jets and I said, ‘sign these people.’ That’s not the reality. That’s ridiculous.”
But as Russini pointed out after the McAfee show, she never presented her reporting as anything like an official demand letter from the quarterback to the Jets.
Russini Stuck By Her Aaron Rodgers Reporting
Here’s how Russini explained what happened.
“These were not demands,” she said. “These were not demands from Aaron Rodgers and we never reported it that way. And we never presented it that way. It was “these are the players I want to join or who I want to join me in New York, here are guys I like.'”
Then she offered examples. “Randall Cobb is not a player the New York Jets had on their free agency board as a player they wanted to bring in. That’s a player that Aaron Rodgers wants. Allen Lazard is a player the Jets actually wanted to bring in as well. It just happened to work out great. It happens to be a player who Aaron Rodgers loves.”
Yes, the Jets are signing Lazard, one of Rodgers go-to receivers with the Packers. He’s reportedly agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal. And Cobb, another receiver with the Packers, also may be on the Jets free agency list.
“There are more names that Aaron Rodgers wants,” Russini said. “I didn’t report that — none of this is demands. All this is normal if you’re recruiting a big-time player like Aaron Rodgers. You’re going to allow him to make suggestions of players he wants to play with.”
In the meantime, in order for Rodgers to join the Jets, there needs to be a trade with the Packers. That’s yet to happen. So there’s more news to report in this situation, which has evolved into the most-scrutinized story in NFL free-agency season. And it’s doubtful that Schefter or Russini deleted his number.