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C.J. Stroud dares to criticize Aaron Rodgers

In Sports
June 04, 2024

Most hot takes about the NFL come from people not currently playing in it. Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud is at the cutting edge of a new dynamic — active players who are willing to speak their mind about other active players.

Appearing on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast, Stroud offered a frank assessment regarding the completed career of Eli Manning and the soon-to-be-concluded run of Aaron Rodgers. Stroud said he would rather have Manning’s career.

You want the rings, dog,” Stroud said, via USA Today. “Eli got two.”

But it goes deeper than rings.

“You know what I think it is?” Stroud said, via JetsXFactor.com. “I’ve talked to Tom Brady, about this because he’s a good mentor to me. . . . What he told me is his teammates, and how he treats his teammates. And that’s where I think it falls off. We don’t know how Aaron Rodgers treats his teammates, but you can guarantee that Tom Brady treats his teammates right because how he got those rings.”

Stroud also said that another quarterback who, like Rodgers, has one ring, might have won even more with Rodgers’s supporting cast.

“If you give Matthew Stafford a chance like Aaron Rodgers had, I guarantee you he might have had more rings,” Stroud said. “I think he would have like three or four.”

Stroud tried to tread somewhat lightly on the teammate issue, especially since we’ve picked up some anecdotal evidence over the years regarding Rodgers’s relationships with teammates and others in his inner circle. Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley, for example, have been candid. And even though Stroud opted for something less than full candor, he surely said more than enough to catch the ear of the notoriously sensitive New York quarterback.

Rodgers undoubtedly will find a way to respond. He won’t be able to help himself.

This hurts more than usual criticism because the call is coming from inside the house. Rodgers can’t brush off Stroud’s words as those of a hater who never accomplished anything in sports. He’ll have to meet Stroud on the merits, unless he can come up with another way to dismiss Stroud’s assessment.

Meanwhile, the Texans face the Jets on Halloween night, in New York. Hopefully, C.J. will be wearing an Eli Manning jersey as he walks into the stadium.

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