Terry Bradshaw has had enough of the Aaron Rodgers drama in Green Bay, and the Hall of Famer believes that the solution is for the reigning NFL MVP to just shut up and play.
“Him being that upset shows me just how weak he is,” Bradshaw said on WFAN’s Moose & Maggie Show. “Who the hell cares who you draft? I mean, he’s a three-time MVP and he’s worried about who they drafted last year, No. 1?”
Bradshaw pointed to his own experience late in his career with the Steelers, noting, “Pittsburgh drafted Mark Malone No. 1, Cliff Stoudt in the third or fourth round. I had them coming at me from all angles. I embraced it, because when we went to practice, I wasn’t worried about those guys. It didn’t scare me a bit. So, I don’t understand why he’s so upset at Green Bay. … Let him cry. Retire. You’re 38. Go ahead and retire. See you later. … It makes him look weak.”
The Steelers drafted Malone out of Arizona State in 1980 because it was believed that Bradshaw would only stick around for two more years. Instead, the four-time Super Bowl winner, beset by injuries as his career wound down, stuck around for four more campaigns. After being limited to one appearance in 1983, Bradshaw tried to make his own power play in the spring of 1984 — as he weighed whether to come back from elbow problems to give it one more go at the age of 36.
It wasn’t just a one-off, either. Bradshaw complained about how the Steelers handled their quarterback situation for a while.
On February 29, 1984, a story in The Miami Herald was headlined BRADSHAW TO HIS COACH: KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, as Chuck Noll had said following the Steelers’ acquisition of quarterback David Woodley from Miami, “We’re not sure about Terry. We expect that it will be just like last year with respect that he hasn’t had any improvement.”
Bradshaw’s response? “If he wants opinions, he ought to call me and ask me and stop making all these comments. He ought to just keep his mouth shut and pay attention to the draft and not make statements about me until he’s absolutely certain what he’s saying.”
At the beginning of April, the news on Bradshaw from The Associated Press was that he “recently threw a football without pain, according to a physical therapist,” which is a hilariously transparent leak from the rehabbing quarterback’s side.
A couple of weeks later, Bradshaw was in Tampa to promote a water park, and told the Orlando Sentinel, “Chuck created the situation between us. The press kept hounding him about me, so he finally said, ‘If he can’t play, he’s no good to us. Then he said that I should get into finding my life’s work. Heck, I’m the one suffering because it’s my job on the line. He’s still coaching. … I can play for the Steelers even if Chuck hates me.”
Not only is Bradshaw a hypocrite, what he said 37 years ago is worse than anything Rodgers has put out during this saga. Because not only did Bradshaw beef with Steelers brass, he went out of his way to rip those other quarterbacks that he now says he “always embraced.”
Of Stoudt, who was actually a fifth-round pick in 1977 and led Pittsburgh to a division title in 1983 — his first opportunity as a starter — Bradshaw said, “As for Cliff, well, you can talk a good game, but you’ve got to go out there and do it sooner or later. After the eighth or ninth game last year, he was lost.”
Stoudt’s departure to the USFL led the Steelers to trade for Woodley, and before having even met his new teammate, Bradshaw said, he was “not worth a half-million dollars a year, but the USFL created this market.”
At least you could tell then that Bradshaw was a management shill. When else can you remember a professional athlete saying that a colleague, let alone a teammate, was overpaid?
Bradshaw wound up not coming back in 1984, and with a combination of Malone and Woodley, the Steelers won the AFC Central again and went to the conference title game.
Unlike Bradshaw at this stage of his career, Rodgers is healthy and playing at an MVP level. That doesn’t make it wrong for the Packers to plan for a future without him. It also doesn’t make it wrong for Rodgers to have an opinion about doing the most to win another Super Bowl before he moves on, perhaps to a TV career where we’ve already seen from his stint guest-hosting Jeopardy! that he might be a better media personality than Bradshaw, as well as a quarterback and teammate.