Skip to main content

Marquez Valdes-Scantling pushes back against 'diva' narrative surrounding QB Aaron Rodgers

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has had the privilege of playing with quarterback royalty in his six NFL seasons, and he's not afraid to defend them when presented with the opportunity.

The topic of choice this week: headline magnet Aaron Rodgers, Valdes-Scantling's former teammate in Green Bay. The receiver delivered strong words in defense of Rodgers when interviewed Thursday by CBS Sports Radio's Zach Gelb.

"Man, he's one of the greatest you'll ever find," Valdes-Scantling said. "He cares more about his teammates than about the game of football. You know, I think that's something that people really don't understand. Because people get this perception of him that he's this diva or all about himself, that's the furthest thing from the truth."

There's obvious validity in Rodgers' conduct in his first season with the Jets that supports Valdes-Scantling's statement. It didn't take him long to build a strong rapport with the much younger Jets, who clearly took a liking to him well before the start of Rodgers' unfortunately brief 2023 season.

According to Valdes-Scantling, it's definitely not for show. Though it clashes with his public persona, Rodgers builds such strong bonds by showing he truly cares about his teammates, the receiver explained.

"Aaron has taught me so much on and off the field," Valdes-Scantling said. "He's a big advocate of mental health and how you approach life, not just football. The things that he's gone through over the years, he shares that and kind of just lets you know, like, 'hey, I'm human too' … Just for him to be able to open that up and be a great friend to me, not even just a teammate, I'm forever indebted to him."

Valdes-Scantling has plenty of reason to back Rodgers. He racked up 2,153 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns over four seasons spent with Rodgers before signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, an opportunity he likely never would've received had he not begun his career with the Packers.

Valdes-Scantling did not find the same statistical success in Kansas City, and became a target for critics seeking an explanation for why the Chiefs had issues offensively in the last two seasons. He didn't help himself by dropping crucial passes in big moments in 2023, either, which might explain why he's still a free agent.

However his career plays out from here, though, he'll never forget how Rodgers helped him find his footing and carve out a career in the NFL.

Related Content