The Green Bay Packers may have something of a locker room problem on their hands regarding one of their most prominent players.
The Packers named their six team captains on Friday, September 9, as voted on by the players. None of those captains were named Jaire Alexander, however, who served in the role last season.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN asked the former Pro Bowl cornerback if he was offended by his exclusion from the honor, to which Alexander offered a candid response.
“Jaire Alexander, who was a team captain last year, on if he took it personal that he wasn’t voted as one of the six captains this year: ‘Yeah, I did,’” Demovsky tweeted. “He didn’t elaborate on why but added: ‘Happy for the guys who were (voted captains), and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.’”
Among those Packers players who were included as captains are quarterback Aaron Rodgers, running back Aaron Jones, tight end Marcedes Lewis, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, defensive lineman Kenny Clark and safety Adrian Amos.
Alexander Signed Massive Extension After Injury-Plagued Season
The details behind Alexander’s locker room demotion remain unclear and will likely never be known to the public, much the same as the player vote count that kept him from earning the moniker. However, the cornerback’s tumultuous 2021 season may have played some kind of role.
Alexander was coming off a Pro Bowl campaign in 2020, during which he amassed 51 tackles, including two tackles for loss, 13 defensed passes, one interception, one forced fumble, one sack and one safety across 15 starts, per Pro Football Reference.
Alexander was off to another great start last season, before he sustained a shoulder injury in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He rejoined the roster in late December, though he never played another snap in 2021 — regular season or postseason.
Despite his injury issues, Alexander inked a massive contract extension with the Packers during the offseason, signing for four more years at a total price tag of $84 million.
A collection of NFL players, coaches and executives polled by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler in July voted Alexander, now 25 years old, as the third-best cornerback in the league behind only Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams and Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints.
Packers’ Defense Will be Called Upon to Carry Team This Season
Whatever ill will Alexander holds for his teammates following the captains vote, and whatever ill will may have been behind the locker room’s decision to look elsewhere for a captain, must be resolved before the season begins.
The defense was already going to be relied upon to carry a heavier burden in 2022, after Green Bay traded All Pro wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. Beyond that, new No. 1 wideout Allen Lazard is doubtful for Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, while offensive tackles David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins are both questionable heading into the weekend.
If the defense can’t rise to the occasion, the Packers will be in danger of failing to win the NFC North Division for the first time in four seasons, even despite running out the two-time defending MVP under center in Rodgers.
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