Lang reflects on leaving Rodgers, Packers
Former Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang sounded Thursday morning like a man who may wonder “what if …” for a little while before he dives into becoming a member of the Detroit Lions.
“We did everything we said we were going to do,” Lang told the "Wilde and Tausch" program on ESPN 540-AM when asked how free-agency negotiations played out with the Packers. “We went out and tested the market and we came back to Green Bay and said, ‘Listen, this is what other teams are offering.’ Saturday night was kind of the point where they drew the line in the sand there, and said ‘This is our offer and this is the best we can do.’
"I think that was the first time that it really hit me that I was going to be moving on.
"Everything got crazy Saturday night. The numbers started jumping up and teams started competing against each other a little bit. It was like being on the highway, you know, the speed limit’s 70 and everybody else is going 85 and flying by you. Green Bay just stayed right around the speed limit there.”
Lang was asked how close the Packers would have needed to come to Detroit’s offer ($9.5 million average for three years; $19 million guaranteed) to have him choose to return, and also about his many public statements declaring his desire to stay in Green Bay over the course of the last year.
“Well, I think that kind of came back to bite me in the ass a little bit with Green Bay because it kind of seemed like, in their mind they’re like, ‘We’ll get him back for cheap, he just wants to stay here,’" Lang told hosts Jason Wilde and Mark Tauscher.
"You know, I don’t know what the number would have had to be. I’ve pondered that thought over and over in my head for a while now. But honestly, I don’t even have an answer, because it didn’t happen.”
Lang also spoke about his conversation with his friend and former quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the decision had been made.
“Yeah, it was tough. It was really tough," Lang said. "Through the whole process I kind of kept him in the loop about what was happening. Ultimately, Sunday when I talked to him, it was hard. It was really hard. Both of us had been together for so long that, we just had that chemistry, we had that great relationship where we could lean on each other. If one of us was feeling a little overwhelmed with the pressure to carry the team, we could rely on each other.
"It was tough. It was pretty quiet, the first portion of it. ... It was emotional.”
You can hear the entire interview here.