Troy Aikman was caught in the middle of Jared Goff’s ugly departure from the Rams, and he didn’t seem to appreciate it.
The former player and current Fox Sports football analyst was mentioned in a column by NFL.com’s Michael Silver. Silver spoke with Goff about his exit from the Rams, which didn’t end on great terms. After speaking with Goff, Silver labeled the split as a “messy handling” and a “disrespectful divorce strategy” in his column.
Silver also said Goff was “blindsided” by the move and that “neither (Rams GM Les) Snead nor McVay had told him the team wanted to move on, or anything close to that.” And by the way Silver writes it, it seems as if Goff felt McVay was using Aikman as a mouthpiece to criticize the quarterback.
From Silver’s column:
Routinely trashed this season on FOX telecasts, specifically those with Troy Aikman as the lead analyst, Goff could reasonably assume that McVay’s words about his quarterback’s play in network production meetings were far from glowing.
There is some value in that, at least in terms of Aikman criticizing Goff. A simple Twitter search of the two names will show results such as Aikman saying, “It just doesn’t get any uglier than that,” after an interception in Week 16. He also said before a Week 12 game, “You know that Bill Belichick wants the game in Jared Goff’s hands.”
There was also this obversvation from ESPN’s veteran NFL reporter Jeff Darlington.
Aikman feels almost uncomfortable giving credit to Jared Goff for literally not missing a snap after popping his thumb back into place. Can’t understand his disdain for him. So bizarre.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 27, 2020
But it’s one thing for Aikman to be critcal, and it’s another to accuse him of echoing comments from McVay.
When asked by Sports Illustrated about Silver’s column on him, Aikman fired back with a strong response.
“Unlike Michael Silver, I strive to be fair and balanced and do not have an agenda when doing my job,” Aikman said. “The record will show that I have been a strong supporter of Jared Goff’s over the years. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Rams and Jared Goff, he did not perform at his best in the games that I broadcasted this season and I’m confident Jared would be the first to agree.”
It’s an interesting response from Aikman, mostly in that it’s a strong statement. But also because he didn’t directly address the comment that said McVay spoke poorly of Goff in production meetings.
Either way, it’s clear that Aikman didn’t appreciate what was written about him.