Last June, Aaron Rodgers mentioned he “positively” deliberate to complete his profession with the Green Bay Packers. Less than eight months later, he did not sound fairly as certain.
First issues first, Rodgers should determine whether or not he needs to play a nineteenth NFL season. He mentioned Tuesday that he hasn’t reached that call but, just a little greater than per week after the Packers ended their season with an 8-9 file.
But if his plans do not intersect with what the Packers need, then he cannot say for sure that he would by no means play for one more group. In an look on “The Pat McAfee Show” that lasted greater than an hour, Rodgers mentioned he nonetheless thinks he can play at a excessive stage, whether or not it is for the Packers or one other group.
“I believe I can win MVP once more in the precise state of affairs,” Rodgers mentioned. “Right state of affairs, is that Green Bay or is that someplace else? I’m undecided. But I do not assume it is best to shut down any alternative. Like I mentioned throughout the season, that is bought to be either side truly desirous to work collectively transferring ahead, and I believe there’s extra conversations available.”
Publicly, Packers coach Matt LaFleur and normal supervisor Brian Gutekunst have expressed an curiosity in having Rodgers again. Last week, Gutekunst reiterated that the three-year, $150 million contract they gave to Rodgers final March was a dedication that “wasn’t definitely for this 12 months.”
Rodgers took a number of days final week to satisfy with Gutekunst, LaFleur and different Packers workers members earlier than he left Green Bay and returned to California for the offseason. While Rodgers mentioned he “had all of the conversations I wished to have,” he didn’t point out whether or not the Packers instructed him whether or not they deliberate to reload or rebuild.
“I believe no participant needs to be a part of any sort of rebuild; I mentioned that years in the past,” Rodgers mentioned. “Reloads are plenty of enjoyable since you really feel such as you’re shut, you are solely a pair guys away. This sport is about relationships, it is in regards to the gamers you play with and rely on even when they do not possibly present up enormous within the stat guide.”
Several of Rodgers’ closest pals — David Bakhtiari, Randall Cobb, Mason Crosby, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan — have unsure futures with the group, whether or not it is as a result of they are going to be free brokers or as a result of they’ve contracts that may should be renegotiated.
“There’s plenty of fascinating names that we’ll see if there is a want to re-sign sure guys which can be glue guys within the locker room, [and that] shall be an fascinating dialog available,” Rodgers mentioned. “Take all that away, I nonetheless have to mentally get to some extent the place I really feel 100% locked in and able to play a nineteenth season. And if I do, then we’ll rock and roll and determine that out. If I do not, then we’ll go into the jungles for some time.”
“I nonetheless have to mentally get to some extent the place I really feel 100% locked in and able to play a nineteenth season. And if I do, then we’ll rock and roll and determine that out. If I do not, then we ‘ll go into the jungles for some time.”
Rodgers, 39, is coming off one in every of his worst seasons. He had virtually as many interceptions (12) as he did within the earlier three seasons mixed (13). After back-to-back MVP seasons, Rodgers threw for the fewest yards (3,695) in any season by which he performed a minimum of 15 video games. He didn’t have a single 300-yard passing sport. Since taking up as a starter, he had by no means earlier than had a season with fewer than three 300-plus yard video games. He additionally dealt with a damaged thumb and accidents to his ribs and a knee throughout the season.
The Packers missed the playoffs for the primary time since 2018. They misplaced 20-16 to the Detroit Lions within the regular-season finale when a win would have gotten Green Bay into the postseason. Had the Packers been eradicated earlier than the finale, they may have thought-about shutting down Rodgers to provide third-year backup Jordan Love an prolonged look.
“If they need to go youthful and assume Jordan’s able to go, then that is perhaps the way in which they need to go,” Rodgers mentioned. “And if that is the case and I nonetheless need to play, then there’s just one choice, proper? And that is to play someplace else. If it isn’t and they’re like, ‘No, no, no, we nonetheless need you to play, ‘ and this and that, then it’d must be the precise state of affairs with the roster that appears like we will win all of it as a result of there is not any level in coming again in the event you do not assume you’ll be able to win all of it.”
Rodgers gave no timeline for a choice on whether or not he’ll play in 2023. He mentioned that he deliberate to make one other look on McAfee’s present subsequent Tuesday however that he will not have any replace on his standing for the upcoming season then.
“They’re not urgent for any sort of particular reply, and I’m not mentally or emotionally at that time to provide one,” Rodgers mentioned. “If I’m requested about it, I’ll reply in honesty. But this isn’t going to be one thing the place I’m going to answer a bunch of inquiries about, ‘What are you pondering this week?’ Or ‘What are you pondering subsequent week?’ It’s get away from it mentally and emotionally, after which bodily as your physique begins to come back again after a number of weeks of TLC, then I believe you are in a greater way of thinking to ponder your future.”