For much of the 2021 NFL offseason, Aaron Rodgers kept Packers fans waiting to see what he would do. He ultimately returned to Green Bay, and he is now enjoying an MVP-caliber season.
The Packers are currently 12-3 and have already clinched the NFC North title with two games left on their schedule. Rodgers has not shown any signs of slowing down at 38 years old, throwing for 3,689 yards, 33 touchdowns and just four interceptions so far this season.
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Despite his success, though, Rodgers has been coy about what the future holds for him in Green Bay beyond this year. He recently restructured his four-year, $134 million deal, giving himself an out in his contract after this season. On Wednesday, ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde asked Rodgers for his thoughts on returning to the Packers next season, potentially joining another team or even retiring.
“I wouldn’t rule [retirement] out. I think that I’m just enjoying this season for this season,” Rodgers said. “Playing next year will definitely be in the thought process. One of the things that obviously — and you and I have talked about this over the years — wanting to not be a bum on the way out and to still be able to play, I think, is important to me.
“If this year has taught me anything, it’s that I still can play. I still have a love for the game. I’m still super competitive. I still enjoy the process of the week. I miss practice, and it’s tough to not be out there week after week now. But I still do love competing, and I love being out there. There’ll be a lot of things that I’ll weigh in the offseason.”
Rodgers’ top target, Davante Adams, could also choose to leave Green Bay in the offseason, which could impact Rodgers’ decision. However, Rodgers has been more involved in discussions surrounding roster construction, something the 10-time Pro Bowler said that he appreciates. He noted that the offseason trade for veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb, which he reportedly requested, has made this year “exponentially greater” for him.
“Saying that doesn’t mean, or any of the comments I’ve made, doesn’t mean I’m thinking about elsewhere. I do want to clarify that,” Rodgers said. “The things that I’ve said about the team this year, about [general manager] Brian [Gutekunst] and I’s relationship has been heartfelt and genuine, and I do appreciate a lot of the things I have seen from the team that are directly related to conversations we had in the offseason.
“That was meaningful to me. I’ve enjoyed being a part of conversations that directly affect my job.”
Rodgers did make one thing clear: He won’t keep the NFL world waiting this time.
“It won’t be something where I’ll drag it out for months and months,” Rodgers said. “I’ll have conversations… and then make a decision at some point. You know, I’m not going to hold the team back from anything, and once I commit, and if it’s committing to move forward here, it’ll be a quick decision.”
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