Fifteen NFL teams are opening 2021 with a new starting quarterback, but one of the most-talked about signal callers of a tumultuous offseason, Aaron Rodgers, is back in Green Bay for a 17th — and perhaps, final — season.
Rodgers told Fox’s Erin Andrews that he “100 percent” considered retirement or playing elsewhere in the offseason because the Packers “wouldn’t commit to me past 2021.”
“Contemplation. That’s what it was for me,” said Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP and three-time winner of the award. “I wasn’t intentionally trying to kick up any drama.
“I just didn’t feel like playing things out in the media would do anything towards the desired result, which was an amicable breakup or a coming together.”
The 37-year-old Rodgers signed a reworked contract in July, voiding the final year of his existing deal in 2023 and lowering his cap charge for this season by about $10 million to $27.6 million. The Packers spent a first-round pick on quarterback Jordan Love (26th overall) in 2020.
Leading up to this year’s draft, various reports emerged that the 49ers and the Broncos were among the teams interested in trading for Rodgers.
“Yeah, I did [think it was possible],” Rodgers said. “If they wanted to make a change, even though I just won MVP, why wait?
“They drafted my replacement, so let him play, if that’s what you want. But I could also picture myself not playing, so there was a lot of things.”
Rodgers, who was among several celebrities who guest-hosted “Jeopardy!” in the offseason, led the NFL with a 70.7 completion percentage and 48 touchdowns against just five interceptions in leading Green Bay to a 13-3 record before losing to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game.
“I don’t feel like I have anything left to prove on the field,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s more of the enjoyment and the happiness and the quality of life that this game has afforded me over the years and being able to 100 percent commit to everything that my job entails
“There were many times during the offseason where I didn’t feel like I was ready to fully do that. Until I was, [retirement] was a possibility.”
Rodgers also said that in order to stay in Green Bay beyond this year, he’d like more say in personnel decisions.
“It’s been years, and it’s been a decade of having conversations wanting to have a greater impact on what goes on here,” Rodgers said. “My whole point was nobody knows this squad like I do. Nobody knows the locker room like I do. Nobody knows the way guys respond in clutch situations on the field like I do.
“How about I have a greater opportunity to speak to those decisions? I didn’t think for a guy who probably might have a name up here [in the Packers’ Ring of Honor] at some point that was maybe fair for what I’ve accomplished here. I don’t care about credit or fears you might have about giving me more of a voice. I care about winning and about leaving this organization better than I found it. I’ve wanted to make sure I was involved in those conversations moving forward, if they wanted me here. So there’s a lot of unknowns. I just want to be happy, that’s why I’m going to enjoy this season.”
Andrews said after the interview aired that Rodgers also told her that he’s “very focused” on this season and “if this is the, quote-unquote, the last dance for him, he doesn’t want the farewell tour. He wants to go out, if they are going to go out like this, at the top. He still thinks they are very close to winning a Super Bowl.”
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