Would Aaron Rodgers Really Retire While He Possesses Such Rare Ability?

The decision for an athlete to step away from a game they love and that they have trained for their entire life is never easy. Robert Smith notes that it’s especially difficult for an elite athlete such as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is mulling this decision again this offseason.

“I think with a guy like Aaron, especially with the way the season went, the way the season ended, you know, with the loss to Detroit, missing out on the playoffs, it can be different reasons,” Smith said.

“But I think for a quarterback, especially a guy like Aaron, thinking about his legacy, for him, it’s got to be extremely difficult.”

The NFL has a poignant, recent example to compare Rodgers’ situation to.

“In listening to Tom Brady this week talk about his retirement, I thought this was just amazing and something that I hadn’t really thought about,” Smith said. “This is something specific to the quarterback position. He said, ‘You have no idea how good it feels to make the throw exactly the way that you want to make that throw.’

“And the analogy that he used was a golf, hitting a 7-iron pure and saying, ‘Man, that feels good.’ And he said, ‘You know, no matter what happens, I’m going to keep throwing footballs.’ He said it’s just not going to be under the lights and in front of the crowds.”

This has to be something a fellow quarterback who is as polished as Rodgers is surely can relate to.

“I think for a guy like Aaron Rodgers, that’s got to be part of it as well, because he’s one of those players I’ve seen place balls in a way that I didn’t see anybody else do it,” Smith said. “I mean, a truly surgical performance is tough to watch as a Vikings guy. But just he’s one of those guys that I’m sure that’s part of the equation for him.

“He’s just thinking, ‘Do I really want to step away and not be able to display a gift that I have, that very few people have in the world, but that I do better than anybody else or almost anybody else?’

“So I think just the pure experience, and the pure execution of seeing the blitz and knowing which guy is going to break open, anticipating it, and then making that perfect throw. For a guy like Aaron Rodgers thinking about do I really want to give that up when I know that I can still do it?

“Man, It’s going to be really tough for him.”

Robert Smith is a former NFL running back for the Minnesota Vikings and a two-time Pro Bowler. His career with the Vikings earned him a spot on the 50 Greatest Vikings list. Follow him on Twitter at @Robert26Smith.

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