Aaron Rodgers is looking for clarity on his future in total darkness.
On his regular Tuesday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, the Green Bay Packers quarterback said he’ll be starting a four-day “darkness” retreat shortly after the Super Bowl, and he will make a decision about whether to retire when he returns.
“That’s why it’s going to be important to get through this week and to take my isolation retreat and just to be able to contemplate all things my future and then be able to make a decision that I think is best for me moving forward and in the highest interest of my happiness and then move forward,” Rodgers said.
"I'm still in the art of contemplation about my future.. after my isolation retreat I'll be ready to make a decision" ~ @AaronRodgers12#PMSinAZ pic.twitter.com/21uLlRDlQr
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 7, 2023
Former Minnesota Vikings running back and current The 33rd Team analyst Robert Smith knows how tough it can be to walk away.
“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 retreat Rodgers plans to attend includes four days of staying in a small house with no light while being completely isolated. He said he will have his meals dropped through two slots in the house, and he can leave at any point.
“It’s four nights of complete darkness,” Rodgers said. “You’re not locked in; you can leave, if you can’t do it, you can just walk out the door. It’s a darkness retreat. I’ve had a number of friends who have done it and had some profound experiences. It’s been something that’s been on my radar for a few years now.”
Rodgers has been the subject of trade rumors for some time, and those winds picked up after the Packers finished with a disappointing 8-9 record and missed the postseason for the first time since 2018.
During Pro Bowl weekend, Davante Adams, Rodgers’ former teammate in Green Bay, hinted at a possible reunion in Las Vegas. The Raiders will need a new quarterback this season because they’ve granted Derek Carr, their starter for the past nine seasons, permission to seek a trade.
Rodgers even mentioned Raiders fans have been vocal about wanting him in Las Vegas when he won the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament this past weekend.
“I’m just going to say that the predominant team that we hear as we’re walking (the course) is Raiders,” Rodgers told Amanda Balionis Renner of CBS Golf after winning the pro-am. “A lot of Raiders fans are encouraging me, a lot of ‘Davante misses you’ comments.”
While Rodgers could get traded, retirement shouldn’t be ruled out either. Rodgers told McAfee that retirement is “a real thing, 100 percent.”
There has been speculation that Rodgers wouldn’t want to share the spotlight at the Hall of Fame in five years with surefire first-ballot players Tom Brady and J.J. Watt. Rodgers disputed that claim.
“The idea I wouldn’t want to share a stage with Tom and J.J. Watt I think is ridiculous,” Rodgers told McAfee. “That’s already going to be an incredible Hall of Fame class; it’s not even in the thought process. Their decisions don’t impact my own decision. It doesn’t make me want to come back so I could have my own stage or whatever. That’s just not how I think.”
Although Rodgers seems to be legitimately considering retirement, Smith believes it might be hard for Rodgers to step away when he knows he can still play at a high level.
“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,” Smith said. “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.”