After ending his darkness retreat last week, Aaron Rodgers finally has spoken, but he’s provided no further clarity on his 2023 playing status.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback appeared on The Aubrey Marcus Podcast on Wednesday and said he’s yet to decide whether he’ll retire.
“I don’t want to drag anybody around,” Rodgers said. “I’m answering questions about it because I got asked about it. I’m talking about it because it’s important to me. If you don’t like it, and you think it’s drama, and you think I’m being a diva or whatever, then just tune it out. That’s fine, but this is my life. It’s important to me. I’ll make a decision soon enough, and we’ll go down that road. I’ll be really excited about it.”
Rodgers’ comments come one day after Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters at the NFL Combine that the Packers had not had a lengthy conversation with Rodgers recently and that “all options were on the table.”
“He’s a great player, but until we have those conversations, I think all options are on the table,” Gutekunst said Tuesday. “We need to have those conversations. We want what’s best for the Green Bay Packers, what’s best for him, so we’ll get to that coming up.”
While it doesn’t seem like Gutekunst and Rodgers have communicated much this offseason, they’re on the same page about wanting a resolution sooner than later. In Tuesday’s news conference, Gutekunst mentioned the start of free agency (March 15) as a deadline, which team president Mark Murphy echoed in a news conference last month.
Rodgers told Marcus he’s not looking to repeat what Brett Favre did in 2008 when Favre retired in March, unretired in June and then was traded to the New York Jets.
“For everybody involved directly or indirectly, it’s best for a decision earlier,” Rodgers said. “I feel really good about the conversations that are going to be had and that have been had with the important people in my life.”
Rodgers admitted his perspective changed during his retreat, which took place in a 300-square-foot room in Oregon, despite not making a decision. One of the options — retirement — initially scared him, but he now feels like there are “two very beautiful options.”
“The scary was retirement, and the unknown was going back and playing and what does that mean?” Rodgers said. “Is that Green Bay or somewhere else? If that’s somewhere else, what is it like being somewhere else?”
Rodgers also said he feels he’s due for a bounce-back season in 2023. He threw the second most interceptions of his career in 2022 (12), and the Packers’ eight wins were the fewest since 2018.
“I’ve been doubted before,” Rodgers said. “Honestly, in my first year [coach Matt LaFleur] was here — in 2019 — I felt like a game manager. I didn’t quite understand what we were doing on offense at times. My job is to take care of the football, and I did. I threw four interceptions and 26 touchdowns, and we went 13-3. Then, they drafted my replacement, and I won MVP twice… I didn’t have my best year playing, and there are probably people who think I’m done. I thought I was done before I became MVP twice. There would be plenty of inspiration down that road.”
If Rodgers does decide to return to the Packers this season, Gutekunst said on Tuesday his contract would have to be restructured. However, there’s also a chance Rodgers will request a trade. Ironically, the Jets are the only team reportedly reaching out about trading for Rodgers.
The Jets have repeatedly said they want to acquire a veteran quarterback this offseason.
On the other hand, the Packers have affirmed they’d be comfortable giving Jordan Love the keys to the offense, with Gutekunst saying he’s “absolutely” comfortable with Love as QB1.