Aaron Rodgers to think about the future after the “excitement” of the season
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The signs were everywhere that Sunday night Aaron Rodgers: Lambeau walked off the field with his arm around his best friend Randall Cobbhe didn’t want to give away his game-worn jersey and fought his emotions in the final moments of the postgame session with reporters.
Before anyone writes retirement papers or a trade agreement, consider the other indicators that have come after Green Bay Packers‘ lost the season finale 20-16 has Detroit Lions: He did and said the same thing after the Packers exited the playoffs last season. And last season.
This time, however, there will be no elimination. All the Packers had to do was beat the Lions on Sunday night and they were in. Instead, they finished 8-9 and missed the postseason for the first time in head coach Matt LaFleur’s four seasons.
“At some point, the merry-go-round stops and it’s time to get off, and I think you know when that is,” Rodgers said Sunday. “And that’s the thing to think about. Is it time? Also, what’s the organization doing? That’s part of it, too. But the competitive fire will always be there. I don’t think that ever goes away. Sometimes. They’ll never fill that big void. I think it transfers to other things. But like I said, I feel good about what I’ve accomplished in this league and I wouldn’t regret leaving. But I did. see how it feels when I walk away from this.”
Last season, Rodgers announced his decision to return on March 8. He signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension shortly thereafter. That deal includes a $58.3 million bonus plus more than $1 million in other guarantees if he plays in 2023. Rodgers insisted on Sunday that he could walk away from that money.
Asked what the deciding factor will be, Rodgers said: “It’s a feeling.” He then began to list various things that could contribute to this feeling.
“Do I feel like I have anything left to prove to myself?” he said “Do I want to go back and prepare to do another job? Or is it time? Is it time to leave? Is it time for another voice to lead this team?
“I think I have to go away and think about those things. Those are real to me. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished in this league, but I’m also realistic, and I understand where we are as a team. We’re a young team; there could be some changes. with some older guys, and it might be time to walk away. But I can take some time and say no, man, I’ve got to get it. come back and go for another run. But I’ll have to see how it feels when I’m out there.”
Although the organization has yet to tell Rodgers face-to-face, it has done so publicly. Last month, CEO Brian Gutekunst He told reporters he wants Rodgers back. LaFleur said he believes the organization still feels the same way, even after one of Rodgers’ least productive seasons.
“Yes, I think absolutely,” LaFleur said. “But I think, in the end, he will decide that.”
While Rodgers had no desire to play for another team during the event, he wasn’t ready to retire, but the Packers wanted to move on. Jordan Lovehe didn’t close that door completely.
Rodgers’ final kick of the season was intercepted by a Lions safety Kerby Joseph 3:27 left in the game. The Packers never got the ball back. It was Rodgers’ 12th interception of the season, second only to the 13 he threw in 2008, his first season as a starter. Joseph, who sacked Rodgers twice in the November game at Detroit, became the first player to sack Rodgers three times in a single regular season.
Still, Rodgers had no doubts he could play at a high level, just as he felt at this time last year when he finished as NFL MVP for the second consecutive season and the fourth of his career.
“The answer is yes,” he said.
However, Rodgers found life after the wide receiver trade Danvante Adams has Las Vegas Raiders it was a rough sledding in March, even with the Packers making three playoff runs Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson and Samori Toure. However, Rodgers said “there’s a lot of good, young talent in this team [and] If some guys make jumps for one or two years, this offense could be very different.”
As he did after the previous campaign, Rodgers said he wanted to walk away from the season and “take the emotion out of it”.
That’s what he did during his 20 minutes in the media auditorium on Sunday night.
until the end
Then they asked him, that is, what he will miss the most. Rodgers paused for 10 seconds and said, “I’m going to miss the guys. I’m going to miss the fans.”
He paused again, collected himself, and said, “Yes. Thank you.”
And he went into another period of contemplation.
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