Aaron Rodgers’ postgame press conference Sunday made it sound as if the former Cal quarterback might not be with the Green Bay Packers next season. On Tuesday, on the Pat McAfee show, he clarified the issue somewhat, suggesting that there is every reason to believe that he will be back with the Packers for the 2021 season.
"I don't think that there is any reason why I wouldn't be back," Rodgers said on the show. "But look, there's not many absolutes in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn't do it. And I guess that's why it went kind of nuts."
Rodgers, who emphasized the word "think," has two years left on his current Packers contract, and he is the presumptive 2020 NFL MVP.
Here is segment of Tuesday's Pat McAfee Show that includes the Rodgers interview:
"I don't feel like I said anything that I hadn't said before," Rodgers said Tuesday on the Pat McAfee show. "I said it the first time I talked to the media [last spring after the NFL draft]. It just, it was more a realization I think that ultimately my future is not necessarily in my control. That was what just kind of hit me in the moment. I was just thinking of Aaron Jones, Corey Linsley, other guys we have under contract, Big Dog [tight end Marcedes Lewis], guys who I don't know what their future is going to be, and myself included."
On Sunday, following the 26-21 loss to the Buccaneers, Rodgers’ comments suggested he was seriously considering the possibility of playing for another team next season.
"Lot of guys' futures that are uncertain, myself included," he said Sunday. When he was later asked whether he expected to be with the Packers next season, Rodgers said, “I don't know. I really don't. There are a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now. I'm going to have to take some time away for sure to clear my head to kind of see what is going on with everything, but it's pretty tough right now, especially thinking about the guys that may or may not be here next year."
Packers president Mark Murphy reportedly said the Packers would not let Rodgers go.
"I'll say this, there's no way in heck that Aaron is not going to be on the Packers,” Murphy said on WTAQ-WNFL radio in Green Bay, according to ESPN. “I mean, he is going to be the MVP of the league. He might have had his best year ever. He's our unquestioned leader and, you know, we're not idiots."
The 37-year Rodgers wants to play several more seasons, but he came to the realization last spring that his career might not end in Green Bay. Before Jordan Love was drafted, Rodgers had just assumed his career would end in Green Bay.
“That's kind of like a dream scenario,” he said Tuesday. “I've talked about that for much of my career. When they drafted Jordan, it was more the reality kicking in. Like, hey, that's actually never the case. There are no absolutes in this business. I think it's a beautiful thing to sit with and to wrap your head around. And I did. I got to a beautiful place about it. It doesn't mean that that's not still a reality.”
Rodgers said he would have conversations with Packers management members at some point, but did not say he would demand any particular action, saying it would be the same conversation he’s had with them every year.
Although Rodgers may have calmed the Packer fans for the time being, this story is not over. It will be raised again during the NFL draft if not before.
Cover photo of Aaron Rodgers by Dan Powers via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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