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Aaron Rodgers Says He Considered Retirement, Wants to Be Involved in Player Recruitment

After an entire offseason of rumors and uncertainty, Aaron Rodgers made his return to the Packers on Wednesday and gave a candid press conference at the start of training camp

Rodgers has been at odds with ownership and said he considered retiring this past offseason but is expected to play in 2021.

One major point of emphasis with Rodgers and the Packers' front office was his lack of involvement in recruiting during his entire 16-year stint with the team. And things came to a boil in 2020 when quarterback Jordan Love was selected—his presumed and eventual replacement. 

"Green Bay isn't a huge vacation destination," Rodgers said. "People are coming here to play with me and play with our team knowing they can win a championship here and the fact that I haven't been used in those discussions was one I wanted to change moving forward."

Rodgers said no changes were made when he stressed his wanting to be involved in recruitment. And by March he was frustrated by their lack of commitment to the 37-year-old going forward. 

Rodgers and the Packers came to an agreement in terms of his contract in order to bring him back to training camp, per ESPN. But it would leave Rodgers the option of leaving Green Bay in 2022.

"If you can't commit to me past 2021, and I'm not a part of the recruiting process and free agency ... if I'm not a part of the future, then instead of letting me be a lame duck quarterback if you want to make a change and move forward then go ahead and do it."

Rodgers added that around the 2021 draft a contract extension was discussed, but insisted it wasn't about the money. 

"Post the draft, what basically happened was then [the front office] said, 'We'll give you some money now; let's see if we can throw some money at you,' and I said from the start it wasn't about the money," he said.

Rodgers went on to say he was surprised there wasn't a conversation earlier on a possible extension for him. Conversations didn't start until management began to feel the pressure of a possible departure, though.  

But Rodgers was also frustrated for other veteran players who he thinks weren't given the proper respect they deserved by ownership. He listed "high-character" veterans like Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and a lot more who he believes weren't treated with the respect they deserved. 

"Great locker room guys, high-character guys who weren't offered a contract at all or were extremely low-balled or, maybe in my opinion, not given the respect on the way out that guys of their status and stature and high character deserved," Rodgers said. 

Despite all the quarrels with the organization, Rodgers answered with "I do" when asked whether he wanted to stay with the Packers. 

"I love this team; I love the fans, the opportunity to play on Lambeau Field has been a dream come true and to be in my 17th season is really special."

The entire press conference can be viewed here: 

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