GREEN BAY, Wis. – When the Green Bay Packers drafted Jordan Love with their first-round pick in April, it was a reminder to Aaron Rodgers that his future with the team wasn’t entirely in his control.
When the Packers walked off Lambeau Field after losing the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, a defeat that “hit like a ton of bricks,” it served as another reminder that he would not be the one deciding whether he would finish his career with the same team that drafted him in 2005.
“To me, a reality, not a certainty or an absolute, is that my future is not in my hands,” Rodgers said during his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show and SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio.
“Now, that’s really the case of all of us as players. Naturally, there’s time when you let your mind go to maybe, ‘I’m going to be a Packer for life.’ Or, ‘I’m going to be like a Tim Duncan or (Derek) Jeter or Kobe (Bryant) and play with one team my entire career.’ Naturally, you dream about that. That’s kind of like a dream scenario. 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.”
As unlikely as it seems considering Rodgers is coming off perhaps the best season of his career and led the team to a second consecutive NFC Championship Game, there is no guarantee he’ll be back as the team’s quarterback in 2021. That was true when the Packers drafted Love – mentally, Rodgers said he got to a “beautiful place” about that possibility – and it’s true now even with Rodgers seemingly destined to win his third MVP.
“I think that’s the only the reality is that there is no absolutes in this business,” he said. “I just reiterated that after the game. I get it, some people were like, ‘You just threw 48 touchdowns and probably going to win MVP.’ Yeah, I understand that, but, again, there’s no absolutes in this business.”
Rodgers said he went through exit meetings with the coaching staff on Monday. Later this week, he will meet with coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst and President/CEO Mark Murphy before leaving Green Bay to “recharge” his batteries following a long season.
Rodgers wouldn’t say if his contract would be part of those discussions. He called having leverage in those talks “a weird way to look at it” and that the only leverage he has is the way he plays.
That should be enough. Right?
“I don’t think there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be back,” Rodgers said, emphasizing the word “think” in that statement.
But, as Rodgers said said several times, there are no absolutes.
“There’s conversation to be had; I’m going to have them with the right people,” Rodgers said. “It’s the same conversation we have every single year. There’s no big, ‘I’m going to the table with I need this and this and this.’ Look, we have honest conversations about where we’re at every single year. I’ve had these conversations for years. That’s part of being a leader on the squad and having a pulse of the team and a direction that we’re going, and we’ll have the same conversation we do every year. I always look forward to those conversations.”