Aaron Rodgers has been in the headlines again following open and frank comments about his post-football career.
Speaking after his victory in ‘The Match’, Rodgers admitted he thinks about retirement “all the time”. This led pundits to speculate on whether the upcoming NFL season could be the back-to-back reigning MVP’s last, despite signing a multi-year contract extension earlier in the offseason.
During his session with the local Green Bay media at minicamp, Rodgers offered up a telling quote on his NFL future.
Asked by Mike Spofford of Packers.com whether a decision on retirement could only be made once a season is over, or whether Rodgers could see himself announcing his retirement in advance, he said:
“I don’t think it’s fair to the mental state at the end of a season. If you say: ‘I’m for sure playing two or three more years’ and then you have a magical season ending with a championship and think that might be the best way to ride off, I don’t want to commit to something.
“You say: ‘I’m only playing one more year’ and then you have a bitter taste in your mouth and have still got the drive and the passion to play one or two more years, I don’t want to get pigeonholed.”
It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see a clear idea of what the plan is. It appears Rodgers wants to win one more Super Bowl and go out on top.
The ideal scenario would be to achieve that goal this season, as Rodgers is not getting any younger and as each season passes, the chance for a regression in his skills increases.
Very few quarterbacks get to truly choose how they leave the game, and even fewer retire on the back of a Super Bowl run, but it has been done before as recently as 2016, when Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset after winning Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos.
Denver’s defense carried ‘The Sheriff’ to the title that year, as his abilities severely waned. While Rodgers on the other hand is still playing at an elite level, Green Bay may be opting for a similar strategy after building up a potentially fearsome defense to support their star QB.
This situation is like a movie where a ghost is stuck on earth because they still have unfinished business. Only when that business has been taken care of can they truly find peace.
Rodgers stated to the media earlier this week: “There’ll be decisions after this year, for sure”. Whether the Packers are the last team standing at the end of the 2022 season certainly seems to be the major deciding factor in that decision-making process.
Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @Marko7LW.