Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers left his future open-ended Sunday, mentioning retirement as a serious possibility for the third straight year.
“It could be time to step away,” Rodgers said after a 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions that eliminated the Packers from the playoff picture in the regular-season finale. “But I could take some time and say, ‘Hell no, I need to go on another run.’ But I would have to see what it feels like once I’m away from it.”
Speculation about Rodgers’ future began shortly after the game, as the future Hall of Famer declined to exchange his jersey with Lions rookie Jameson Williams.
“I’m gonna hold on to this one,” Rodgers told Williams on the field.
“There’s just some special ones that I like to keep, so it was nothing against Jameson,” Rodgers explained postgame. “… Night game, Lambeau, Week 18, there are certain jerseys you like to hold on to.”
The 39-year-old said he will communicate with the team before making a decision.
“There’s got to be mutual (interest) on both sides,” he said, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
The Packers – who lost multiple starters in the 2022 offseason, including All-Pro receiver Davante Adams – finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018. They won 13 games each year between 2019-21 and reached the NFC title game twice.
“Probably a couple players away,” Rodgers said when asked how close Green Bay is from being a Super Bowl contender, according to Demovsky. “Could be guys that develop into those players. I think we’re really close but a couple (of) players away.”
It’s the third straight offseason in which Rodgers has appeared torn about returning. He reportedly considered a move to the Denver Broncos in the 2022 offseason before inking a three-year, $150-million deal to stay in Green Bay. He will earn $58.3 million guaranteed if he returns for the 2023 season.
“Money is energy, and I have made a ton of it and I’m very thankful for this organization, the generational wealth that they’ve offered me,” according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic.
Rodgers finished the 2022 season with 3,695 passing yards, his lowest career total for a full season. He eclipsed 4,000 yards in 2020 and 2021 while winning back-to-back MVPs.
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