Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plans to play for the New York Jets in 2023, he said Wednesday.
“Since Friday, I made it clear that my intention was to play and my intention is to play for the New York Jets,” Rodgers announced on “The Pat McAfee Show.”
After the 2022 season, Rogers said he’d take time to decide on his NFL future, admitting that retirement was on the table. The 39-year-old went on a darkness retreat in February and revealed Wednesday that he was close to calling it a career.
“When I went into the darkness, I was 90% retiring and 10% playing,” he said.
Rodgers said the Packers organization told him it wanted him back for 2023 before he went on the retreat, but the situation was different after he returned.
“When I came out of the darkness, something changed,” Rodgers said. “I go back to my phone after five days off of it … I realized that there had been a little bit of a shift. And I heard from multiple people that I trust around the league, players mostly, that there (was) some shopping going on, that (the Packers) were actually interested in moving me.”
He added: “The facts are, they want to move on, and now, so do I.”
Rodgers also confirmed reports that the Packers are working on a trade to send him to the Jets, who recently met with him to discuss a potential move. But the legendary signal-caller said he doesn’t hold anything against Green Bay.
“I got to be the starting quarterback of the Packers for 15 years,” he said. “So, I love you, Green Bay. Thank you. I’m as sad as some of you are, but we’ll meet again.”
He continued: “I’m debatably the best player in franchise history. I’m in the conversation for sure. Nobody has bled green and gold like me.”
Rodgers has spent his entire NFL career with Green Bay and established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history since being drafted 24th overall in 2005. The Cal product has earned four MVP awards and helped Green Bay win Super Bowl XLV. He’ll leave the NFC North club with 223 regular-season starts under his belt to go along with 59,055 passing yards and 475 touchdown passes, the most in franchise history.
Rodgers will join a Jets team that boasted one of football’s premier defenses in 2022. However, New York struggled offensively last year – particularly at the quarterback position – and missed the playoffs for the 12th straight season. The Jets recently hired a new offensive coordinator in Nathaniel Hackett, who was Green Bay’s OC from 2019-21.
In New York, Rodgers will also play with Allen Lazard, who spent the previous five seasons in Green Bay and reportedly agreed to a four-year contract with the Jets this week. A Tuesday report from ESPN stated that Lazard was one of several free-agent wide receivers on in a wish list that Rodgers recently provided the Jets.
However, Rodgers denied the report on Wednesday and said he told ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter to “lose my number.” Schefter confirmed Rodgers’ quotes with a screenshot minutes later:
It’s unclear if Rodgers will wear No. 12 with the Jets. New York retired the number in 1985 to honor franchise legend Joe Namath.
Rodgers won’t be the first iconic Green Bay quarterback to leave the Packers for the Jets. In 2008, the team traded Brett Favre to New York.
The Packers, a team used to having all-time great quarterbacks, are now set to start 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love. Green Bay went 8-9 in 2022 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
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