Even though he’s still playing at an MVP level, Aaron Rodgers can’t guarantee that he wants to start as a quarterback for an NFL team next season.
Last week, the Packers star told ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde that he would not rule out retirement after completing the 2021 season, as there will be “a lot of things I will weigh in the offseason” before making a final decision. The 38-year-old addressed the prospect of walking away from the league during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.”
“I’ve given a lot of my life to this game,” Rodgers told McAfee. “I didn’t start playing until eighth grade, obviously I played four years in high school, I played three years in college, in my 17 [season with the Packers]. At some point the ride stops and you have to get off. I think you want to keep playing, keep walking, keep having the cognitive function of the brain when you finish playing. Those are important. “
In 15 games, missed Week 9 after being placed on Green Bay’s COVID-19 list, Rodgers has completed 68.6 percent of his passes for 3,977 yards with 35 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He has led the Packers to the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and may be on track to earn his fourth MVP award.
“I’ve really tried, this year, to stay in the present as much as possible,” Rodgers said. “I know it is difficult because people want to talk about my future and what I want to do. And I respect that, and appreciate it. But, for me, I cannot have two feet in the past, living in nostalgia for what we have achieved. , the incredible memories, or two feet in the future, thinking about the decisions that lie ahead. I really tried to stay in the present, and that allowed me to enjoy the little things. “
Rodgers, who stopped by ESPN’s “ManningCast” during what may have been Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s last home game, also discussed the possibility of playing his entire professional career with one team. Roethlisberger said the Week 17 matchup would likely be his last game at Heinz Field, and after a 26-14 win over the Browns, he received what certainly felt like a final sendoff from the home crowd.
Rodgers expressed his appreciation for what Roethlisberger had done and felt he deserved to have that moment, but he also mentioned the retirement of former Lions running back Barry Sanders, who abruptly announced that he would not be returning for the 1999-2000 season. in a letter to his hometown newspaper, the Wichita Eagle.
“If you remember, when [Sanders] retired, he had, like, a little note: ‘Hi guys. Thank you. It was fun. I’m out.’ I always thought how cool it was, “Rodgers said.” He loved the game, but it was never bigger than the game. I think it’s a great way to do it. I think getting the fanfare and respect like Ben did last night at Heinz Field was amazing too. I think he deserves it. They have given him 18 years [there]. He’s an adult in Pittsburgh. He has given his life, almost half his life, has lived in Pittsburgh and played for the Steelers. It is very special.
“There are some positives to both, but I don’t think I’d ever want a farewell tour. I think it’s worked out for some guys and it’s been cool and cool and I respect that. But that’s not something I wish for.”
For now, Rodgers and the Packers are focused on closing the regular season on a high note in a Week 18 game against the Lions. The outcome of the game won’t affect Green Bay’s seeding, but Rodgers plan to play in Detroit.