Aaron Rodgers addresses future after Packers playoff loss, will make decision ahead of NFL free agency
Almost as soon as Robbie Gould’s kick hit the net at the end of regulation Saturday night to knock the Packers out of the playoffs and send the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game, attention in Green Bay and across the NFL s ‘s moved to Aaron Rodgers and his future in Green Bay.
There’s no doubt that Rodgers may have played his last game as a member of the Packers, the team that selected him in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Last year, he nearly divorced with the organization, but opted to return for a sort of potential “Last Dance” run that both sides hoped would culminate in a Super Bowl. However, this early exit is now raising questions about what’s next for the MVP favorite.
“I’m going to take some time and have conversations with the people here and then take some time and make a decision – obviously before free will.” Rodgers said postgame. “… It’s fresh right now. It’s a little shocking, that’s for sure. I was hoping to have a great week after the NFC Championship to take advantage of the lead [to the Super Bowl] and start contemplating certain things, so I haven’t even let the moment sink in yet.”
Contractually, Rodgers is still under the control of the Packers until next season, but if he decides he wants to play elsewhere, the team could look to trade him. Leaving Rodgers — who hit a cap of $46.4 million in 2022 — Green Bay would eliminate about $20 million from his salary cap, but leaving an all-time player.
“Certainly we want him back here,” Rodgers head coach Matt LaFleur said. “We’d be crazy not to want him here. He’s going to be the double MVP. This guy does so much for our football team. Not only what you see on Sunday or every game day, but what he does in this locker room and how he leads. I know what he puts into this thing and I’m certainly extremely disappointed that we couldn’t get over the hump not just for him but for everyone in this locker room.
Rodgers noted that he still feels like he can play at an elite level, which factors into his thought process when considering a potential retirement from the NFL. When asked if he would play for another team, he replied: “It’s hard to say at this stage. … I don’t think it’s fair for anyone or myself to really take those routes at this point.”
While Rodgers may not want to make any rash decisions after a stunning playoff outing, the rubber will soon have to hit the road with the quarterback deciding what the next chapter of his NFL career will be.