Aaron Rodgers is, frankly, unbothered.
The 37-year-old quarterback is still relishing his Most Valuable Player campaign, and though he proved to be the best in the league even with 40 not too far away, he acknowledged Monday his status in Green Bay remains the same. And he’s perfectly fine with that.
“Nothing’s really changed,” Rodgers said during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. “My future, really a lot of it is out of my control. That’s why I use words, a phrase like ‘beautiful mystery,’ because it is quite uncertain which direction things are going to go. All I can do is play my best and I feel like last year I did do that and may have thrown a wrench into some timelines that may have been thought about or desired. But ultimately things haven’t really changed on that front.
“I meant what I said last year about really being at peace with the whole thing, and that hasn’t changed. I feel good about the way I played. I feel good about the way I led. I loved our interactions and everything that this show provided for me last year. I think people got a raw look at honest conversation about the future and someone who’s not bitter or disappointed or frustrated about things that they realize they can’t control. My future is one of them, and I’ve kind of surrendered to what’s going to happen and just confident in what I bring to the table and how I played last year and everything else is kind of for speculation, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of it.”
Rodgers has every reason in the world to remain supremely confident. His second season with Matt LaFleur was their best yet, with Rodgers posting the second-best passer rating of all time in 2020 (No. 1 is also him), winning league MVP and coming painfully close to a conference title, a triumph that has eluded him since his Packers won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season. Despite not receiving a weapon via Green Bay’s first-round pick in the 2020 draft, Rodgers was fantastic, and he seems content with returning for another run at a Super Bowl in 2020, even if it might slow the Packers’ succession plan for Jordan Love.
Part of that process has included a bit of financial retooling for the Packers, who let Jamaal Williams go after re-signing Aaron Jones, watched center Corey Linsley walk to the Chargers, and made a few cap-saving cuts to get under the reduced salary cap for 2021. Roster turnover is inevitable, of course, and Rodgers doesn’t seem discouraged by the changes.
He also doesn’t sound anxious to rework his own contract to help the Packers.
“Obviously, there is talk about my contract and re-doing it to get under the salary cap,” Rodgers said. “Those are conversations that I’m sure are ongoing or talked about from time to time. I don’t have any updates from my side. There’s really not a story there.”
Completion of such a task would require some cooperation from Rodgers, but would also need the Packers to bring a realistic solution to the table. Rodgers’ response indicates that has yet to happen, and seeing as the team drafted his eventual replacement with their first-round pick a year ago, it’s entirely fair for Rodgers to hold firm in his current position. The team hasn’t exactly made every move possible to throw its eggs in Rodgers’ basket for the next three years — the current length of his existing contract — instead choosing to walk the line between current contention and long-term planning.
Such an approach is also fair from the Packers’ perspective. Rodgers isn’t going to slow Father Time anytime soon, even if he’s playing at an elite level at 37 years old. It would only be wise for Green Bay to plan for life after Rodgers — just as it planned for life after Brett Favre when it drafted Rodgers — whose contract is set to expire after the 2023 season (and carries a dead cap number under $3 million for 2023).
Rodgers has a bright future ahead of him regardless of what uniform (or suit) he might end up wearing. The three-time MVP is guest-hosting Jeopardy! this week and apparently put together a string of performances worth tuning in to witness, coming away with a positive experience that has him eyeing a career off the field in the future.
“I would love to be the host of Jeopardy!, yes,” Rodgers told McAfee.
Before he’s quizzing contestants, Rodgers has another title pursuit to begin. A second Lombardi would be worth more than even the most lucrative Daily Double.
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