Out of Darkness, Aaron Rodgers Says Decision on Future Coming Soon

Rob DemovskyESPN Writer4 minute read

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Aaron Rodgers said he found inner peace during his four-day retreat into obscurity last week regardless of his footballing future, but he didn’t reveal what that decision was – or even if he had taken one.

But the Green Bay Packers quarterback, during an hour and 41-minute interview on the Aubrey Marcus podcast released Wednesday, promised it wouldn’t take much longer to make up his mind.

“It’s best if anyone has an interest in making a decision as soon as possible,” Rodgers said.

A day earlier, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said at the NFL scouting meeting that there had been little to no conversation with Rodgers since they ended their scouting meetings. end of the season in mid-January. Gutekunst said he hopes for a decision before free agency begins in less than two weeks.

“I feel really good about the conversations that are going to take place, that have taken place with important people in my life, including you, that have helped guide me,” Rodgers told Marcus. “But I’m not looking for someone to tell me what the answer is. All the answers are within me, and I’ve touched a lot of them – and certainly the feelings on both sides – during the dark, and I’m grateful for this time. There is a finality to the decision, and I don’t take it lightly.

“I don’t want to drag anyone. Look, I’m answering questions about this because they asked about it. I’m talking about it because it’s important to me. If you don’t like it, if you think this is dramatic , you think I’m a diva or whatever stop it That’s fine But it’s my life it’s important to me and I’ll take a decision soon enough and then we’ll go down that road and we’ll be really excited about it.”

It appears that Rodgers and the Packers are still considering three options: a return to the Packers, a trade to another team or retirement.

Gutekunst, however, became less determined to want Rodgers back. He said Tuesday he needed to have additional conversations with Rodgers before a way forward could be charted.

“He’s a great player, but until we have those conversations I think all options are on the table right now,” Gutekunst said on Tuesday. “But we really need to have those conversations. We want what’s best for the Green Bay Packers, what’s best for Aaron. So we’ll come back to that once those conversations are over. will have taken place.”

Rodgers said his perspective on the decision changed during his retreat, which took place in a remote part of southern Oregon. He said initially he felt like there was “a scary option and an unknown”.

“What was scary was retirement, and the unknown came back to play and what does that mean?” Rogers said. “Is it Green Bay or somewhere else? If it’s somewhere else, how does it feel to be somewhere else?

“Now I feel like there are two really nice options that both feel really nurturing and special.”

Rodgers has taken issue with those who question his methods, whether it’s his sometimes controversial appearances on The Pat McAfee Show or his practice of ayahuasca and his retreat into obscurity.

He admitted last offseason that he was considering retirement before making his decision to return on March 8. Shortly after, he signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension that would net him nearly $60 million guaranteed if he played in 2023.

On the Marcus podcast, he admitted that before winning back-to-back MVPs for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, he wondered if he was still at the top of his game.

“I haven’t had my best year of playing (in 2019) and there are probably people who think I’m done,” Rodgers said. “I thought I was done before I became COVID MVP twice. Again, there will be a lot of inspiration on this road, but I have great peace about it that I didn’t without the darkness, so I’m really grateful for this experience and everything that I’ve been through, it’s all connected.”

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