Some of us are old enough to remember an offseason saga for the Green Bay Packers called “Favre Watch”. That’s right, I said “old enough.” That’s because the first offseason of questioning whether or not retirement was on the horizon for Brett Favre was about 17 years ago. Any fan not of legal age to drink a beer, may not have any memory of this lovely charade. Well, they’ll surely remember this one, as it appears we’re going down the same road with Aaron Rodgers.
After a bit of a rough season, we’re staring at that question a little harder. Is it time to move on from Aaron Rodgers? Jordan Love seems to have improved greatly. Enough that Matt LaFleur has stated that Love is ‘light years’ from where he used to be. Coincidentally, Favre Watch came to an end after Rodgers’ third season with the team and Love just completed his third season. About 2.5 months after Favre’s final season in Green and Gold came to an end, he announced his retirement. Obviously, we know that Favre attempted a return to Green Bay several months later but was traded to the New York Jets. Rodgers has stated that he doesn’t want to end his career like his predecessor. So, what exactly is Rodgers thinking?
If there’s one thing for sure, the media loves Aaron Rodgers drama. Many love to just take little, tiny snips of what he says in an interview and blow it up into a completely different statement than what was meant.
Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show, Aaron Rodgers made the comment that he thinks he could “still win MVP again in the right situation.” Oh my, the clickbait media was all over that. Almost immediately the comments were raining down that he “cares more about MVP’s than Super Bowls.” Rob Gronkowski of all people commented on Kay Adams’ podcast later that Rodgers should be focused on Super Bowls, not MVP’s. He stated quote “Like bro, why are you thinking MVP? Don’t you want Super Bowls?”
Okay, first off, who gave Rob Gronkowski a platform to attempt to speak intelligently? I like Kay Adams, she’s been a great voice in football for a while now but, there’s your first red flag. Second, that’s not even what Aaron Rodgers was implying! If you watch the full interview, which you can below, you’ll hear that Rodgers was simply stating that he believes he is still capable of winning the MVP award at his age.
Here we go again, Rodgers says one thing, and the media makes it far more serious than it really is. Seems to be commonplace whenever number 12 opens his mouth. But with a guy like Aaron Rodgers who isn’t shy to question the norm and speak his mind, we shouldn’t be surprised.
The Interesting Mind
In the last few years, fans have gotten more of a glimpse into who Aaron Rodgers is. As I type this article, I look to my left and see a glass of scotch and a beer which seems to have become a staple for me to unwind my brain a bit. Aaron Rodgers also speaks of unwinding with a glass of scotch, so hey, we’re not all that different. Except I’m willing to bet his scotch costs much more than mine does. He likes to relax at a beach, do some golfing, travel, and enjoys many of the same movies as the rest of us. Rodgers has also appeared wearing a “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” sweatshirt. Which I don’t care what everyone says, I enjoyed that movie, so I stand with you, A-Rodge.
But then of course, there are the other things. The comments against the COVID vaccine mandates, notes on spirituality, centering one-self, and of course, the Ayahuasca tea. If there’s one thing for sure, Aaron Rodgers marches to the beat of his own drum. He believes in more natural means of healing than many pharmaceutical methods, and he’s adopted more of a spiritual life than many can understand. And hey, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I can honestly say that I respect Aaron Rodgers for his fearlessness in kind of going against the norm, whether I agree with it or not.
So, what’s going on?
In the aforementioned interview with Pat McAfee, Aaron Rodgers stated that he’s in the recovery period. He’s letting his body and mind fully recover and heal from the previous season, and once that happens, he will be ready to make a decision on his future.
He mentioned that if he decides to return he has to focus on what is the best situation for him. Whether that be in Green Bay or not Green Bay, he will have to find out when that decision is made.
Many of us might think, “either you want to play next year, or you don’t, it’s simple.” But take a minute to think about something you might have been doing for 80% of your life. That’s kind of been your rock, your true motivation for a good amount of that time. It’s just been your calling. And then imagine having to decide to never do that again. Yes, it’s that hard.
If there’s one thing for sure, the Green Bay Packers have no interest in falling into nothingness. They do not want to risk 4-5 years of lackluster football before they’re competitive again. This was very much obvious with the drafting of Jordan Love. The Packers want to be ready for life after Aaron Rodgers.
Of course, Aaron Rodgers likely would’ve preferred they maybe wait until this coming offseason to make such a move, but that’s the nature of the business. They can’t risk the future of their franchise on “hopefully Aaron Rodgers still plays into his late 30s, early 40s at a high level.”
I believe we will see a decision from Aaron Rodgers before the start of free agency. He’s made it clear that he will at least afford the Packers that luxury of knowing where he’s at before they need to make any major decisions.
Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure if Rodgers decides to return that the Packers will still have their QB of the future on the roster as well. There is a chance that Jordan Love may request to be traded out of title town so he can have his opportunity elsewhere. The Packers might have the leverage in that situation, but if the request is made, the relationship might be broken beyond the repair needed to have him still remain the franchise’s future. So, you might as well trade him at that point. If that does happen, I hope they receive a decent enough haul to give them the confidence to grab a new QB of the future in this coming draft.
Aaron Rodgers’ motivation should not be called in to question. If it were individual accolades he was after, he probably would’ve requested a trade out of Title Town the day Jordan Love was drafted. But since he knew Green Bay gave him the best chance at success and to head to another Super Bowl, he stayed.
I’m personally ready to move on from Aaron Rodgers. That doesn’t come from any hate, but from a place of that I want the Packers to succeed long after Rodgers. I want them to know whether or not that’s possible before it’s too late and they blow their chance. But if he stays, as long as we receive an Aaron Rodgers motivated to prove all his doubters wrong and go get the Lombardi Trophy, well, that’s enough for me.
Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.