Rodgers won’t drag out decision on future plans

NFL

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers is willing to make one promise when it comes to his future: the Green Bay Packers quarterback won’t take too long after this season to decide it.

Rodgers offered a glimpse on Wednesday into what his thought process will be when deciding what he wants to do next season. And he left all possibilities — from returning to the Packers to playing for another team to retirement — on the table.

“It won’t be something where I’ll drag it out for months and months,” Rodgers said at the end of a lengthy answer about his future.

Rodgers said he will have conversations with his “loved ones” after the season, with the front office — team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and vice president of football operations Russ Ball — and with coach Matt LaFleur and his staff, and then make a decision.

“I’m not going to hold the team back from anything,” Rodgers said. “And once I commit — and if it’s committing to move forward here — it will be a quick decision.”

Nearly a year ago, Rodgers called his future with the Packers a “beautiful mystery” and then after last season’s NFC Championship Game loss to the Buccaneers included himself in a group of players with uncertain futures. Then in April, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers had begun telling people he did not want to return to the Packers. That situation was not resolved until the day before training camp opened in July. Upon his return to the team after skipping the entire offseason program, Rodgers detailed his list of grievances. Chief among them was his feeling that he had not been involved in conversations that directly impact his job.

After a slow start that included a 38-3 blowout loss to the Saints in the opener, Rodgers has returned to an MVP level and the Packers (12-3) have the best record in the NFL with two games to play. At different times this season, Rodgers offered unprompted praise for Gutekunst and his staff when it comes to acquiring players.

While Rodgers said he “wouldn’t rule that out” when asked about retirement, he said: “This has been one of my favorite years of football.”

“I think that I’m just enjoying this season for this season and I think playing next year will definitely be in the thought process,” Rodgers said. “One of the things that obviously [I want is] to not be a bum on the way out and to still be able to play. I think is important to me. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that I still can play, I still have a love for the game, I’m still super competitive and still enjoy the process of the week.”

Rodgers even said he misses the daily grind of practice, which he has not been able to take part in while still dealing his fractured toe over the last month and a half.

“There will be a lot of things that I’ll weigh in the offseason,” Rodgers said. “Saying that doesn’t mean, or any of the comments I’ve made, doesn’t mean I’m thinking about [playing] elsewhere, I do want to clarify that. The things that I’ve said about the team this year, about Brian’s and I’s relationship has been heartfelt and genuine and I do appreciate a lot of the things that I’ve seen from the team that are directly related to conversations we had in the offseason, and that was meaningful to me. I’ve enjoyed being a part of conversations that directly affect my job, which I talked about in the offseason, and Brian’s taken the lead in that, and I do appreciate the way our relationship has grown.

“I have a lot of love for Matt and enjoy playing for him. I love my teammates. The coaching staff has been fantastic, and they make it fun every single day. And the guys, obviously, is what you play for. … So I’m just savoring this year as much as anything.”

Rodgers is under contract through next season. He had originally been signed through 2023 but upon his return, the Packers agreed to restructure his deal and void the final season.

Another interested party is Packers receiver Davante Adams. He’s in the final year of his contract. Negotiations on an extension broke down before the season and given his connection to Rodgers — the two just set the franchise record for touchdowns between a quarterback and receiver at 67 — it’s possible he won’t make a decision until Rodgers does.

“At this point, I’m just trying to enjoy it and just go play football and kind of like what Aaron said, just savor these moments because you never know what will happen,” Adams said Wednesday. “Obviously I love being a Packer and love being here. We’ll see how everything plays out. But to a certain extent, I will be connected with ’12.’ It’s just not like, if he goes, I’m not going to be here or if he stays, I will. It’s something we’ll have to pay attention to, for sure.”

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