GREEN BAY, WI – Streamers were everywhere it was Sunday night for it Aaron Rodgers: He walked out of Lambo Field with his arm around his best friend Randall CobbHe didn’t want to give up his worn-out match jersey and fought back his feelings in the final moments of a post-match session with reporters.
Before anyone drafts retirement papers or a trade agreement, consider the other pointers that came after the season-ending Green Bay Packers’ 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions: He did and said some of the same things after the Packers exited the playoffs last season. And the season before that.
But this time there will be no play-offs. All the Packers needed to win against the Lions on Sunday night and they were there. Instead, they finished 8-9 and missed the postseason for the first time in head coach Matt LaFleur’s four seasons.
“At some point, the carousel stops and it’s time to get off, and I think you kind of know when that happens,” Rodgers said Sunday. “And that’s what to think about. Is it time? And also, what does the organization do? That’s part of it, too. But the rivalry will always be there. I don’t think that ever goes away. Sometimes it gets carried over, I think, to other things that might Don’t fill that big of a void. But like I said, I feel good about what I’ve accomplished in this league and have no regrets about him leaving. But I had to see how I feel just walking away from this.”
For the most recent season, Rodgers announced his decision to return on March 8. He signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension shortly thereafter. That deal contains a $58.3 million bonus plus more than $1 million in other guarantees if he plays in 2023. Rodgers insisted on Sunday he could walk away with that money.
When asked about the deciding factor, Rodgers said, “It’s a feeling.” He then proceeded to list several things that could influence this feeling.
“Do I feel like I have nothing left to prove to myself?” He said. Do I want to go back and get ready for another grind? Or is it time? Is it time to step away? Is it time for another voice to lead this team?
“I think I need to step away and think about these things. This is real to me. I have a lot of pride in what I’ve accomplished in this league, but I’m also a realistic person, and I understand where we are at as a team. We’re a young team; there could be some changes with some of the youngsters.” The older one, and it might be time to get away. But I can take a moment and say no, man, I need to get back out there and go for another run. But I’ll have to see how I feel when I’m away from him.”
Rodgers admitted that his decision could also be affected by whether the Packers would return players like Cobb, David BakhtiariAnd Mason Crosby And Mercedes Lewis.
Even if the organization didn’t tell Rodgers face-to-face if it wanted him, it did so publicly. Last month, general manager Brian Gutkunst told reporters he wanted Rodgers back. Lafleur said he believes the organization still feels the same way, even after one of Rodgers’ least productive seasons.
“Yes, in my opinion, absolutely,” said Lafleur. “But I think, in the end, he’ll decide.”
While Rodgers didn’t seem eager to play for another team in case he wasn’t ready to retire, the Packers wanted to move on. Jordan loveThat door didn’t close completely.
Rodgers’ final throw of the season was intercepted by Lions safety Kirby Joseph With 3:27 left in the game. The Packers never got the ball back. It was Rodgers’ 12th interception of the season—second highest after the 13th he threw in 2008, his first season as a starter. Joseph, who outplayed Rodgers twice in a November game in Detroit, became the first player to knock him out three times in a single regular season.
However, Rodgers had no doubts that he could still play at a high level, just as he felt at this time last year, as he finished his second consecutive season in the NFL and the fourth of his career.
He said, “The answer is yes.”
However, Rodgers found life after the wide receivers trade Davant Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in March to be a tough skate, though the Packers drafted three wide touchdowns in Romeo DobbsAnd Christian Watson And Samori Tori. However, Rodgers said there was “a lot of good young talent in this team [and] If some players make the jumps from one to two years, that offense could look a lot different.”
Just as he did after the previous season, Rodgers said he wanted to step away from the season and “get the emotion out of it”.
That’s something he did during most of his 20 minutes in the media room on Sunday night.
Till the end.
This is when he was asked, if that was the case, what would he miss the most. Rodgers paused for 10 seconds and said, “I’m going to miss the guys. I’m going to miss the fans.”
He paused again, pulled himself together and said, “Yes. Thank you.”
And he went into another phase of meditation.
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