GREEN BAY, Wis. - Aaron Rodgers wants to think it over for a while before the four-time MVP decides whether he wants to return to the Green Bay Packers for a 19th season.
The 39-year-old quarterback also noted the choice isn’t solely his to make. The Packers have to want him back.
"I think to assume it’s a foregone conclusion would be probably slightly egotistical," Rodgers said Sunday night regarding the Packers’ interest in his return. "But I’m going to be a realist here and understand that there’s a lot of different parts to this."
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) walk off the field after a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on Jan. 8, 2023, in Green Bay, WI. (Photo by L
Rodgers’ future is the biggest issue facing the Packers (8-9) as they move forward now that a 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions has kept them out of the playoffs to end a string of three straight postseason berths.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur said after Sunday night’s game that he "absolutely" wants Rodgers back.
Rodgers didn’t approach the MVP form of his 2020 and 2021 seasons. His 12 interceptions — he threw only 13 combined from 2019-21 — were one off the career high he set as a first-year starter in 2008. His passer rating was the lowest of his career.
"I think there were a lot of variables in play this year," LaFleur said Monday. "I really do. And sure, are there some things that he could’ve done better? Absolutely. Just like there are some things that I know I could’ve done better and you can go right down the line to every coach, to every player."
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) acknowledges fans during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on Jan. 8, 2023, in Green Bay, WI. (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rodgers played much of the season with a broken right thumb and injured his ribs during a Nov. 27 loss at Philadelphia. If Rodgers isn’t back, the Packers likely would turn to 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love, who has just one career start but performed well in relief of an injured Rodgers in the Eagles game.
After Sunday’s game, Rodgers discussed factors he’d consider.
"Do I feel like I have anything left to prove to myself?" Rodgers said. "Do I want to go back and gear up for another grind? Or is it time? Is it time to step away? Is it time for another voice to be leading this team? I think I need to get away and contemplate those things, and those are real to me, and I have a lot of pride in what I’ve accomplished in this league, but I’m also a realist and I understand where we’re at as a team.
"We’re a young team. There could be some changes with some of the older guys and it could be time to step away. But I could take some time and say, ‘Hell no, I need to get back out there and go on another run.’ But I’ll have to see what it feels like once I’m away from it."