GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — Aaron Rodgers’ autographs were everywhere that Sunday night: He left Lambeau Field with his best friend Randall Cobb on his arm. He got his emotions back in the final moments of the post-match session with reporters.
Before anyone drafts a resignation letter or a trade deal, consider other indicators obtained after the Green Bay Packers’ 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions at the end of the season. playoffs last season. and the season before that.
However, there will be no playoffs this time. All the Packers needed to do was beat the Lions on Sunday night. Instead, they finished 8-9, missing the postseason for the first time in coach Matt Raffler’s four seasons.
“At some point the carousel will stop and it’s time to get off. I think we kind of know when that is,” Rogers said on Sunday. Is it time and what is the organization doing?That’s part of it too.But the fire of competition is always there. , I think it will be moved to something else that won’t fill that big void. Let’s see how it feels when we get out of here.”
In the final offseason, Rodgers announced his return decision on March 8. He signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension shortly thereafter. The deal includes a $58.3 million bonus and more than $1 million in other guarantees if he plays in 2023.
When asked what the deciding factor was, Rodgers replied, “It’s the feeling.” He then listed a few things that could affect that feeling.
“Do you feel like you have something left to prove to yourself?” he said. “Do I want to go back and get ready for another grind? Or is it time to walk away? Is it time for another voice to lead this team?
“I think I need to step back and reflect on those things. As a team, we are a young team. Changes may be made to some of the older members, and it may be time to move on. Hmm. But it might take me a while.I’ll get back in there and go for another run.But I’ll have to see how it feels when I’m out of there.
Rodgers admitted his decision could also be influenced by whether the Packers recall players like Cobb, David Bakhtiari, Mason Crosby and Mercedes Ruiz.
The organization has yet to tell face to face if it wants Mr. Rogers, but it does so publicly. General manager Brian Gutkunst told reporters last month that he wants Rodgers back. Lafleur believes the organization feels the same way, even after Rodgers’ most unproductive season.
“Yeah, in my opinion, absolutely,” said LaFleur. “But in the end I think he will decide.”
Rodgers didn’t seem keen on playing for another team if he wasn’t ready to retire, but the Packers wanted to move on to Jordan Love, but he didn’t want to open that door. It didn’t close completely.
Rodgers’ final throw of the season was intercepted by Lions safety Kirby Joseph with 3:27 remaining. The Packers never got the ball back. It was Rodgers’ 12th interception of the season and second to the 13 he threw in his first season as a starter in 2008. Joseph, who picked Rodgers twice in a November game in Detroit, became the first player to pick Rodgers three times in a single regular season.
Still, there was little doubt that Rodgers could still play at the same high level he did this time last year after finishing his second straight NFL MVP season and fourth season of his career.
“The answer is yes,” he said.
Still, despite the Packers drafting three wideouts in Romeo Dubs, Christian Watson and Samori Toure, Rodgers won after wide receiver Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in March. He found life to be a rough sleigh. [and] If certain players jumped from year 1 to year 2, this offense might look very different.”
Rodgers said he wants to “get rid of the emotion” by walking away from the season, as he did after the previous campaign.
That’s what he did for most of the 20 minutes he did in the media auditorium on Sunday night.
to the end.
Then I was asked what he missed most. Rodgers was silent for 10 seconds before saying, “I miss you guys. I miss my fans.”
He stopped again, picked himself up and said: “Yes. Thank you.”
And then another offseason of contemplation he went.