Packers fans are in for another year of rumors and speculation about the whereabouts of Aaron Rodgers. It’s what’s signed up for when your quarterback holds out and threatens retirement just for him to return and shave off a season on his contract, giving him just one remaining year on his deal beyond 2021. With that being said, the guy’s tune has changed recently.
It all started, publically, when he made the claim that “a lot of guys’ futures are uncertain, myself included” following the Packers’ 31-26 NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As the team continues to win ball games and add veteran contributors like inside linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Jaylon Smith, receiver Randall Cobb, cornerbacks Rasul Douglas and Isaac Yaidom, and now pass-rusher Whitney Mercilus, Rodgers’ tone has flipped.
Following last week’s game against the Chicago Bears, capped off by him yelling “I still own you” at Bears fans, Rodgers told the press that his most recent visit to Soldier Field as a Packer didn’t feel like his “last one.” On Tuesday, on his weekly show with Pat McAfee and former teammate A.J. Hawk, Rodgers clarified, “When I walked off the field it just didn’t feel like the last time for whatever reason.”
The reason is that the team is doing what he asked of them this offseason: Attempt to surround him with talent ready to play and compete for Super Bowls instead of overemphasizing roster spots for developmental players. On Wednesday, the quarterback said as much.
This season is beginning to remind me a little bit of a season over a decade ago where we’ve had a number of injuries and in the course of the season added certain pieces to the mix that ended up playing a big role down the line. I think you guys can imagine what season I’m talking about, which is a good thing.
Obviously, his comments are about the 2010 Green Bay Packers that won Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers’ sole NFL title. Mind you, the team was kept afloat by in-season signings of contributors like outside linebacker Erik Walden and defensive lineman Howard Green. With the Packers front office operating within “win now” framework, the uncertainty of Rodgers’ words is quickly turning into certainty. Funny how that works.
The biggest hurdle is yet to come, with wide receiver Davante Adams asking to be the highest-paid pass-catcher in the league. The Packers, realistically, cannot manipulate their cap much more without extending Adams beyond 2021 and pushing some of his cap dues down the line. If this now 5-1 division leader can keep the core of its team together moving forward, though, it seems like the quarterback is willing to have the conversation about his future with the Green Bay Packers.