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Aaron Rodgers talks darkness retreat, upcoming decision on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast

“And now it feels like there are two very beautiful options that both feel really nourishing and special”

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is quickly approaching his self-imposed deadline of whether or not to retire, which he stated would happen before free agency kicks off on March 15th — just two weeks from now. Last week, he used that time to go on a four-night darkness retreat, which was the main subject of his recent appearance on The Aubrey Marcus Podcast.

After joking about taking “smooth numbers twos” when the question of how he used the bathroom in the pitch black arose, he spent most of the 96 minutes of the podcast discussing the feelings that the darkness brought out of him and where his head is at with two weeks left on the shot clock.

Rodgers pushed back on the idea that his darkness retreat was a journey that he took for the sole purpose of making a decision to return to the Green Bay Packers or not, stating, “I just needed to get the opportunity to reset. As it got closer and closer, obviously, there’s a lot of other questions about my future that happen to be on the mind and have been contemplated. I knew it would be a good opportunity to sit with those things, but that wasn’t the main reason I was doing it.”

He said that on Day 3 of the retreat, he spent most of the day thinking about his life if he made the decision to retire. On the final day, Day 4, he spent time thinking about what it would be like to continue to play football. Rodgers spoke on some of the insecurities that came from Day 3 in the darkness, which included the thoughts of irrelevance, boredom and regret as he worked through a retirement simulation in his own mind.

In the end, though, it appears that Rodgers came to peace with either option. He claimed that he has made too much of an effort to differentiate himself from the dumb jock stereotypes over the years and has accepted that “My life is football. My life and football are connected and that’s totally okay.” He later expanded on that notion and stated, “And now it feels like there are two very beautiful options that both feel really nourishing and special. That it’s just life and life is about making decisions.”

If you believe what Rodgers is saying in the interview, his return to the Packers is still very much in the mix. When speaking on a potential return to football, he said, “If I decide to play, then first is the conversation with [the Packers]. Where are you guys at? Honestly.” Just yesterday, Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst said that he and Rodgers had talked very little this offseason outside of a few exchanges of texts. It sounds like they have a lot to catch up on.

When describing his options and how he felt about them on Day 3 and 4 of his retreat, Rodgers said he worked through one option being scary and the other option being an unknown. Here’s how he categorized them:

“Scary was retirement. Unknown was going back and playing and what does that mean? Is it in Green Bay or is it somewhere else? If it is somewhere else, what is it like being somewhere else?”

You can watch the full interview below: