With thirteen words, quarterback Aaron Rodgers confirmed the story of the 2023 off-season. On The Pat McAfee Show, the four-time NFL MVP stated, “My intention is to play and to play for the New York Jets.”
After two years of flirtations with retirement, Rodgers has made his stance clear: He wants to play football in 2023. According to him, “something changed” with the Green Bay Packers’ messaging while he was on his darkness retreat in February. The quarterback stated that the team claimed that they wanted him to return for the upcoming season, but players around the league notified him after his retreat that the Packers were actually “shopping” him around the league. Plain as day, Rodgers told McAfee, “They want to move on and now so do I.”
Apparently, Rodgers was 90 percent sure that he was going to retire before going into the darkness retreat but something changed his mind about returning to the sport. The Cal product didn’t state what that factor was.
In the end, the longest-tenured Packer in franchise history said that he has “no malice, no bitterness toward [Green Bay],” but does wish that the team would treat veteran players better on the way out. He claimed that the type of actions that the organization has displayed recently is one of the reasons why there was friction between him and the team in recent offseasons and that he would have appreciated the team telling him that they were ready to move on from him in the winter.
As to why Rodgers isn’t already a Jet, now that we know he wants to be one, Rodgers claimed that the Packers are holding out for more or higher draft picks. “It’s the Packers and the compensation they’re trying to get for me,” he said. Earlier today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Green Bay is looking to land two first-round draft choices in exchange for Rodgers’ services, a report that NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero later refuted.
Speaking of Schefter, he apparently attempted to contact Rodgers via text message recently. Schefter screenshotted Rodgers’ response in the tweet below:
Confirming Aaron Rodgers’ report: pic.twitter.com/XRhhd58Qm5— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
Rodgers said that his mind has been made up on being a Jet since last Friday, which lines up with the timeline that Pro Football Network’s Trey Wingo has been reporting over the last week. On the topic of his reported demands, though, Rodgers is calling B.S. When McAfee brought it up to the quarterback, he stated, “That’s so ridiculous.” Dianna Russini of ESPN reported on Tuesday that Rodgers “provided” a wish list of former Packers Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis (along with Odell Beckham Jr.) to the Jets. Lazard has since signed a four-year, $44 million deal with New York.
The question of if New York will become Green Bay East will be answered as free agency continues to develop, but one thing is certain: Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to suit up for the Green Bay Packers again. The only debate now is which draft picks the Packers will get in exchange in return for Rodgers and when the trade will go down.