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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: 'I don't think there's any reason why I wouldn't be back'

Ryan Wood
Packers News

GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers stopped short of definitive declarations Tuesday in his extended conversation on "The Pat McAfee Show," but the presumptive MVP quarterback indicated he plans to be with the Green Bay Packers in 2021.

Rodgers acknowledged moments after the Packers' 31-26 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game Sunday that his future with the team is uncertain. It's a reality Rodgers has shared several times — including more than once during the season — since April, when the Packers traded up in the first round to draft his potential replacement, quarterback Jordan Love.

The acknowledgment set off a firestorm of speculation, something Rodgers said he became aware of Monday. 

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is run down by Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett on Sunday in the NFC championship game.

"Obviously after the season I had," Rodgers told McAfee and guest host A.J. Hawk on SiriusXM radio, "and potentially winning MVP, and we obviously made another good run, I don't think there's any reason why I wouldn't be back. But, look, there's not many absolutes, as you guys know in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn't do it. And I guess that's why it went kind of nuts."

Rodgers was asked after Sunday's game about the roster uncertainty the Packers face entering the offseason. A handful of key contributors, chief among them Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones and All-Pro center Corey Linsley, are scheduled to become free agents. It was always going to be a tricky spring for general manager Brian Gutekunst and contract negotiator Russ Ball, but a declining salary cap following lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic will only make things more difficult.

With another season falling one game short of the Super Bowl, Rodgers said he was considering how much roster upheaval awaited his team when he spoke of uncertain futures, his included.

"I don't feel like I said anything that I hadn't said before," Rodgers said. "I said it the first time I talked to the media (after the draft), just more of a realization, I think, it isn't necessarily in my control. I think that's what just kind of hit me in the moment. I was thinking about Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley and other guys we have under contract, Big Dog (tight end Marcedes Lewis). Guys who, I don't know what their futures are going to be, and myself included."

Even as his play elevated to a potential MVP level, Rodgers said his views on the future did not change. 

"To me, a reality — not a certainty, or an absolute — is that my future is not in my hands," Rodgers said. "Now, that's really the case for all of us, I think, as players. But you can't, I think, naturally, there's times when you let your mind go to maybe, 'Well, I'm going to be a Packer for life.' Or I'm going to be like a Tim Duncan or (Derek) Jeter or Kobe (Bryant) and play with one team my entire career. I think naturally you dream about that. That's kind of like a dream scenario. I've talked about that most of my career. 

"I think when they drafted Jordan, it was more just the reality kicking in, 'Hey, that's actually never the case. There are no absolutes in this business.' And I think it's a beautiful thing to sit with and wrap your head around it, and I did. And I got to a beautiful place about it. Doesn't mean that's not still a reality. I think that's the only reality, is there is no absolutes in this business."

In the interview, Hawk mentioned Rodgers might have leverage to renegotiate his contract after what will likely be his third MVP season. There have been reports that Rodgers is interested in an updated contract, whether that's more money or allocating more guaranteed money into his current deal.

Rodgers sidestepped whether he's interested in using whatever leverage might have accrued during the 2020 season.

"I think, in general, that's a weird way to look at it," Rodgers said. "You start talking about leverage and different things, like, I don't know. The only leverage I feel like I have is the way I play, and that speaks for itself."

Rodgers said he will remain in Green Bay this week. He did his exit interview Monday with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, he said. Then he anticipates taking some time away from football to recharge.

"I'm around this week," Rodgers said. "So I'm not like jetting out of town and, 'Sayonara, Green Bay.' There's conversations to be had, I'm going to have them with the right people, but it's the same conversations we have every single year. There's no big, 'I'm going to come to the table, I need this, and this, and this.' But we have honest conversations about where we're at every single year, whether that's with Brian, (coach) Matt (LaFleur), (President/CEO) Mark (Murphy)."

Murphy did his best to quell speculation about Rodgers' future during an interview Monday with WNFL radio.

"There's no way in heck Aaron is not gonna be on the Packers," Murphy said. "He's going to be the MVP of the league, might have had his best year ever, he's our unquestioned leader, and we're not idiots."