Did Aaron Rodgers play his last game with the Packers? for which team? Now we wait

The Athletic

Green Bay, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers He wrapped his right hand around her Randall CobbHis neck as Cobb put his left arm around the quarterback’s waist, the two best friends were walking off the field that called them home together for so long, perhaps this last time.

In a hallway adjacent to the main area of ​​the Packers’ locker room shortly after, Rodgers shared a long embrace with another dear friend, left interfering. David Bakhtiaribefore the two went their separate ways.

Rodgers, when asked on the field before black Rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams As for his post-match jersey, he said he wanted to hold onto it and later explained that there were “some special things” he didn’t like exchanging with opponents.

“It’s game night, Lambeau, week 18,” Rodgers said. “There are just certain shirts that you like to stick to, like play Chicago Or the big Sunday night games. It’s a little different. He doesn’t keep it. It’s so wonderful to give someone you really care about.”

And when asked what he’d miss most if he decided to hang up the cleats sometime in the coming months, Rodgers paused for 10 seconds while sipping from a water bottle on the podium before picking out the six reporters who covered him for the majority. of his career and became visibly emotional.

He said, “I will miss the guys.” “I will miss the fans.”

Then he left.

the Packers Rodgers, 39, drafted with the 24th pick in 2005. He has been a quarterback since 2008, a four-time MVP of the league and a Super Bowl champion. As was the case after last season’s conclusion, Rodgers’ future is uncertain. He has two seasons remaining on a contract extension he signed last season for a guaranteed $58.3 million if he plays.

The scenes at Lambeau Field after Rodgers and the Packers fell short in a win-win game would have you thinking this is for one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but no one really knows if it is. Rodgers completed 17 of 27 passes for 205 yards, a touchdown and an interception, another mediocre performance compared to those we’ve seen from the #12 in recent years in an injury-plagued season, dwindling support staff and its decline.

What Rodgers said next Sunday season finale losing 20-16 The Lions sounded similar to what he said after last season’s playoff defeat to the Lions 49ers in the same stadium. He’ll take enough time to make up his mind that he’s not motivated by raw emotion for another season to end prematurely, but he won’t hold the organization hostage.

“It’s a feeling,” Rodgers said. “Do I feel like I have nothing left to prove to myself? Do I want to go back and get ready for another grind? Or is it time? Is it time to walk away? Is it time for another voice to lead this team? I think I need to step away and think about these things. These are real. For me. I have a lot of pride in what I’ve accomplished in this league, but I’m also a realistic person and I understand what we’re like as a team. We’re a young team. There could be some changes with some of the older guys and it’s time to move away. But I can take a moment and say, Hell no, man. I need to go back there and go for another round. But I have to see how it will feel once I’m away from him.”

Rodgers has said before that he doesn’t want to go out like a “tramp”. When asked Sunday if the way this season ended and how he played might lead him to come back, he replied, “Not really,” before saying he was very proud of what he accomplished in the season. NFL and that “it doesn’t always end up with rainbows for everyone.” If he came out that way, Rodgers wouldn’t think he’d be such a tramp, anyway. When asked if he felt he still had “it,” Rodgers unequivocally answered in the affirmative.

First thing he mentioned after this answer: Loss of wide receiver Davant Adams And the inability to fill the void that remained. However, Rodgers may not have a chance to make it a success in a sophomore year with the likes of promising young wide receivers Christian Watson And Romeo Dobbs Even if he wants to play his 19th year with the Packers.

Rodgers has hinted before that the Packers might not want him back, which he did again Sunday night when he said he didn’t think the decision to return would be all after a season in which he played through a broken right thumb while running back a lot. MVP performance level for the past two years.

“I think many times, and I’ve said this throughout my tenure here, the quarterback is going to take the brunt of the blame when you don’t have a hit, and a lot of other times when you do have a hit, they’ll get a lot of that praise,” said head coach Matt Lafleur. “. “It takes everyone out on the field and, ultimately, all 11 that have been there all season and then our crew. I think we all collectively have to do better, period.”

General manager Brian Gutkunst traded for a quarterback draft Jordan love in Round 1 in 2020, and Love has sat behind Rodgers for the past three seasons. He didn’t need to see more game action from Love before deciding on his fifth-year option this season, Gutekunst said in a press conference during the Packers’ Week 14, yet it remains unclear whether the GM thinks Love is fit to be. Green Bay’s next quarterback when Rodgers leaves.

Rodgers was asked on Sunday if Love was ready to be his successor.

“You don’t know you’re ready until you’re in this situation,” Rodgers said. “I remember the day I slept in San Diego and woke up to 50 text messages Brett[Favre]was retiring. And then the sentiment hit you. ‘Oh, man, now I’m the man.’ But you still have to go out there and find Your step with leadership and putting up with the first year of various defenses throwing things at you and all the pressure that comes with everything.But I think he’s done a good job of improving, working on the little things, and doing a good job in practice.I think he has a chance to have a long future in league”.

Rodgers also hasn’t completely ruled out playing with another team if the Packers want to trade him, though he’s again put off any decision about his future after the emotional well ran dry. Making the finances work for trade from a Green Bay perspective is a whole other story.

Last year, Rodgers’ decision to return became public on March 8. The contract he signed was for three years, but Rodgers said at the start of training camp that it was basically a one-year deal with two more, and that he would reevaluate. His future again after the 2022 season.

“That’s my brother,” Cobb said of Rodgers. “This is the guy who stood up for my wedding. This is the godfather to one of my kids. It’s so much bigger than football to us. We’ve obviously had a lot of moments together. We’ve had a lot of years together in this team in Green Bay here. We’ll see.” Where does life take us?”

All of the Packers and everyone else after Rodgers’ decision is now left to do the waiting. It might seem like Sunday night was his farewell, but he’s felt that way before in recent seasons, too. It may very well be, but as Rodgers has said in the past, he can also play longer than just one more season.

In other words, the only sure thing after Rodgers emotionally left the podium Sunday night is that we don’t know much about Rodgers’ future at all.

“At some point, the carousel stops and it’s time to get off, and I think you kind of know when that happens,” Rodgers said. This is what needs to be thought about. Is it time? Also, what does the organization do? That’s part of it, too. But the competitive fire will always be there. I don’t think that ever goes away. Sometimes it gets carried over, I guess, to other things that might not fill that much void, but like I said, I feel good about what I’ve accomplished in this league and I’ll have no regrets that he’s gone. But I’ll have to see how I feel once I walk away from this. “

(Photo by Aaron Rodgers: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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