From the moment Aaron Rodgers said his future was “uncertain” following the Packers’ NFC Championship loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, speculation swirled that the presumptive MVP could be done in Green Bay.
Joining The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, Rodgers downplayed the discussions around his future, saying that he simply gave a realistic answer in the moment, that no NFL player truly ultimately controls his own future.
“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. It was just more of a realization, I think, that ultimately my future is not in my control, which just kind of hit me in the moment. I was thinking about Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley and some other guys we have under contract, Big Dog (Marcedes Lewis), guys who I don’t know what their futures are gonna be, and myself included.
“Obviously, after the season that I had, and potentially winning MVP and we obviously made another good run, I don’t think that there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be back. 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. I guess that’s why everyone went kind of nuts.”
Of the speculation surrounding his future, Rodgers quipped: “It’s a slow week.”
With the Packers bowing out in back-to-back years in the NFC Championship Game, rumors swirled about what Rodgers’ postgame comments were meant to convey. From complaints to management for not getting him more help through the draft to a desire to re-do his contract, tea-leaf readers had a field day.
Rodgers said he simply gave an honest answer to the question after losing a hard-fought game.
“I don’t give a s— about that,” Rodgers said of speculation about his future. “I mean, I couldn’t care any less about speculation. I don’t think people are used to hearing the truth from athletes, so when they hear the truth, it’s so, like, surprising at times. …That’s all I said after the game. It was like, obviously, I’m 15 minutes from crying in the locker room with some of my teammates, I come and sit down to do this interview and they ask me questions, I give real answers, just like I do on this show. To me, a reality, not a certainty or an absolute, is that my future is not in my hands. Now that’s really the case for all of us, I think, as players, but you can’t…
“I think, naturally, there’s times where you let your mind go to ‘Maybe I’m going to be a Packer for life’ or ‘I’m going to be like a Tim Duncan or a (Derek) Jeter or a Kobe (Bryant) and play with one team my entire career.’ Naturally, you dream about that. That’s like a dream scenario, and I’ve talked about it for much of my career. I think when they drafted Jordan (Love), it was more just the reality kicking in, like 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 to wrap your head around. And I did, and I got to a beautiful place about it. Doesn’t mean that that’s not still a reality. I think that’s the only reality is that there is no absolutes in this business. I just reiterated that after the game, and I get it. Some people are like, ‘You just threw 48 touchdowns and are probably going to win MVP.’ Yeah, I understand that, but again there’s no absolutes in this business, so I gave them a real answer in the moment.”