Aaron Rodgers will be suiting up for the Green Bay Packers this coming season, which may be the most surprising outcome of this offseason saga. After months where it seemed as if he played his last down for the organization, the NFL's reigning MVP was able to come together with the Packers to iron out a road for him to play for Green Bay in 2021. While that may have secured Rodgers for the immediate, anything beyond this year remains -- as he once described -- a "beautiful mystery."
The restructured contract that was agreed upon to mend the fence with Rodgers does allow him the opportunity to leave the organization following this year. Given that the club has Jordan Love waiting in the wings behind Rodgers, this has all the makings of a "last dance" for the star quarterback in Green Bay. Despite that, Rodgers made it clear on Wednesday that he doesn't want his potential departure to spill into a season-long sendoff.
"I don't want a farewell tour," said Rodgers, via ESPN. "I don't know what's going to happen after the season, but I'm going to enjoy it with the right perspective, for sure, and not look at it as I'm getting through this. I'm going to enjoy the hell out of all of it."
Really, Rodgers' mindset heading into the 2021 season may not be all too different than how he was thinking in 2020. In the aftermath of the Packers drafting Love in the first round, Rodgers admitted that he felt at times that last year would be his final season with Green Bay, no matter if he went on to win league MVP or not.
"The reason I approached it like that is I just knew when the pick was made that the clock had started, for sure," Rodgers said. "And I thought unless there was something in the season that really made me feel like I'm going to be here past 2021 that maybe this would be my last year. I didn't want to be going into a year with some sort of ... as a lame duck, like I said. I didn't think that was fair to what I accomplished and what I mean to this team, and nothing really changed in that regard. I went into the offseason, that [it] could have been it.
"I'm glad that I enjoyed every moment, I'm glad that I led exactly the way I wanted to lead and looked for those conversations with certain guys that needed a pick-me-up at different times. I took the headphones off and enjoyed the surroundings and the road trips and the time with the guys. Yeah, it's a good template, for sure."
The Packers are once again positioned to be a major player in 2021. At Caesars Sportsbook, Green Bay is tied for the fourth-best odds to win Super Bowl LVI. If they are able to finally break through the ceiling after falling in the NFC Championship for the past two years and win a second title under Rodgers, that would be quite the way to end this impressive era if this truly proves to be the end of the road.
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