Aaron Rodgers entertained retirement -- and a departure from the Packers -- before remaining with Green Bay for the 2021 season. Now, with the 2022 offseason fast approaching, the reigning NFL MVP is wading back into uncharted waters. While he's under contract with the team for one more year, Rodgers said after the Packers' divisional round loss to the 49ers that he was unsure of his future, and he doubled down on the uncertainty in a Tuesday appearance on the "Pat McAfee Show," confirming that "everything is definitely on the table" but that he'll make a decision on his 2022 plans "sooner rather than later."
"Everything is definitely on the table," he said, when asked about retiring, returning to the Packers or relocating to a new team. "There are things that seem more plausible or more likely ... (but) I understand that my decision does impact a number of other people's decisions, and I wanna be very sensitive to that. And so I will make a decision sooner rather than later."
Rodgers added that his teammate and No. 1 pass target, star receiver Davante Adams, could be a candidate for the Packers' 2022 franchise tag, which can be applied between Feb. 22-March 8. So, his decision would ideally come before that window.
"I think some of the factors (of my decision) are the direction of the team and the organization and how I feel like I fit in the future," he explained. "Mentally, do I still have the passion, the competitiveness, the desire to keep playing? ... When you're a hyper-competitive individual, you also probably want, dream or think about what the fairy-tale ending is. And it doesn't necessarily mean a Super Bowl, but that's a pretty damn good fairy tale."
Rodgers added that he may have had a better idea of his future had the Packers advanced to the Super Bowl, but not after "the divisional round in a game we felt like we were gonna win." Still, he clarified, "you have to get away from it and not make an emotional decision. ... It warrants ample time to contemplate and communicate with friends and loved ones, former teammates, current teammates."
One thing's for certain: if Rodgers, 38, retires, he insists he'll be done playing for good.
"One thing I would not do is retire and then come back after a year," he said. "I don't have any desire to do that. That makes no sense."
As for anyone with lingering doubts about his relationship with the Packers, especially considering the months-long feud he had with team brass last year, Rodgers made it clear he's in good, firm standing with Green Bay management.
"I'm at the place, relationally, with the Packers -- I'm in a really good place, especially with (general manager) Brian (Gutekunst) and the way our friendship and trust has grown where it would be a simple conversation," he said. "There's not gonna be a weird standoff -- (a) war of silence -- or anything. Brian and I, when it comes time to make a decision, we'll have a conversation."
Rodgers also has a plan for when he does come to a decision, and it may involve an exclusive announcement on McAfee's show, telling the former Colts punter and podcast host that he might fly to Indianapolis just to make an in-person unveiling of his 2022 plans.