For the first time in his NFL career, Aaron Rodgers won't play for the Packers in 2023. But if Green Bay has its way, the new Jets quarterback isn't done with the green and yellow for good. Addressing team shareholders at Lambeau Field on Monday, Packers president Mark Murphy said the club intends to "bring (Rodgers) back and retire his number at the appropriate time."
"We want to thank him for all he did during his remarkable 18-year career," Murphy told Monday's crowd, as The Athletic documented.
It's unclear if Murphy truly intends to have Rodgers sign an honorary contract to return to the Packers upon retirement, or if the team will simply retire the longtime quarterback's No. 12 jersey. Green Bay has only retired six other numbers in its history, including the No. 4 worn by Rodgers' predecessor, Brett Favre.
"We did think Jordan Love was ready," Murphy said of Rodgers' trade this offseason. "Similar to Aaron, he sat for three years behind a Hall of Fame quarterback, and learned an awful lot. We also think it's a great opportunity for Aaron, obviously, going to New York. ... Obviously the Jets have a talented team. ... The negotiations with the Jets were long and difficult, and I thought (general manager) Brian (Gutekunst) really represented the Packers well. I'm really pleased with the trade we were able to make with the Jets."
Rodgers, who hasfrom the Packers, still publicly maintains respect for Green Bay and its fans. As for when the former MVP might retire and consider a ceremonial reunion with his longtime team, it might not be for a few years. While preparing for his first season with the Jets, Rodgers that he'll play beyond 2023, saying it'd be a "disservice" to his new team if he only suited up for a single year.