Rodgers: Think I’ll be back, but no NFL absolutes

NFL

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Two days after Aaron Rodgers opened up speculation about his future with the Green Bay Packers, the presumptive NFL MVP said Tuesday that he has reason to think he will be back with the only team he’s ever played for during his 16-year NFL career.

However, he put an emphasis on the word “think” during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show and SiriusXM Radio.

“I don’t think that there is any reason why I wouldn’t be back,” Rodgers said. “But look, there’s not many absolutes in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it. And I guess that’s why it went kind of nuts.”

Rodgers included himself in a group of players with uncertain futures in his comments after Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game. Leading into the game, he called his future “a beautiful mystery.”

On Monday, Packers president Mark Murphy said on WTAQ-WNFL radio in Green Bay: “I’ll say this, there’s no way in heck that Aaron is not going to be on the Packers. I mean, he is going to be the MVP of the league. He might have had his best year ever. He’s our unquestioned leader and, you know, we’re not idiots.”

But the Packers are the team that drafted Jordan Love in the first round as Rodgers’ possible replacement last year.

“I don’t feel like I said anything that I hadn’t said before,” Rodgers said on the show. “I said it the first time I talked to the media (after the draft). It just, it was more a realization I think that ultimately my future is not necessarily in my control. That was what just kind of hit me in the moment. I was just thinking of Aaron Jones, Corey Linsley, other guys we have under contract, Big Dog [Marcedes Lewis], guys who I don’t know what their future is going to be, and myself included.”

Rodgers, 37, has said he wants to play into his 40s much like Tom Brady has but acknowledged after the draft that Love’s arrival meant he might not be able to do that with the Packers.

“Naturally, there’s time when you let your mind go to maybe, ‘I’m going to be a Packer for life,'” Rodgers said Tuesday. “Or, ‘I’m going to be like a Tim Duncan or (Derek) Jeter or Kobe (Bryant) and play with one team my entire career.’ Naturally, you dream about that. That’s kind of like a dream scenario. I’ve talked about that for much of my career.

“When they drafted Jordan, it was more the reality kicking in. Like, hey, that’s actually never the case. There are no absolutes in this business. I think it’s a beautiful thing to sit with and to wrap your head around. And I did. I got to a beautiful place about it. 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. I get it, some people were like, ‘You just threw 48 touchdowns and probably going to win MVP.’ Yeah, I understand that, but, again, there’s no absolutes in this business. I gave a real answer in the moment.”

Rodgers still has three seasons left on his current contract, but the deal has reached the point where the Packers could now move on and gain salary-cap space. If Rodgers does not want his status to become year-to-year and wants assurances that he’s in their long-term plans, he could ask for a contract extension or for his deal to be restructured to include more guaranteed money in the remaining years.

He indicated that he would meet with Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst at some point soon but stopped short of saying he would give any ultimatums.

“There’s conversation to be had; I’m going to have them with the right people,” Rodgers said. “It’s the same conversation we have every single year. There’s no big, ‘I’m going to the table with I need this and this and this.’ Look, we have honest conversations about where we’re at every single year, whether that’s with Brian, Matt, Mark. I’ve had these conversations for years. That’s part of being a leader on the squad and having a pulse of the team and a direction that we’re going, and we’ll have the same conversation we do every year. I always look forward to those conversations.”

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