Aaron Rodgers raised major doubts about his NFL future this offseason. Once he skipped voluntary organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, Green Bay Packers fans had to consider the possibility that the future Hall of Famer may never play a down for the franchise again.
Luckily for them, that nightmare did not become a reality.
However, even though Rodgers returned at exactly the right time, that doesn’t mean he always planned to come back to work. In fact, the superstar quarterback made a shocking admission about retiring from the Packers that shows just how close Jordan Love came to taking over a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
Green Bay looks like a top Super Bowl contender with Aaron Rodgers back in the fold
Up until training camp began, it appeared as though the Packers would not have Rodgers running their offense this summer. Needless to say, the idea of having to roll with Jordan Love raised obvious concerns about their ability to compete for a championship.
But after some tough negotiating and honest conversations, Rodgers made sure Green Bay will enter the 2021 season as a top Super Bowl contender.
With their star quarterback committed to playing at least one more year for the franchise, the Packers have a legitimate shot to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to its rightful place. For all the criticism he gets, general manager Brian Gutekunst has done a fantastic job assembling a roster that’s teeming with talent on both sides of the ball. Rodgers headlines a star-studded offense that includes sure-handed wide receiver Davante Adams, versatile running back Adam Jones, and athletic tight end Robert Tonyan. Plus, once David Bakhtiari returns from a torn ACL he suffered in December, the Packers should have a rock-solid offensive line.
Meanwhile, the defense has plenty of intriguing pieces, too. The front seven features stud nose tackle Kenny Clark and the physical outside linebacker duo of Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. On the back end, All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander anchors a secondary that has another exciting young player in third-year safety Darnell Savage Jr.
Of course, even with all that talent, the Packers’ Super Bowl hopes largely rest on Rodgers’ right arm. Without him, the team has no chance to win a title.
As it turns out, Green Bay came dangerously close to not having its most important player available for the 2021 season.
Rodgers makes shocking admission about retiring from the Packers
Rodgers sent a message by not participating in the Packers’ offseason program for the first time in his career. By staying away from the team for such an extended period of time, he did nothing to silence speculation about a potential trade.
In fact, the idea of Rodgers retiring started to look increasingly realistic as training camp approached.
So, did the three-time MVP actually consider walking away from the game of football?
During a recent appearance on the Dan Le Batard & Friends podcast, Rodgers made a shocking admission about how close he came to retiring from the Packers.
“I mean, I felt going into the weekend before camp that I was 50/50,” he said. “I don’t care if people don’t believe that. That’s true. There were some things that got me to 50/50 for sure, and you know I spent a couple of days in silence and meditation and contemplation and really felt like that I should come back. There’s a lot of opportunities for growth and exciting things in Green Bay and that felt like the right thing to do.”
Rodgers obviously chose to put on a Packers uniform again rather than hang up his helmet and shoulder pads for good. However, the fact he admitted it was a 50/50 decision shows how serious he was about sticking up for himself. While Green Bay fans should be excited about having a highly motivated version of the reigning MVP under center, they should also be concerned about what could happen after the 2021 season concludes.
Don’t be surprised if the star quarterback continues his career elsewhere in 2022
Will Rodgers continue to call Green Bay home in 2022?
The odds of that happening don’t appear particularly strong. After all, the Packers reportedly have a verbal agreement in place to trade him if he still wants out after the upcoming season. Considering he almost retired this summer, it seems unlikely that Rodgers will completely change his tune about a desire for a fresh start.
Barring a complete 180, his future should revolve around playing for another NFL team. The Denver Broncos stand out as an obvious fit given their deep arsenal of pass-catchers. The Las Vegas Raiders could also look to make a big splash by making a deal for a quarterback who could actually help Jon Gruden win a Super Bowl title. If Jalen Hurts doesn’t live up to expectations in his second season in Philadelphia, could the Eagles make a run at Rodgers?
Ultimately, if the Packers have to trade him, they should have at least a few offers on the table.
Then again, if Aaron Rodgers finally wins his second Super Bowl ring, perhaps he’ll reconsider leaving after all.