“It Could Be Time To Step Away” | Aaron Rodgers Wasted No Time Sparking Yearly Offseason Retirement Speculation

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 and Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers walk off the field after losing to the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

For the third consecutive season Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers had their season ended on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

Did Aaron Rodgers Lose Another Big Game At Home?

While the other two happened in the NFC Championship and NFC divisional playoff, this one was a regular-season finale and knocked the Packers out of the final playoff spot in the NFC. A season sweep at the hands of the steadily improving Detroit Lions proved to be the final nail in the coffin on the Packers’ inconsistent 2022 season. It also may have been the last time we see Rodgers suit up for the Packers or in the NFL at all.

Is Aaron Rodgers Retiring? He Denies Jersey Swap

What happened at the end of the game, gives folks reason to assume Rodgers has at least played his last game in green and gold. As the two teams exchanged pleasantries at game’s end, Lions speedy rookie receiver Jameson Williams asked Rodgers for his jersey in a jersey swap (which has become a norm following games over the years).

Rodgers, who’s usually quick to give his jersey to other players, wasn’t this time, in fact he told Williams this.

“I gotta hold on to this one.”

As usual around this time of the season, Rodger is adding to the speculation that this is his swan song. He and longtime teammate Randall Cobb even walked off the field together for likely the final time.

Cobb gave locker room reporters some insight into the discussion between the two close friends. 

“We just kinda had a moment and took it all in.”

Rodgers Said He Won’t Make Decision Until Emotions Settle Down

This has become the yearly end of season MO with Rodgers. In the past when the Packers’ season comes to an end, he’s held the franchise hostage waiting on his decision to return or not.

In his postgame presser, Rodgers told reporters this as pertains to him returning or dragging out his decision.

It’s a feeling,” Rodgers said. “Do I feel like I have anything left to prove to myself? Do I want to go back and gear up for another grind? Or is it time? Is it time to step away? Is it time for another voice to be leading this team?”

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That voice would be 2020 surprise first-round pick Jordan Love from Utah State, who’s shown marked improvement in relief of Rodgers at times this season.

Rodgers also says money won’t play a factor in his decision after he signed that three-year, $150.8M extension last offseason to bring him back.

As Rodgers discussed immediate plans for his future, the reigning back-to-back league MVP kept the mystery and the headlines on his impending decision.

“I feel good about what I’ve accomplished in this league and wouldn’t have any regrets walking away,” Rodgers said. “But I gotta see what it feels like once I get away from this.

I think I need to get away and contemplate those things. Those are real to me. I have a lot of pride in what I’ve accomplished in this league but I’m also a realist and I understand where we’re at as a team. We’re a young team, there could be some changes with some of the older guys and it could be time to step away. But I could take some time and say hell no, man, I need to get back out there and go on another run. But I’ll have to see what it feels like once I’m away from it.”

While Rodgers has a decision to make for himself he also knows the Packers have to be willing to accept him back for another season.

At $50M per season I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t mind having that cap space back to bolster their roster. 

How Great Is Aaron Rodgers?

In his 18 seasons, the future Hall of Famer has passed for nearly 59,000 yards, 476 touchdowns and just 105 interceptions, while earning four MVP awards, one Super Bowl ring and Super Bowl MVP.