Aaron Rodgers plans to deliver a decision about his 2023 plans "soon enough," he said on a podcast with Aubrey Marcus released Wednesday.
Rodgers, 39, met with the Packers two days after the end of the regular season in January. General manager Brian Gutekunst said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine that he hasn't had a chance to continue conversations with Rodgers.
The Packers' quarterback recalled as a cautionary tale the premature retirement of Brett Favre, which happened on March 6, 2008, in large part because Green Bay management wanted his decision before the start of free agency. Favre didn't have a final decision, he would later say, but retired and then decided he wanted to continue playing. The Packers traded Favre to the New York Jets.
"It's best for anybody who has an interest in this to make a decision sooner rather than later," Rodgers said on the podcast. "I remember before Favre retired, there were times in April and May, we weren't sure if he was going to come back because he didn't come to any of the offseason program. Then in 2008, he actually did retire in March and then said, 'No, no, no,' in June after OTAs, 'I actually want to come back and play.' That's when he was traded to the Jets. There was obviously a lot of tension that summer.
"For everybody involved directly or indirectly, it's best for a decision earlier. I feel really good about the conversations that are going to be had, that have been had with important people in my life. Yourself included. But I'm not looking for somebody to tell me what the answer is. All the answers are right inside me. I touched many of the feelings on both sides in the darkness. I'm thankful for that time."
Rodgers spent four days on a "darkness retreat" in Oregon, confined to a 300-square foot dwelling that was partially underground. He said the point of the exercise was to be alone with his thoughts, to find full clarity and peace, and calibrate his emotions.
"There's a finality to the decision. I don't make it lightly," he said on the podcast. "I don't want to drag anybody around. I'm answering questions about it because I got asked about it. I'm talking about it because it's important to me. If you don't like it and you think it's drama, and you think I'm being a diva or whatever, then just tune it out. That's fine. But this is my life. It's important to me. I'll make a decision soon enough and we'll go down that road. I'll be really excited about it."
Rodgers previously stated he was aware his current contract with the Packers would need to be renegotiated because of a fully guaranteed salary of $59.465 million for 2023.
Gutekunst said Tuesday that backup Jordan Love, who is in the precise position Rodgers was in during the Favre career deliberations, is "ready to play, needs to play."
--Field Level Media