Receiver Donald Driver recently has dubbed himself a “Packer for life.” His quarterback has that same aspiration.
“I want to be a Packer for life and I don’t see myself going anywhere else,” Rodgers said in an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette. (MDS previously noted Rodgers’ candid — but spot-on — comments on the Pro Bowl, from that same interview.)
Of course, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning likely would have said the same thing after seven NFL seasons. Tom Brady likely would say the same thing now.
While it’s impossible to rule out the potential impact of an injury on the team’s desire to keep Rodgers around until he’s ready to retire, it’s clear that the Packers and their fans won’t have to deal (again) with the wishy-washiness that comes from a guy who is addicted to the spotlight, but who has lost his desire to do what he needs to do when no one is paying attention.
“[W]hen I’m not committed to being a 100 percent offseason guy, then that’s probably when I should step away from the game because these guys deserve 100 percent of my effort and time,” Rodgers said.
It’s the right attitude, and it flows from a Michael Jordan-style competitiveness that has Rodgers obsessed with winning, no matter the setting.
“You ask my friends, I’m not a lot of fun to be around when I’m not doing well at golf, or we played wiffle ball the other day and I was ticked we lost at that,” Rodgers said. “I don’t like losing at video games. I don’t like losing at card games. That’s a strong driver.”
And that’s good news for Packers fans. And bad news for the other teams in the NFC North. And in the NFC. And in the AFC.
At some point, the front office will need to ensure that Rodgers will be a Packer for life by giving him a lifetime deal. Rodgers remains under contract for three more seasons, at base salaries of $8 million in 2012, $9.25 million in 2013, and $10.5 million in 2014.
With quarterbacks who weren’t the Super Bowl MVP in 2010 or the NFL MVP in 2011 making a lot more than that, it could be wise for the Packers to get Rodgers taken care of, sooner rather than later.