It Aaron Rodgers learned anything from Brett Favre, the 2011 NFL MVP knows never to engage in an annual game of public angst over retirement. But while Rodgers isn’t, and surely won’t, play a game of will-I-or-won’t-I?, he has begun to openly discuss the end of the road.
In a recent interview with Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Rodgers addresses his long-term plans.
“I said [in the past] eight more [years],” Rodgers said. “I played eight [seasons], I think I can get eight more. But this contract, the way it’s set up, it’s not comparable to some of the other similar contracts where the cap number becomes so large at the end of three and four and five [years] where they might have to re-do it. I think we can legitimately see this all the way through seven years. Now that would take very consistent play from me, for me to be worth those numbers for the next seven years. But I fully expect to play well and if I can play seven more good years and we can have some more success and win a couple more [titles], then it might be time to hang it up.”
There are a few qualifications lurking in that answer. A “couple more” titles. It “might” — not will — be time to hang it up.
Even then, Rodgers could continue: “I’ve always said as long as I can be [a] 100 percent offseason contributor and be here for the OTAs and want to be here and continue to want to put in the time in the offseason, then I’m going to be playing. As long as I have my legs and that commitment to the team, then I’ll keep playing.”
Intentional or not, that’s a subtle slap at Favre, who reached a point in his career where he wanted to play but didn’t want to prepare to play. For Rodgers, he’ll play as long as he has the passion to prepare.
Still, as Rodgers moves toward his 30th birthday, he has spoken at length about retirement for the first time. Unlike Favre, Rodgers won’t be keeping the Packers or the team’s loyal fans in the dark about when he finally will be calling it quits — at least not for the next seven years.
After that, it looks like Rodgers will slide onto the year-to-year plan. In each given year, however, it sounds as if the Packers will know very early in the offseason whether Rodgers will be back — and it’s highly unlikely that he’ll change his mind in July.