As the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers continue to be locked in a mildly awkward standoff over whether and when his contract will be extended, Rodgers recently made it clear that he intends to stay with the Packers beyond his 40th birthday.
“It’s sustained greatness I think is what drives me,” Rodgers said recently at the Wisconsin High School Sports Awards, via Aaron Nagler of PackersNews.com. “It’s to be the best and to be able to choose when I’m done playing. I think as you’ve seen here recently with Jordy [Nelson] but even you go back a few years to whether it’s Julius Peppers or A.J. Hawk or John Kuhn or Brett Favre, the fairy tale ending of starting a career and ending it with the same organization rarely happens. So that’s kind of my goal, is to be able to be indispensable to this organization into my 40s to where you’ve got to keep me around.”
That sounds a lot like the same thing that motivates Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: Playing beyond 40 while staying with his one and only team, and performing so well that the team would never have the temptation or necessity to make a business/football decision to move on.
Favre brought it on himself by musing about retirement to the point where the Packers picked Rodgers in 2005, three years before Favre was nudged into a short-lived retirement. Rodgers hasn’t, and apparently won’t be, sending similar signals. Which means that, if/when a change is made before Rodgers is ready to retire, it will be the decision of the Packers, and no one else.