Despite a pair of clavicle injuries which have shortened a pair of seasons, Aaron Rodgers is feeling good. And thus healthy, he’s going to get asked about how long he wants to play, because that’s just what we do with quarterbacks.
The 34-year-old Rodgers (who will hit 35 in December) told Peter King that the plan was to hit the next big round number.
“I’d love to play to 40,” Rodgers said in King’s debut Football Morning in America column. “I just think that number means a lot. Obviously, Tom [Brady] is kind of rewriting the book. Brett [Favre] had a good season when he turned 40. My goal is be able to move like I do or close to how I do and still be able to do that at 40 . . . just because nobody’s been able to do that and still move around the same. Steve Young’s career was cut short in his late thirties. John [Elway], the same — he didn’t really move the same as when he was younger. So to be able to move the same way at 38, 39, 40 would be cool. That’s my aim.”
Of course, to reach that goal, Rodgers is going to need a new contract, since there are two years left on his and he’s currently (and woefully) underpaid. He seemed to acknowledge offseason reports that he’s looking for a unique contract structure, perhaps something that ties his pay to a percentage of the salary cap. The team sounds hopeful something can be done soon, but that has been their mantra all offseason.
“It’s only been on my mind because . . . people have been writing and talking about it a lot,” Rodgers said. “There have been many conversations about it. I think that there’s some merit to looking into where you do a non-traditional contractual agreement. If anybody at this point is gonna be able to do something like that, I think there needs to be a conversation about it. I never said anything about [tying the contract to] the cap.
“I just think there’s ways to do contracts where you can still be competitive so the team is happy about it, but have some more freedom.”
And he wants to do it in Green Bay, but his close friend Jordy Nelson leaving this offseason was the latest reminder that the Packers are seldom the happily-ever-after team, since they’ve built a reputation of letting guys go a year to soon rather than a year too late.
“But I think in my time there, I realize no one is above the team,” he said. “They can trade Brett Favre, Jordy Nelson. They can not re-sign a Charles Woodson or Julius Peppers. They make decisions that are in the best interest of the team. It could be me at some point. You have to be humble enough to realize that, and I do. I’d love to be able to . . . .
“How many guys get to actually pick the way and the team how they go out? You know? Hardly anybody. You have to understand that’s a real possibility. But, yeah, my dream situation would be to stay in Green Bay.”
Now all they have to do is make that happen, which will begin with the contract.