The key question and answer from Aaron Rodgers’ conference call

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers conducted a conference call on Friday with Wisconsin media. And some have taken issue with our characterization of Rodgers’ comments regarding the possibility of finishing his career elsewhere.

Here’s the full content of the tweet that carried with it a link to our story on Rodgers’ future in Green Bay, given the team’s decision to trade up in round one to select quarterback Jordan Love: “Aaron Rodgers talks publicly for the first time about the Jordan Love selection, making it clear that if the Packers want to move on from Rodgers before Rodgers wants to move on from the game, he’ll play elsewhere.”

Some Packers fans who don’t want to consider the handwriting on the wall objected to this characterization. So I pulled up the audio of the conference call, found the key question and answer, and transcribed both.

Here’s the question: “I know we’ve all heard you say you wanted to finish your career as a Packer even beyond your current contract. Do you think that this affects that in any way and is that still your plan to do that?”

“Well, I think what it does is just reinforce kind of the adage that you can only control what you can control,” Rodgers said in response. “And it’s always been, you know, a mantra for myself. I think any, you know, any great athlete, there’s things that are just out of our control. That obviously is something that’s very important to me but I think is definitely, the feeling at this point, that that is truly something that’s out of my control. What I can control is how I play and making that decision at some point a very hard one. You know, if I were to retire on the organization’s timetable, then it’s an easy decision. But if there comes a time where I still I feel like I can play at a high level and my body feels great, there are other guys that have gone on and played elsewhere.”

That’s as clear as it can be, folks. Rodgers wants to play into his 40s. Rodgers wants to retire as a Packer. He currently has four years left on his contract. Love eventually will sign a four-year contract, with a fifth-year option.

So will the Packers pay Love first-round money for four years to back up Rodgers? Will they sign Love to a second contract to serve as the understudy and eventual starter once Rodgers leaves? Will they extend Rodgers beyond 2023?

By saying he intends to play into his 40s, and given that he turns 40 in December of 2023, Rodgers presumably wants to play at least through the 2024 season, when he’ll turn 41. That’s five full seasons, minimum.

So if, within the next five (or six . . . or seven) seasons, the Packers decide to move on to Love and if Rodgers still wants to play, what will he do?

“You know, if I were to retire on the organization’s timetable, then it’s an easy decision. But if there comes a time where I still I feel like I can play at a high level and my body feels great, there are other guys that have gone on and played elsewhere,” Rodgers said.

Packers fans may not want to think about Rodgers wearing a different uniform than the only one he’s ever worn, but he made it clear on Friday that he’ll do it if the team’s timetable for replacing him doesn’t mesh with his timetable for walking away.

Did he literally say, “I will play for someone else if the Packers don’t want me and I want to keep playing”? No. Did he essentially say that? Absolutely.

34 responses to “The key question and answer from Aaron Rodgers’ conference call

  1. Unless Love totally sucks in practice and Rodgers wins MVP and a Super Bowl, Rodgers will be gone in less than 3 years. Teams don’t draft first round QB’s to sit for years.

  2. Spin it how you want to, Rodgers is being worlds better about the situation than Favre was.

  3. “Did he literally say, “I will play for someone else if the Packers don’t want me and I want to keep playing”? No. Did he essentially say that? Absolutely.”

    I think that statement applies to virtually all NFL players and other athletes in general. If they want to play and their current team doesn’t want them, then they will play somewhere else.

    That is not controversial. It’s what happens every year in every sport.

  4. This seems pretty simple to me. The Packers chose Love as insurance. If he develops into a fantastic QB and can effectively take over for Rodgers in 2-3 years, then he will be re-signed and Rodgers will either be traded or let go and the Love Generation begins. If Love falters and proves he is not capable of taking over for Rodgers, the Packers hang on to Aaron and chalk Love up as a loss and try again. A first round bust would not be new to Green Bay, but if Love plays well, having two fine QBs to choose from in 2-3 years is a good problem to have.

  5. It’s almost guaranteed Rodgers will be a Packer through the 2022 season. If Jordan Love looks to be a suitable understudy and looks good on the field when given the chance, Rodgers will be given the opportunity to work out a trade deal. And the next era of superstar QB’s will continue in GB. If he doesn’t have what LaFleur wants,… they’ll trade Love.
    It’s the chance you take. There should be no opinions until we see what Jordan can do with the ball in his hand.

  6. Maybe Love doesnt pan out into an NFL qb. Who knows? Either way, i think having competition at the position will really help the Pack be a much better team. And its nice to have, what could be, a quaility backup to lean on if need be.

  7. If Love doesn’t work out for the Packers, I highly doubt they would be able to trade him for anything. Giving up on your first rounder without putting him on the field first is a very clear indication of his skills. Its not like Rodgers is going to be physically or athletically better than Love in a few years as he ages further.

  8. Where exactly did he say he was doing to play in to his 40’s? Not questioning that he may want to, but I don’t see that statement in the quoted response.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with him after this year.

  9. What most people are failing to acknowledge is the fact that nobody knows what the Packers even have in Jordan Love yet, so all of this speculation about Aaron Rodgers future is just wasted type.
    Until they are able to reach that determination, nothing else matters, and from everything I’ve come to understand, Jordan Love will take a few seasons to develop.
    Which is perfectly fine.

    Green Bay is in the envious position to be set with a quality starter locked in for the next 4-6 years, to either make the call on Love, or pull the plug and look for other options through the draft and free agency.
    What the haters and drama seekers see as an issue, most reasonable people see as prudent, forward thinking.
    So many teams wait until it’s too late to approach such a crucial decision, and then spend years basically throwing darts at the dartboard trying to fix this problem.
    You only have to look as far as the NFC North to see clear examples of this.

    If and when, or with who, the Packers make the decision to switch Field Generals makes absolutely no difference to me, as long as it’s the correct call.
    And if Rodgers decides to press on with another team, I’ll wish him well.
    But until that time, this is just all a bunch of wasted type.

  10. Rodgers knows only Green Bay will pay him top dollar for mediocre play. He’ll ride that horse as long as he can.

  11. And if Rodgers leaves and Love sucks? Well, Packers would be a 3-13 team every year, which is back to their normal bottom.

  12. Techieballer says:
    May 16, 2020 at 10:44 am
    Unless Love totally sucks in practice and Rodgers wins MVP and a Super Bowl, Rodgers will be gone in less than 3 years. Teams don’t draft first round QB’s to sit for years.

    ============

    Well, the Packers did just that with Favre/Rogers. But it was said earlier that Love may have been brought in for other reasons, such as quality insurance in the event Rogers gets injured so their season doesn’t go to absolute hell like it has before. Or, also previously stated, Love gets his chance and goes out there and tears it up. They can then resign him as the future, or maybe Aaron still has enough gas in the tank where Love then becomes a great trading piece to (once again) draft another replacement when Rogers does actually reach his 40s. Patriots did this a few times with Brady (though they didn’t spend a first round pick, to be fair).

    Basically, GB now has options. And in a QB driven league, you either have a franchise QB or your not going anywhere.

  13. But if there comes a time where I still I feel like I can play at a high level….

    Too late.

  14. If Rogers had a brain, he would walk away now. Take his millions and his body in tact. He has nothing else to prove. Maybe he then could repair the disaster that is his personal family life.

  15. The Packers took Love as a project. He has incredible talent and a huge upside. He may or may not make it as a NFL quarterback. Many QB’s that were taken in the in the first round higher than Love have not made it, you can ask Vikings fans about that. If nothing else Green Bay has upgraded their backup QB position, which both Sean Payton and Vikings favorite Kevin Stefanski have recently said is a very important position in the NFL

  16. It really comes down to which one has the most upside going forward……in Love’s limited evaluation for the next 2 seasons he only has to perform half as good as a Jackson or Mahomes..……while Rodgers will have to regain all-pro status…..it’s stacked against Rodgers.

  17. Going to be awesome watching Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott battling it out for the NFC ProBowl……..

    at the Waterboy position.

  18. mypercyhurts2 says:

    May 16, 2020 at 10:51 am

    This seems pretty simple to me. The Packers chose Love as insurance. If he develops into a fantastic QB and can effectively take over for Rodgers in 2-3 years, then he will be re-signed and Rodgers will either be traded or let go and the Love Generation begins. If Love falters and proves he is not capable of taking over for Rodgers, the Packers hang on to Aaron and chalk Love up as a loss and try again. A first round bust wouldnot be new to Green Bay, but if Love plays well, having two fine QBs to choose from in 2-3 years is a good problem to have.

    ________

    And what happens if isnt clear what they have in Love? Things will be easy if he proves to be amazing or horrible in practice. But if Love were say a Jamies Winston level nfl talent. Or a Derek Carr? Would the team know that from practice? Or have they set themselves up to prematurely move on from a HOF QB only to replace him with a mediocre player whom they will likely have to invest a second contract in before they realize exactly what they have.

  19. The biggest difference between the Love/Rodgers/Farve draft/replacement situation is that GB made aggressive 4 position move up to get Love and Rodgers fell in the draft about 20 spots & was taken as a “value pick up in the draft.” The expectations for Love are significantly different then when Rodgers was drafted.

  20. Only Packer fans need to have this spelled out for them. They are dopey that way. They are in denial and get upset anytime anyone talks about this.

  21. Whether Aaron Rodgers eventually plays for another team, or not, is inconsequential, and the idea that Packer fans are fretting about this notion is ludicrous.
    Quite honestly, the Heidis have had their ponytails in a twist over this idea more than anyone else.
    Maybe you should write a piece about that sometime.
    No, the important thing is that Green Bay gets the starting Quarterback decision right and then let the rest of the chips fall where they may.
    Whether that’s Jordan Love or someone else is anybody’s guess.
    That’s something to be worked out in the near future.
    All of the rest of this is just more white noise to fill a vacuum that used to be filled with MLB scores and NBA playoff action.

  22. Is Rodgers referring to himself as a great athlete in the 3rd person? Lol. Not surprised.

  23. saxmachine69 says:
    May 16, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    And what happens if isnt clear what they have in Love? Things will be easy if he proves to be amazing or horrible in practice. But if Love were say a Jamies Winston level nfl talent. Or a Derek Carr? Would the team know that from practice? Or have they set themselves up to prematurely move on from a HOF QB only to replace him with a mediocre player whom they will likely have to invest a second contract in before they realize exactly what they have.
    _________

    This is a actually a very good, reasonable question.

    What would I do?
    I’d probably err on the side of youth, and the fact that he has more upside than the alternative.
    Especially when you factor in that Rodgers would be 39 or 40 when you have to make this decision.
    The team’s overall makeup and condition would also weigh in on that decision too.

    As far as moving on from Rodgers at that point, a 2nd incentive laden contract isn’t going to kill your cap space for an unproven starter.
    And then I’d probably hedge my bets by drafting another QB with a premium pick, somewhere in the first three rounds.

    Again, all of this is purely hypothetical.
    Obviously, Love’s development, Rodgers’ future performance and health, can make a lot of these points moot, which further illustrates how ridiculous all of this premature hand wringing is.
    Right now, Jordan Love is just another draft pick.
    Nothing more, nothing less.
    One of hundreds that are made every single year.
    Let’s not make it out to be more than it really is.

  24. Rodgers communicates himself very well. He’s a smart guy, with not only sports performance prowess but sports management savvy and a high-level aptitude for both. He gets it. He’s invested in it. He identifies the performance expectations placed on him and acknowledges there are no “guarantees.” Who expects “guarantees?” It’s business as usual and he’s part of the business and he doesn’t have a problem with it.

  25. I just registered, and this is my first post. If Love pans out, Gute will be seen as brilliant, just as Ted was, at least for a while, after drafting Rodgers despite many other needs. Also just like Wolf was for making the Favre trade. If Love flops, we may have a new GM in 3 years.

  26. Rodgers basically said that if he is healthy, if he is still playing at a high level and if GB is going to move to Love or someone else, he may still want to play somewhere else.

    Why is that even a story?

    Write it up when the vikings fly a jet to SoCal in the off season and try to convince him that he should play in the humpty dome if and when that occurs.

    Maybe we need a made up story about that Drew Brees may want to play next year, or that Ryan Fitzpatrick may have to play for another team if Miami rolls to the rookie. Rodgers is just another player. Players move ot other teams all the time.

    Favre was traded, Rodgers could be too. The GM just needs to do his job.

  27. It is what a lot of us thought it was. Aaron is on his way out, his contract is too much for the amount of production the organization gets from Aaron, and when you put a player on a scale, anytime a player’s negatives out weigh the positives, the scale will tip and said player needs to go find somewhere else to be. Antonio Brown was a very good (even extreme) example of this, could of been a all time great player, but there comes a point where he becomes so much of a problem that the headache outweighs the reasons to keep him on the team. Either way, doesn’t matter.
    The Packers should rip off the bandage now, eat the dead money with a rookie qb on the payroll, and trade Rodgers for a crazy amount of draft picks (he probably has a no trade clause/he’ll have a say where he ends up) to get this done and over with this year as far as dead money goes. Or they’ll drag this out causing a more toxic situation to become worse, forcing the Packers to possibly draft another late round qb if Love doesn’t work out, and possibly miss out on somehow ending up with somebody like Trevor Lawrence in next years draft. It would be smart to just to take your licks now as opposed to dragging this out wasting the Packers cap space the would get by having a rookie qb on a cheap contract. You won’t get goat production out of a desd qb walking…doesn’t matter who the qb is.

  28. saxmachine69 says:
    May 16, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    mypercyhurts2 says:

    May 16, 2020 at 10:51 am

    This seems pretty simple to me. The Packers chose Love as insurance. If he develops into a fantastic QB and can effectively take over for Rodgers in 2-3 years, then he will be re-signed and Rodgers will either be traded or let go and the Love Generation begins. If Love falters and proves he is not capable of taking over for Rodgers, the Packers hang on to Aaron and chalk Love up as a loss and try again. A first round bust wouldnot be new to Green Bay, but if Love plays well, having two fine QBs to choose from in 2-3 years is a good problem to have.

    ________

    And what happens if isnt clear what they have in Love? Things will be easy if he proves to be amazing or horrible in practice. But if Love were say a Jamies Winston level nfl talent. Or a Derek Carr? Would the team know that from practice? Or have they set themselves up to prematurely move on from a HOF QB only to replace him with a mediocre player whom they will likely have to invest a second contract in before they realize exactly what they have.
    ______________________________________

    Isn’t that what happened with Rodgers?

  29. cheeseisfattening says:
    May 16, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Only Packer fans need to have this spelled out for them. They are dopey that way.
    +++++

    Hey doesn’t Aaron Rodgers run the Packers? Will Year Year 2 of their complete rebuild end up with double digit victories (again)? Is it still foolish to rely on rookie cornerbacks to come in and contribute on defense?

    Or have you abandoned those talking points?

  30. So, dude want to play as long as he wants to play. Current GM-Coach problem for his current team thinks they know the secret code to making Love perform in a way to justify their belief in themselves. Sorry, I follow the Bill’s so it is hard to put ant energy into thos beyond thinking it sounds lime Doug Whalry and Nathaniel Hackett are in there somewhere.

  31. packertruth says:
    May 16, 2020 at 9:21 pm
    cheeseisfattening says:
    May 16, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Only Packer fans need to have this spelled out for them. They are dopey that way.
    +++++

    Hey doesn’t Aaron Rodgers run the Packers? Will Year Year 2 of their complete rebuild end up with double digit victories (again)? Is it still foolish to rely on rookie cornerbacks to come in and contribute on defense?

    Or have you abandoned those talking points?
    ___
    A Rodgers was running the Packers when he had McCarthy fired. Since the his skills have diminished and McCarthy’s replacement took over. How ironic.
    What was the Packers record in year 2 of their total rebuild? 6-9-1. And I will admit I had no idea how badly the NFL wanted to see Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs one last time last year.
    My prior comment in rookie was about rookie WR. You memory is as bad as your knowledge of football. I said it when the Packers drafted 3 WRs in one draft and dopey Packer fans were saying it was going to fix the packer’s we issues. And while we is one of the toughest positions for rookies I will say history shows only a few rookies make an high impact. Good thing the Vikings gave Mike Hughes and Holton Hill as their starting CBs.

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