“Gutted” Aaron Rodgers expresses uncertainty about his future

Getty Images

Last year, after the Packers lost 37-20 to the 49ers in the NFC Championship, quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed surprisingly upbeat and optimistic when talking to reporters. On Sunday, after the Packers lost 31-26 to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship, Rodgers expressed a far different vibe.

I’m just pretty gutted,” Rodgers said following the home game against Tampa Bay, speaking slowly and deliberately, as he seemed to search for the right words. “It’s a long season. You put so much into it to get to this point and then, you know, the way — you know, we had our chances, so you know I’m not — different position than the last couple of these when we got blown out and really didn’t have a chance. . . . We had a lot of chances. . . . This one definitely stings and is going to for a long time.”

Near the end of the session with reporters, Rodgers began to talk about the inevitable changes that will come to the Packers. Without prompting, he veered toward a discussion of his own future.

“A lot of guys futures that are, you know, uncertain, myself included,” Rodgers said. “That’s what’s sad about it most. . . . Just the uncertainties is tough and the finality of it all.”

Rodgers next was asked how the team will take the next step.

“I don’t know, I really don’t,” he said. “There’s a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now. And I’m going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and just kind of see what’s going on with everything. But it’s pretty tough right now, especially thinking about the guys that may or may not be here next year. There’s always change. That’s the only constant in this business.”

Consider what Rodgers said last year, immediately after the Packers were overpowered by San Francisco.

“The window is open for us, and that’s the exciting thing,” Rodgers said at the time. “I think we’re gonna be on the right side of one of these real soon.”

Rodgers, in that same session, gushed about the 2019 season in Green Bay.

“This one is special because it became fun again,” Rodgers said. “I wouldn’t say this was our most talented team, but neither was 2010. And we just found a way.”

This year, the team was better. They earned the top seed. They had the only bye in the NFC. They easily handled the Rams. Then it all came crashing down. And Rodgers said not a word as the dust settled about the season being fun.

Rodgers words and tone prompted some reporters to wonder whether he’ll be one of the changes made in 2021. While it’s premature to come to any such conclusions, the outcome seems to hinge on whatever Rodgers decides after he clears his head. But he’s the one who mentioned his uncertain future, and he’s not known for speaking recklessly or without meaning to his words.

Surely, Rodgers is wondering at some level whether the first-round pick that went to a player who held a clipboard all year — and the fourth-round pick used to trade up for quarterback Jordan Love — would have made a difference on Sunday, with up to 18 NFL games under their belts. Surely, he’s wondering why the decision was made to not take advantage of the ball being eight yards from a touchdown that, with a two-point conversion, would have forced overtime.

Rodgers seemed to set aside any frustration emanating from the Jordan Love situation and to embrace the 2020 Packers, playing well enough to become the presumptive league MVP. Now, with Rodgers himself flagging the issue of his football future, everyone will have to simply wait and see what happens next.

63 responses to ““Gutted” Aaron Rodgers expresses uncertainty about his future

  1. Making excuses… this wasn’t our most talented team. Gee Aaron I’m sure the other guys were happy to hear you say that. How about this one – it wasn’t my call to kick the field goal. No Aaron it wasn’t, but you had three chances to get it in the end zone, and you failed, so your coach settled for a field goal going for one more shot at getting a score… excuses, excuses, excuses

  2. Give him a hug and tell him to remember he’s made hundreds of millions of dollars for playing a game. For gods sake you lost a football game, like 30 other teams to this point .

  3. Rodgers should go home and have a five fingers glass of scotch and think about his own performance. Other than that, Pettine should be fired, Meninga should be fired, Kevin King should be set free, and make your plan for next year!

  4. His voiced feelings and opinions rub past and present coaches the wrong way. However, this is the working of a player turned HC in the future.

  5. My take is that he is discouraged after a tough loss at home in what was a winnable game. He’ll be back in Green Bay next season. He’s under contract and they didn’t put Love on the field this season. Love is not close to being ready to take over, and for all we know he may not even be the answer at QB post Aaron Rogers. This speculation of whether Rogers will be back next season is a year early. The Packers are married to Rogers for another year or two based on his contract and they don’t have his replacement ready to go. Following next season,IF they feel Love is ready, would be the earliest they would consider moving on.

  6. You can’t help but think a Brandon Ayiuk or Chase Claypool would’ve helped in those red zone possessions where he was forcing it to Adams, or those 3rd downs where Lazard couldn’t get separation. The Jordan Love pick reared it’s head tonight.

  7. I wouldn’t read too much into his statements. He played his heart out this year, got the home game they’ve been wanting, and still lost. He’s just spent I’m sure. What more could he have done this season?

  8. jredshoes says:
    January 24, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Give him a hug and tell him to remember he’s made hundreds of millions of dollars for playing a game. For gods sake you lost a football game, like 30 other teams to this point .

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    QB’s with that mentality end up like Dwayne Haskins.

  9. A Rod is one of the most talented QBs we’ve ever seen play. And he played well today.
    However, for some reason he cannot win in the playoffs and as a result he’s probably #10 all time when he should be top 5. It’s a shame. He just can’t get it done when it matters.
    Tom Brady now has won as many NFC Championships as Aaron Rodgers. Let that sink in.

  10. The greatest qbs of all time win more than one SB. So tired of all the gushing about Rodgers. He is not likeable on the field or off.

  11. Never had the lead and only occasionally got within 1 score. The GOAT was in control the whole game

  12. He played a good game, for a good team with the number 1 seed, at home, in their weather. Nothing’s a given, and the loss after the season they had, has to have been devastating. So yeah, he’s disappointed and a bit shell shocked – who would not have been?

    Just give a pretty classy guy some time.

  13. I’m a life-long Vikings fan, but I hate to see Rodger’s career go wasted like this. Imagine the Packers selected a wide receiver in the first round of this year’s draft, instead of a QB we never even know he will be decent.

  14. He should be upset. This year was their window. An unusually weak NFC North. A season with no training camp that favored veteran teams with low turnover. Perhaps the last year of rodgers being able to play at an elite level.

    The packers are 16 mil over the cap coming into next season. They’ll need around 8 million to sign draft picks. So 24 million in salaries will have to go.

    This was the season to make their run. And instead of waltzing in to the end zone for a potential game-tying touchdown, rodgers made a mental error and tried to thread the needles to Adams. That error was followed up by his coach choosing a FG and then kicking the ball off to the greatest QB in the history of the league.

    rodgers may be back next season, but it doesn’t matter. The window is closed.

  15. If Belichick coached the Packers today, they would be playing in the SB. The touchdown before the half, kicking a field goal instead of going for it on 4th down were all coaching mistakes at critical times. Belichick doesn’t make those types of mistakes.

  16. Rodgers could likely have won it by running it in on that 3rd down play–or at least gotten very close. A bad decision there. He has no one to blame but himself.

  17. Correction: could likely have tied it, with a 2pt conversion afterwards. Better than a field goal, certainly.

  18. SteveYoungThrowAndRun says:
    January 24, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    A Rod is one of the most talented QBs we’ve ever seen play. And he played well today.
    However, for some reason he cannot win in the playoffs

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

    It’s hard to win when you’re playing against not only the other team but your own OL, your defense, and your coach.

    Rodgers knows they could have won. Take away a few terrible coaching decisions and a couple bad bounces, and it’s an even game.

    Brady is the GOAT but he was just okay. It was the Bucs’ overall balance and their absence of idiotic coaching that won the day for them.

  19. mlhigh77 says:
    January 24, 2021 at 11:55 pm
    The greatest qbs of all time win more than one SB.

    Actually most of the real greatest QBs won none. Loved Florio’s article earlier today that pointed out that today’s GOAT stats can’t even be applied to the greats. Plus – and I seriously do not understand why people don’t get this – rings are a team thing. Brady did little to nothing to advance the Bucs today. But he will get props anyway.

  20. If he tucks it and runs on third down like he should have, guarantee LaFleur goes for it on fourth down.

  21. Rodgers will love matching up against RUSS twice a year as he becomes the starter for the 49’ers. I for one welcome Aaron to the NFC West.

  22. Let’s be realistic..the defense stunk again…no pressure,and Kevin King was burned all game.They should of fired Pettine week 4….He is a bum!

  23. While the tears out of GB are delicious, the emotions will blow over in a few weeks.

    GB will likely blow through the NFCN again in 2021, what with the Bears’ incompetence and Cousins’ contract. With good health, the Pack could be in the championship again next year.

  24. If GOAT stands for “Greatest Occasionally At Times”, then Rodgers is in the conversation. However, if GOAT stands for “Greatest Of All Time”, that title clearly belongs to Tom Brady as he heads to his TENTH Super Bowl.

  25. Surprise, surprise, Rodgers makes it about himself so people keep talking about him. He’s going right where he belongs, back to California to watch the SB.

  26. Rodgers can’t win the NFC in GB. The only NFC championship game Rodgers has won was against the Bears lead by Jay Cutler. The pack owns the Bears but 0-4 since in NFC CG’s, brutal.
    I could also see if Rodgers has had enough of the packers. He was in the NFC CG last year and the packers draft a QB in the 1st round instead of taking a player to get them over the hump now.

  27. Dear Aaron,

    With more than 10 years spent in the NFL as one of the better starting QB-s, please step up and own a lost for once. This is, after all, one of those things what makes you a leader. Until then, don’t expect other to risk everything for you, because by now your teammates and coaches know, you’ll throw them under the bus at the first occasion.

    Much love,
    Your fanbase

  28. I recall another QB who’s coach drafted a 2nd round QB to be the eventual replacement as well, but the starter went onto win another couple SBs.

    Drafting Love was fine, and it lit a fire under Rodgers this year as he was the best QB, mission accomplished. He’s got to learn to get his team over the hump.

  29. chickensalad43 says:
    January 24, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    You can’t help but think a Brandon Ayiuk or Chase Claypool would’ve helped in those red zone possessions where he was forcing it to Adams, or those 3rd downs where Lazard couldn’t get separation. The Jordan Love pick reared it’s head tonight.

    ———————–

    Aiyuk was off the board long before the Packers traded up, but nice story. This game was lost in the trenches–Rodgers under constant pressure, Brady under none–and I can’t think of a single lineman from this year’s draft that would have made a difference for the Packers in this game.

  30. The alleged GOAT did not win that game – he had 3 pix that GB couldn’t take advantage of. And that pick TB got B4 the half was a very-evident missed holding by the DB.

  31. 31 of 32 teams don’t win the big one each year. rogers seems to enjoy stirring the pot but watch as to where he plays in 21/22. Best guess by far GB.

  32. The 2020 Packers, while talented, lacked 2 things in droves – Resilience, and Pressure. There were plenty of games when everything went their way, those don’t show the character of a team. However, when someone punches them in the mouth and tries to take their lunch money… they fold like a cheap lawn chair. The second thing they lacked was PRESSURE. Watch any combat/mma/boxing match with a superior striker – they keep constant pressure, smothering their opponent, never letting them breathe. The Packers don’t know how to smother or choke the life out of their opponent. They can play well in spurts, but can’t seal the deal. Close, but no cigar – the Green Bay Packers since Vince Lombardi.

  33. Laughed at all the pre-game hype about battle of the GOATS. A-rod is a choke in the playoffs.

  34. unscr says:
    January 25, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Aiyuk was off the board long before the Packers traded up, but nice story


    haha…Aiyuk was picked ONE spot before the Jordon…Claypool was picked in 2nd round. Niners got Aiyuk via trade with the Vikings who gladly helped them jump the Packers. They took Love as their next ranked player, though 2021 QB class looks much better. Time will tell

  35. You have to earn the belt. At least you will probably be the MVP of the regular season. That’s a cool story. Brady has the same amount of nfc champs as you. Lol

  36. The only reason Rodgers was able to bring the Packers back was because the Bucs had lost both their starting safeties. But in the bigger play of the game, he missed three times with his vaunted arm. He played well but the GOAT-wannabee did not play great in the most important game of the year with his ‘legacy’ on the line

    The ‘kid’ in KC and the GOAT in TB would have won that game.

    As far as Brady, as usual, he went to whomever was free & available.
    Scotty Miller, a 5’9″ 6th round pick.
    Cameron Brate an undrafted free agent, cause over the hill Gronk sacrificed his stats to be a blocking tight end.
    Leonard Fournette, who’d been released by Jacksonville.
    Evans is great but is more like Rodgers than Evans.

    So cry me a river for Rodgers.

  37. A few key points:

    1) The Packers defense was just fine, if not GOOD. 3 Picks on Brady? Some 3 and outs. There were opportunities that were missed by RODGERS and the offense

    2) Before the Aaron Jones injury, its puzzling to me feeding Jamaal Williams, and even Dillon, meaningful touches. Feed your best players.

    3) People are critiquing the coaching staff for the final FG. I disagree. The problem was the early 2 pts conversion attempt they missed. Teams have to stop chasing points so early. Forget the analytics in the playoffs, they serve your best when you’re playing for the long run over a 16 game season. When you get to win-or-go-home territory, kicking PATs and FGs matter.

    Back to the FG – 7th down, 7 Yards goal to go, down by 8. If you go for it and miss, Brady leads Bucs to FG and you’re down 11 and you lose. If you get the 6 but not the 2 point conversion, its STILL not tied, you have to make a stop, and if brady lead Bucs to FG you’re down 5 and need a TD to win, FG does nothing and if brady leads TD you lose. The ONLY good scenario is 7 yard TD followed by successful 2 pt conversion followed by defensive stop and then score or OT.

    My point? If they hadn’t chased points, they would have been down 7. THEN going for TD on 4th down 95% guarantees a tie game and makes sense. Down by 8 messes up your game theory.

    Packers coach made the right decision IMO to kick the FG, but a TERRIBLE decision chasing points early and going for the 2 pt conversion.

    Teams are going to have to figure out how to reconcile analytics v. common sense, tried-and-true game theory during playoff games.

    Ravens learned the hard way going for it on 4th down twice against the Titans in 2019 and basically handing them the game. The analytics looks / works better over the course of a 16 game season. Not for the playoffs.

  38. Understandably Rodgers will feel gutted. Brady a newbie in the NFC just steamrolled the old timers to go the SB having no pre-season acclimation to his new team, new teammates, new system. It boggles the mind how he can drag that losing team one step more to be on the pinnacle, and at 43 years old at that. We are seeing relentless fight for excellence in Brady. Appreciate it.

  39. One way or another Rogers was committed to throwing this organization under the bus for not just picking his replacement, but trading UP to get him.
    Unfortunately, getting to the Super Bowl was going to be the ideal place and platform for his grievance…

  40. You tell me how many QBs wouldn’t be puzzled about the team trading up to draft a QB in the first round, especially with four years remaining on his contract. That pick could have helped them this year (especially in the secondary) instead of sitting on the bench all season. Then of course you have a coach who is gutless when the game is on the line. I normally don’t question decisions but you had to go for the six there instead of kicking a FG. That was just dumb. The Packers will probably trade Rodgers just so they can show how great the Jordan Love pick was. Good luck not having a HoF QB on the field for the first time in three decades. The Packers will wish they had done something for this year’s team instead of drafting Love.

  41. Packers should have drafted Patrick Queen instead of Love. They had a big gaping hole in the middle of their defense all season.

  42. After listening very closely to Arod’s comments after the game I agree 100% that Kevin King sucks.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.