Aaron Rodgers could retire for 2021, return in 2022

NFL: JAN 03 Packers at Bears
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As the Packers and pretty much everyone else not named Aaron Rodgers try to figure out what Aaron Rodgers will do in 2021, there’s one specific possibility that must be considered.

Rodgers could retire for 2021, and then unretire for 2022.

This isn’t a report or an educated guess or anything meant to indicate what Rodgers actually will do. No one knows what he will do. In the absence of any information about his intentions, speculation will happen, both internally and externally. And one possibility on the radar screen consists of Rodgers walking away from the game in 2021 and then, after the Packers have moved on with Jordan Love or someone else in 2021 and have a plan in place for 2022, returning to it.

It would force their hand, the same way Brett Favre’s return in 2008 did, months after he retired and the Packers pivoted to Rodgers — and drafted Brian Brohm in round two and Matt Flynn in round seven.

Presumably, the Packers would give Jordan Love the chance to become the guy they thought he’d be when they traded up in 2020 to draft him, late in round one. Based on his performance in 2021, the Packers either would be fine with Love or they will have made other plans, through free agency, a trade, or the draft.

From Rodgers’ perspective, the timing of a return would become critical. If he shows up too early, the Packers quite possibly would welcome him back. Beyond a certain point, they won’t want to reinstate his $14.7 million salary, his cap charge, his roster spot.

Rodgers also would be wise not to wait too long. He’ll need a team that will upend its own plans for quarterback in 2022, unless of course there’s a predetermined destination that is unofficially identified, through unofficial communications that technically would constitute tampering.

If, as it appears, Rodgers won’t play for the Packers again and if, as it appears, the Packers won’t be trading him, quitting the game and then coming back once the Packers would be inclined to trade Rodgers becomes a viable option. For now, it’s a potential outcome that can’t be ignored.

95 responses to “Aaron Rodgers could retire for 2021, return in 2022

  1. Packers forced to play love, get nothing for Rodgers. Well played gutekunst.

  2. Maybe he could win a title in the honeymoon period but I don’t see how he avoids the same problems he has in Green Bay. In fact, I think they’d be even worse on a new team who would 100% be viewing him as the missing piece. They won’t be looking for his input on building a roster–they’ll be expecting him to do his part in what they already have created. And without question any new team would see him as a short-term play: They’ll either win a title in the first couple years or the window will be closed and they’ll have to rebuild which would likely mean moving on from Rodgers to save salary cap space. Unless he totally changed his outlook and went the Tom Brady route of taking less pay nobody is going to have him around long-term.

  3. Or maybe Rodgers just retires and pursues other opportunities that will also pay him pretty well.

  4. Can’t see him missing a year of football at his age.
    He also would have to pay back $33 million.
    Even if he retires, when he comes back he will be under contract for 2 more years with GB
    What happens if he gets injured? GB must plan for that as well.

  5. Sitting out for the first part of the season until they go ahead and trade him, seems more likely.

  6. I’m actually quite concerned that AR will not be able to come back physicall this year even if he wants to. He just lost 15 pounds. He is not building muscle doing that, or training to host jeopardy. Mentally his head is elsewhere too. Unless he already knows he will be playing this year, he is making a poor decision for his football future. If he is truely in doubt right now he is going to have a tough go of it.

  7. I am really surprised you have not suggested Rogers take the Jalen Ramsey approach: come to camp and play the first game, get nicked and then insist he’s too injured to play for the remainder of the season until he gets traded.

    Simple and does not cost Rogers a season of pay.

  8. The Packers are in a bind as to how much money they can throw at him and for how many years, because they have been kicking the salary cap can down the road for some time and it soon can be kicked no further. They also will want to give Adams a new contract. So whether Rodgers is in GB this year or not (and I believe he will be) I don’t think he’ll be there next year.

  9. How many franchises have had the reigning league MVP retire just so he doesn’t have to play for them anymore?

  10. Maybe Rodgers just does not want to play Football. He rather host game shows, do backflips off a cliff in Hawaii and play golf with Phil Mickelson. I don’t blame him at all, but his head is not in the game.

  11. I am a Vikings fan so could not care less about this, but as a football and overall sports fan how could something like this get to the point it has? Good grief the man is one of the most talented QBs I have ever seen and I have been watching the NFL since 1973. Are there no adults left in the room up in Green Bay? A pox on BOTH sides of this debacle. Seriously, if Love was the same type of prospect coming out as say an Andrew Luck or a Trevor Lawrence, I say good move, but Jordan Love? Not hating on the kid but the Packer roster is CLEARLY ready to win a Super Bowl now.

  12. “Packers forced to play love, get nothing for Rodgers. Well played gutekunst.”

    Yes, if this completely pretend non sense idea plays out.

    They will trade him and his drama on June 2nd.

    In Gute we trust!

  13. maven says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:35 am

    How many franchises have had the reigning league MVP retire just so he doesn’t have to play for them anymore?
    ———————————————————————-
    The Colts say hi.

  14. Whether he gets traded, retires for a year, or returns to Green Bay, the same outcome is very, very likely: the Packers aren’t winning the Super Bowl.

  15. The Packers own Rodger and they know it, but if Jordon Love can run the Packers offense then the Packers front office will be glad to rid themselves of Rodgers. The NFL is about winning Super Bowls, and good GMs will continue to make changes until they have accomplished that goal. ARod at 38 years old can’t afford to sit out a year and the Packers don’t want to lose one draft pick that they would get in return for ARod. The Packers front office will have to play their cards right in order to get the most out of trading ARod.

  16. Just get on with it. Grow up, when they drafted love, you had been mediocre for 3 years. You looked to be in a full decline. They don’t OWE you anything other than a paycheck, which you have been getting for years. Things never end well, it’s just life. Come back, don’t come back, I am over it. As a lifelong Packer fan it’s just a pain to see this. The problems in Green Bay go all the way up to Mark Murphy. He left Ted in his position 3 years too long, and somehow got all of the power along the way. The GM, Head Coach, and the cap guy all report to him. He somehow took all of the power. The board did stuff like this post Lombardi, all of the way to Bob Harlan. He hired Ron Wolf and got out of the way. The team has excelled since. The best thing about the Packers is that there isn’t a meddling owner, until we have a meddling team President.

  17. theconfluence says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:44 am

    maven says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:35 am

    How many franchises have had the reigning league MVP retire just so he doesn’t have to play for them anymore?
    ———————————————————————-
    The Colts say hi.
    ________

    I can’t imagine who you’re thinking of. The only reigning league MVPs that have retired before the next season are Norm Van Brocklin and Jim Brown, and I’m pretty sure neither one of them was playing for the Colts. I also don’t think they were trying to get away from the team they played for.

    Now, if you had said the Lions, you would have at least been close. They weren’t reigning league MVPs, but both Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson were among the best players in the league and retired so they wouldn’t have to play for the Lions anymore.

  18. Aaron signed a contract and now he is stuck. Play out your contact and then you can leave. Your a player not a GM. Drop your ego.

  19. canadaraider says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:25 am
    Can’t see him missing a year of football at his age.
    He also would have to pay back $33 million
    ______________

    He wouldn’t have to pay back $33 million. He would have to pay back $11.5 million this season and $11.5 million next season (if still retired). His endorsements earn him $9 million annually, so he wouldn’t take a huge loss at any point in the near future.

  20. Tired of Rodgers and his act. It’s on him, he is difficult, if things don’t go his way he is unhappy. I say trade him and cash out. Get a good haul of players/picks while his value is still high.

  21. Can’t picture him doing it, but best play is just return to cause drama, not play through injuries or tank. Gets paid, gets releases faster, and puts next team in better position.

  22. maven says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:35 am
    How many franchises have had the reigning league MVP retire just so he doesn’t have to play for them anymore?
    ———————————–
    not that he was MVP but Gronk sorta did just this.
    If Rodgers isn’t having “Fun” anymore then Retirement might appeal to him

  23. If the Packers get nothing out of this, it will go down as the biggest botch in the history of sports.

  24. Gute should enjoy his time as gm. I don’t think he’ll be there for long. Nothing against love but the packers won’t get lucky 3 times in a row…

  25. He would have to pay back $11.5 million this season and $11.5 million next season (if still retired). His endorsements earn him $9 million annually, so he wouldn’t take a huge loss at any point in the near future.
    ——————–

    I think most people, including rich athletes, would say $23 million is a huge loss. Whatever he earns in endorsements doesn’t mean he didn’t still suffer the loss. Learn some accounting.

  26. mikestan says:
    May 28, 2021 at 12:14 pm
    Aaron signed a contract and now he is stuck. Play out your contact and then you can leave. Your a player not a GM. Drop your ego.
    ///////
    This reasoning doesn’t really fly. Players rework contracts all the time. Teams don’t honor contracts all the time.

  27. Don’t toy with my heart. It’s been weakened after years as a Vikings fan.

  28. gus53575 says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:51 am
    Just get on with it. Grow up, when they drafted love, you had been mediocre for 3 years. You looked to be in a full decline.
    ///////
    Man, I hate to defend Rodgers, but….the team was 13-3 and Rodgers had thrown for 4,000 yards with 26 TDs and 4 int’s when the Packers traded up to get Love. And when he “only” had 26 TDs, Aaron Jones had 16 rushing Td’s that year. No, the Packers absolutely made a mistake by trading up and drafting Love.

  29. 12brichandfamous says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:34 am
    I am really surprised you have not suggested Rogers take the Jalen Ramsey approach: come to camp and play the first game, get nicked and then insist he’s too injured to play for the remainder of the season until he gets traded.

    Simple and does not cost Rogers a season of pay.////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    That is a really bad thing to do as a position player, but as a QB it’s even worse. Talk about killing your rep.

  30. Let’s keep in mind – he was advanced a $57M signing bonus.

    if he retires, he owes the Packers $30M

    He has zero leverage – he’ll whine till the end of Aug, then come back.

  31. 12brichandfamous says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:34 am
    I am really surprised you have not suggested Rogers take the Jalen Ramsey approach
    ////////
    Packer fans have stated Rodgers will no do this, because of his “legacy”. Now, I’m not sure 1 SB win counts as a legacy, but I’m also equally sure that Packer fans don’t actually know Rodgers, even if one guy keeps calling him Aaron.

  32. theconfluence says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:44 am
    maven says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:35 am

    How many franchises have had the reigning league MVP retire just so he doesn’t have to play for them anymore?
    ———————————————————————-
    The Colts say hi.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The Colts last League MVP was Peyton Manning in 2009. He was with the team for two more seasons after being the MVP. He didn’t retire, nor threaten to retire.

  33. Packers hold all the leverage over Aaron. Let’s be clear on that. They have a contract with him for the next 3 years. It is just a matter of how the Packers want to play it.

  34. The only thing I can think of with the retirement route is he waits to see how Love plays. If Love sucks, he comes back and is the savior. If Love plays well, he comes back and forces a trade. Either way, he gets what he wants. Whether it is deserved, that would depend on which side of the fence you are on.

  35. Love came into a baddddd situation if he doesn’t perform. Arodg had that on his side from the beginning, can’t imagine all the future headlines and pressure jlove will under if Aaron doesn’t suit up this year.

  36. I love the people who think hissy-fit retired Rodgers will earn the same in endorsements.

  37. hardknocks says:
    May 28, 2021 at 12:31 pm
    If the Packers get nothing out of this, it will go down as the biggest botch in the history of sports.

    It might not even be the biggest botch in the last 4 months. Texans.

  38. The fact remains that Rodgers will not be happy playing for the Packers this season. I can’t see how that dynamic will lead to team success. So go ahead and play hardball, Packers, and see where that leaves you when you’re trying to trade a 38-year-old malcontent coming off a mediocre season. The smart move is to trade Rodgers in June and play the guy you traded up in the first round to get. If you didn’t expect to play him soon, you shouldn’t have drafted him in the first round.

  39. People talk about Rodgers was declining, but 2017 he injured his collarbone and 2018 was long overdue firing of Mike McCarthy. His numbers were down from typical, but he and Lafleur were getting acquainted with one another. He’s one of the best QBs at avoiding interceptions. It would make sense to invest in a receiver or other offensive weapons that Rodgers could utilize. To not even let Rodger know you’re drafting a QB would be the same as your job introducing you to a new employee and saying by the way this is your replacement.

    GB has had incredibly lackluster drafts for many years. The selection of Love who has yet to suit up for a game greatly supports that.

  40. mikestan says:
    May 28, 2021 at 1:03 pm
    Packers hold all the leverage over Aaron. Let’s be clear on that. They have a contract with him for the next 3 years. It is just a matter of how the Packers want to play it.

    ________________________________________

    We’ve seen this play out in the past with much less important players. The Packers have no leverage. The only questions the players/coaches will be answering will be Rodgers questions until he’s traded. They’re simply trying to get as much as they possibly can for him by pretending they don’t want to trade him. He’ll be gone by the first week of June.

  41. I would love for Rodgers to go full heel and have a press conference to announce that the only way he will play for the Packers again is if Gutekunst is fired and declare that Gutekunst has zero interest in winning titles with Rodgers as his QB because he won’t get credit since he didn’t draft Rodgers.

    Then, the Packers can decide what they want to do.

  42. This is where the relative lack of front-office accountability for the Packers comes into stark focus. A typical owner would not have allowed things to go so far sideways with the team’s most valuable asset. And most likely wouldn’t have signed off on the move to get Love. Now we’ve got execs who effectively answer to no one digging in with no clear strategy apparent.

    Rodgers is wealthy and privileged, but it still must be frustrating to know your legacy is in the hands of these execs.

  43. Problem for Aaron is that Jordan Love could play pretty darn well in an offense with a solid offensive line, Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, and a solid offensive-minded head coach.

  44. I’m excited to see Love. Many considered him a steal for the Packers when he fell that far in the first round. I would prefer to see him in two years but the team is positioned to compete if he has to start this season. Our offense will be fine and once again it will depend on the defense

  45. That would be smart… take time off, let Love play, fans will hate losing, everyone will inevitably get fired and then he can just come back.

  46. He either wanted the team to improve or give him a big contract and bluffed that he won’t show up. The Packers are calling his bluff and he will come back to the team

  47. correctingerrors says:
    May 28, 2021 at 1:59 pm
    He either wanted the team to improve or give him a big contract and bluffed that he won’t show up. The Packers are calling his bluff and he will come back to the team
    ________________________________

    And they’ll live happily ever after….

    Rodgers ego will be gone, he’ll forget all of this happened and they’ll go on to win 3 consecutive Super Bowls.

  48. ktm300xcwe says:
    May 28, 2021 at 11:37 am

    I am a Vikings fan so could not care less about this, but as a football and overall sports fan how could something like this get to the point it has? Good grief the man is one of the most talented QBs I have ever seen and I have been watching the NFL since 1973. Are there no adults left in the room up in Green Bay? A pox on BOTH sides of this debacle. Seriously, if Love was the same type of prospect coming out as say an Andrew Luck or a Trevor Lawrence, I say good move, but Jordan Love? Not hating on the kid but the Packer roster is CLEARLY ready to win a Super Bowl now.

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

    Amen.

  49. He should just show up, and call his own plays. 4th and goal down by a Touchdown, wave the field goal team off.

  50. If Rodgers wanted to mess with the team like that, couldn’t the Packers just say, “Welcome back” then tell him he’ll be Love’s backup?

  51. Aside from Rodgers returning to play for the Packers this year, the “retire and return” strategy by Rodgers is the absolute best case scenario for the team.

    If Rodgers retires, he pays back his “unearned” portion of the signing bonus (about $23 million) and the team is absolved of his entire cap number (save the already-paid roster bonus from march). They could/would/should immediately use that additional $30 million in cap space to get touch extensions done for DaVante Adams, Jaire Alexander, and Robert Tonyan without having to push more money into future years.

    When Rodgers returns, he’s on a friendly cap number and the Packers still own his rights for the full 3 remaining seasons. His trade value shouldn’t have diminished much, and they will know which teams have which draft picks in order to execute the best deal for themselves.

    Retiring and returning after a year isn’t a threat. Given the alternatives, it’s a gift to the team, and again, aside from returning and playing (which is obviously the best case for the Packers), is what the team should be hoping for.

  52. While he COULD retire for one year, it serves no practical purpose. He loses out on paychecks, and he still has the issue of not necessarily being traded. If he just played for Green Bay for the next year, he could at least get full pay, AND still have the same chance to be traded in 2022.

  53. tonyxl says:
    May 28, 2021 at 1:42 pm
    Problem for Aaron is that Jordan Love could play pretty darn well in an offense with a solid offensive line, Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, and a solid offensive-minded head coach.

    ______________________________________

    Sounds like wishful thinking that Love could step in and play when he has yet to suit up for a game let alone challenge for the backup QB position. The Packers with Rodgers at the helm went to the NFC championship game without Davante Adams in 2015.

  54. Dude doesn’t want the money, he wants another ring and he feels like GB doesn’t care. He wants out and will force it.

  55. glac1 says:
    May 28, 2021 at 1:49 pm
    I’m excited to see Love. Many considered him a steal for the Packers when he fell that far in the first round. I would prefer to see him in two years but the team is positioned to compete if he has to start this season. Our offense will be fine and once again it will depend on the defense

    ———————-

    Love would have graded out as the 7th or 8th QB if he were in this years draft. A 4th or 5th rounder.. He looked lost anytime anyone saw him practice last season.

    Hold your excitement, this guy is a turnover machine against poor competition in college. That doesn’t translate well to the NFL.

  56. I don’t know why he can’t just play out his contract and move on to a different team. Suck it up, buttercup!

  57. Please do us all a favor and retire permanently you big baby diva.
    Who the hell cares anymore. You just starve for attention all the damn time.

  58. At his age, Rodgers doesn’t have many years left. If he sits out for a year, the game might pass him by.

  59. This outcome would be the textbook example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. He betrays the players, coaches, and fans, because of some perceived slight.

    Really, come on, grow up, fella.

  60. Where is this stuff coming from? Rodgers has said nothing. The Packers have said nothing. This is the definition of “much ado about nothing.”

  61. Please get rid of Murphy and Gutie. GB has not shown loyalty to someone who has played a number of years at a high caliber. They refused to let Aaron know they were drafting a quarterback, and then, refused to give him help. The FO has not done stellar drafting in the past few years, and they they don’t respect talent. What a bunch of hayseeds. It is difficult to sit back as a GB fan and watch these guys be employed. We are the laughing stock of the NFL.

  62. And reports are Jordan Love has been sharp in OTA’S. This could complicate things. Do you think about trading Rodgers for a defensive haul in return where you only need to score 20 points to win? Then year 2 under Love you have a defense plus a team that now scores 27 a game. There are so many scenarios that have to be going through a GMs head. Like being a baseball manager 24/7

  63. Other than Green Bay fans, who cares about Rodgers already? Keep giving the Diva press, that’s what he’s looking for.

  64. This must be why he dropped in the draft. His personality and narcissim is off the charts.

    He’s not as smart as he thinks he is. He gets dumped by gf’s because he cheats on them. He ditches his family. He now might ditch his teammates.

    While it’s not in managements interests to take the following position, his teammates should tell him not to bother coming in 2022 if he doesn’t in 2021. If he’s going to waste their time and body for a year because he can’t handle them drafting someone, then he’s a pathetic individual.

  65. directdriver says:

    May 28, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    I don’t know why he can’t just play out his contract and move on to a different team. Suck it up, buttercup!

    ————–
    Because there is 0 chance hes allowed to play out his contract even if he wanted to. It’s been common knowledge since Love was drafted that after next season the cap charge from dealing Rodgers is no longer prohibitive so he was always likely to be dealt then so hes trying to use the last bit of leverage he has to get dealt now so he can go somewhere he prefers.

  66. stellarperformance says:
    May 28, 2021 at 5:04 pm
    Where is this stuff coming from? Rodgers has said nothing. The Packers have said nothing. This is the definition of “much ado about nothing.”

    ——–

    Yeah you’re right, Lafluer pleading to the media that “he wants Rodgers back in the worst way’ is normal.

    GB management and coaches making multiple trips to Rodgers this offseason is nothing.

    Rodgers and the top 4 WR’s skipping OTA’s after an NFC debacle is exactly what we should expect.

    Several of the most credible reporters in sports reporting that Rodgers wants out of GB means nothing, and Rodgers not denying that in 2 interviews since the reports is because he isn’t aware of what’s going on.

  67. Jmc8888 says:
    May 28, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    This must be why he dropped in the draft. His personality and narcissim is off the charts.

    He’s not as smart as he thinks he is. He gets dumped by gf’s because he cheats on them. He ditches his family. He now might ditch his teammates.

    While it’s not in managements interests to take the following position, his teammates should tell him not to bother coming in 2022 if he doesn’t in 2021. If he’s going to waste their time and body for a year because he can’t handle them drafting someone, then he’s a pathetic individual
    ——————-
    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If he sat out 2021 he would have no intention of playing for the packers in 2022 and if you read more than the headline you would know that.

  68. He’ll sit until traded, whether that’s sooner or later. The later it goes, the less the Packers will get in trade, so the Packers will make a push to keep him, and failing that will trade him.

  69. I’d bet more of my wealth on Rodgers playing for the Packers in 2021 than against it.

    Unless a team offers the Packer more than they can ignore.

  70. Trying to imagine Tobin Rote or Bobby Layne feeling “unloved” by their bosses.

  71. hardknocks says:
    May 28, 2021 at 6:13 pm
    Several of the most credible reporters in sports reporting that Rodgers wants out of GB means nothing, and Rodgers not denying that in 2 interviews since the reports is because he isn’t aware of what’s going on.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    It means every bit as much as the Madden Simulation indicating Love will lead the Packers to a win in the SuperBowl. It’s been right 64% of the time since 2004. I’d call that credible, wouldn’t you? Why not jump on that clickbait train?

  72. So if he retires and the contract goes into limbo and resumes right where it left off whenever he comes back, Rodgers gains nothing but getting year(s) added to his contract with GB!

    Go ahead and retire and see where that gets you! You won’t gain a thing Erin and you’ll owe GB money back.

  73. I honestly don’t know what this guy is thinking. You were literally 10 yards short of a likely Super Bowl birth. If all this is legit and not just posturing Rodgers is quitting on his teammates, coaches, the fans and his legacy in Green Bay. I know he’s worried about becoming a pariah with Packer fans and I can guarantee he will be if he quits on the franchise. He’s getting bad advice somewhere.

  74. jmc8888 says:
    This must be why he dropped in the draft. His personality and narcissim is off the charts.
    ———–
    People are thumbing him down, but it is a true story. Rodgers wasnt drafted by San Francisco because Alex Smith opened the car door for his mom, and Rodgers went to meet the 49ers alone.

  75. I wish I had time in my life to devote thinking, breathing, and moaning about drama boy Aaron Rodgers. SMH.

  76. The most deranged thing about all this are the Rodgers guys who think NFL players deserve tenure and have to be snuggled by their GMs to protect their feelings.

  77. Just wondering what it would be like paying back 30 mil. that is so staggering he almost has to play.

  78. That would be a dumb Idea, Rodgers would lose a lot of money, he would be a year older and not to mention the Packers would still own his rights,

  79. Rodgers retires this year. Brady calls it quits after this season. Rodgers to Tampa 2022.

  80. Aaron Rodgers will no longer be a Green Bay Packer after the month of June. You can take that one to the bank and deposit it. Aaron will be a Denver Bronco or a Las Vegas Raider.He will never play another down for the Packers.

  81. To me it seems like the Packers hold the better hand. The Packers could choose not to trade him let him sit out a year come back and they can just play the same we aren’t trading you card next year. I don’t think he’s getting traded. Trading the league MVP is a bad PR move. Packers might just roll with Love and see if Rodgers decides to come back. I think he’s either playing for the Packers or his career is done.

  82. A skinny, pushing 40 guy who sat out of football for a year and a half. Sounds like a great missing piece. Good luck with that plan.

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