Aaron Rodgers Breaks Darkness Retreat Silence, Gives Timeline For Decision
By Jason Hall
March 1, 2023
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his darkness retreat silence and said he plans to make a decision on his NFL future "soon enough."
Rodgers appeared on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast and compared his situation to his predecessor Brett Favre, who announced his retirement in 2008 before deciding to continue his NFL career and eventually being traded by the Packers to the New York Jets, who have been among the favorites to land Rodgers should he demand a trade away from Green Bay.
“It’s best for anybody who has an interest in this to make a decision sooner rather than later,” Rodgers said via GoLongTD.com founder Tyler Dunne. “I remember before [Brett] Favre retired, there were times in April and May, we weren’t sure if he was going to come back because he didn’t come to any of the offseason program. Then in 2008, he actually did retire in March and then said, ‘No, no, no,’ in June after OTAs, I actually want to come back and play. That’s when he was traded to the Jets. There was obviously a lot of tension that summer. For everybody involved directly and indirectly, it’s best for a decision earlier.
“I feel really good about the conversations that are going to be had, that have been had with important people in my life. Yourself included. But I’m not looking for somebody to tell me what the answer is. All the answers are right inside me. I touched many of the feeling on both sides in the darkness. I’m thankful for that time.
“There’s a finality to the decision. I don’t make it lightly. I don’t want to drag anybody around. I’m answering questions about it because I got asked about it. I’m talking about it because it’s important to me. If you don’t like it and you think it’s drama, and you think I’m being a diva or whatever, then just tune it out. That’s fine. But this is my life. It’s important to me. I’lI make a decision soon enough and we’ll go down that road. I’ll be really excited about it.”
The Aaron Rodgers podcast with Aubrey Marcus is up. Here's what he said at the end when his decision to play or retire comes up.— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) March 1, 2023
"I’ll make a decision soon enough." pic.twitter.com/TXyrh3XyJk
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said the team wants a resolution on Rodgers' future before the beginning of free agency on March 15 while addressing reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday (February 28) and said the quarterback still hadn't told the team of his plans.
“Until we have those conversations, I think all options are on the table right now," Gutekunst said via Schneidman.
Gutekunst said Rodgers' contract will be restructured should he decided to return to the Packers and added that he was "absolutely" comfortable with former first-round draft pick Jordan Love taking over as the starting quarterback should Rodgers decided to move on.
Gutekunst wants a resolution with Rodgers situation before free agency starts on March 15.— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) February 28, 2023
Rodgers’ contract will be restructured if he returns, Gutekunst said.
Gutekunst added he’s “absolutely” comfortable if Jordan Love is QB1 to start the 2023 season.
Rodgers concluded his darkness retreat in southern Oregon last week, staying in an isolated room while mulling over his NFL future. Last month, Rodgers addressed "conversations" regarding a potential trade centered around him during his last appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
"I'm not a part of those conversations right now but when I make up my mind everybody will know"@AaronRodgers12 dives into the possibility of returning to the Packers #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/3e0QUXOGVZ— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 31, 2023
"It sounds like there's already conversations going on that aren't involving me, which is interesting...I'm not a part of those conversations right now," Rodgers said. "When I make up my mind one way or another then you guys and the Packers, not in that order, and everyone else will know at some point."
On February 9, Packers president Mark Murphy told ESPN's Dianna Russini that the team expects quarterback Aaron Rodgers to make a decision about his NFL future "around [the] free agency [period]."
"There hasn't been a deadline," Murphy said. "We've both realized that the sooner the decision is made, the better. I know Brian Gutekunst, our GM, has been in regular contact with him and I think Aaron has expressed that he doesn't want to drag it out."
#Packers President Mark Murphy on Rodgers.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) February 10, 2023
“There hasn’t been a deadline. The sooner the decision is made, the better. Gutekunst has been in contact with him. Aaron has expressed that he doesn’t want to drag it.
You’re hoping maybe by the start of March?
Yes around free agency. pic.twitter.com/kJwIcsHD2p
The Packers are also reportedly committed to finding a trade partner and had "their next plan ready to go" should Rodgers request a trade, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
#Packers made a commitment with QB Aaron Rodgers to find a trade partner if he indicates a desire to be traded, per @TomPelissero— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 29, 2023
Green Bay have "their next plan ready to go" in case Rodgers does moves on. pic.twitter.com/vsaEb8NDgr
Last month, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the New York Jets were "a very real scenario" in a possible trade for Rodgers prior to the team hiring offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who had previously coached the quarterback for three seasons from 2019 to 2021, which included Rodgers leading the NFL's top scoring offense during the first of two consecutive Associated Press Most Valuable Player award-winning seasons in 2020.
Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million extension with the Packers last offseason amid previous reports of being disgruntled with the franchise. The 39-year-old was coming off back-to-back MVP seasons ahead of the 2022 NFL season, which resulted in Green Bay missing the playoffs after clinching a postseason berth during the previous three consecutive seasons and 11 of the past 13 years.