Tom Brady followed the money to Tampa Bay. Philip Rivers found a new start in Indianapolis. And next season, each quarterback will become a starter for a new franchise after spending at least 16 years with another.
So, what will happen with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers when his contract expires in four years and he becomes the next major franchise quarterback due to hit the free market? Let’s just say the two-time league MVP isn’t keeping his intentions much of a secret.
“My thing is, legacy is really important,” Rodgers said in a surprise appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday while discussing the free-agent movements of Brady and Rivers. “Having the opportunity to do it all in Green Bay would mean a lot to me.
“I understand the track record of our squad is there have been times where we’ve had veteran players and they’ve finished elsewhere and I get it. I’d like to make that decision easy for them and the only way to do that is to keep playing at a high level. I’ve got four years left on my deal. I’d like to play four at a really, really high level. … I feel confident right now — I’m going to be 40 when the deal ends — I feel like I could keep going after that the way things have been going.”
Follow the Heavy on Packers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Packers Coach & GM Have Both Backed Rodgers
Rodgers finished last season with an NFL-low four interceptions while throwing for 4,002 yards and 26 touchdowns, but there were times where the rhythm was off between him and his wide receivers, especially as the team struggled to find a dependable No. 2 behind Davante Adams. As such, critics have challenged Rodgers’ capabilities and questioned whether he can still be considered elite.
There doesn’t seem to be much doubt about Rodgers within the Packers organization, though. Head coach Matt LaFleur certainly wasn’t disappointed with how he performed in their first year together.
“I thought he played pretty damn good,” LaFleur said at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. “He led us to 13 wins and a playoff win.”
General manager Brian Gutekunst also maintained confidence in the skills of his veteran quarterback when speaking at last month’s Combine, but he offered up more of a critical analysis of Rodgers’ abilities and pointed to areas where he believes he can improve for the Packers heading into Year 2 of the new coaching regime.
“I just think it’s making it more instinctual for him so that each week, each game, it’s not something they are going through, where it’s something that our team as a whole starts to understand the nuances Matt wants,” Gutekunst said. “I think I’ve referenced (quarterback) Matt Ryan in Year 2 when they were there (in Atlanta). And I think just Matt and his staff having another year with our guys to develop them, get them further than where they were last year … I’m really excited to see how our players react kind of when they know what’s coming already.”