Rodgers nearly retired before deciding to play for Jets


Aaron Rodgers made it clear on Wednesday that he intends to play for the New York Jets this season, but there was a chance he wasn’t going to play at all. Rodgers joined the Pat McAfee Show for one of his regular appearances to break the news, and to share some insight into his decision making process and a darkness retreat that he went on to help reach that decision.

“I gotta admit, I went into the darkness 90% retiring, 10% playing,” Rodgers told McAfee. “That's where my mind was. My mind was, I'm tired and I haven't even gotten back into my workouts yet. I thought that (retiring) was what was best for me.”

Since he wasn’t 100% decided, Rodgers went into the darkness to try to find full clarity. He spent one entire day contemplating what retired life would be like for him, and another day contemplating what it would be like to come back to play.

“I just really sat with that for hours and hours,” Rodgers said. “What that looked like, what the reality is, how that all felt.”

Ultimately, Rodgers decided he wanted to continue playing. Rodgers said that before he entered the retreat the Packers told him to take his time on a decision, they wanted him to retire a Packer, so their door would be open if he wanted to come back to football. Obviously that’s not how things have played out.

“When I came out of the darkness, something changed,” Rodgers said. “I'm not exactly sure what that was, but something changed. I go back to my phone after five days off of it because your phone’s not on the entire time, there’s no wifi on that hippy mountain. And when I got back to that little shack they have where there's one bar of wifi, I go back to hundreds of text messages and emails and all different things. I realized that there had been a little bit of a shift. I heard from multiple people that I trust around the leagueー players mostlyー that there was some shopping going on, that (the Packers) were interested in actually moving me at this point.”

Rodgers doesn’t begrudge the Packers for wanting to move on and move forward with Jordan Love as their starting quarterback, but he does wish things had been handled differently.

“I wish that in the beginning of the offseason that had been the conversation because I love direct communication.

“It is what it is. The Packers would like to move on. They’ve let me know in so many words. They’ve let other people know that in direct words, and because I’ve still got that fire and still want to play and would like to play in New York, it’s just a matter of getting that done at this point.”

Rodgers denied reports that he’s holding up the process by making demands of the Jets or Packers, and placed the onus on the GMs to get a deal done. In his mind getting a deal done is a matter of “how,” and not a matter of “if,” too.

"I don't think there's a scenario where they're like, 'Well, we want this and Jets aren't willing to give it to us, so we'll take you back.' That's not the reality."

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