On the heels of our own Thomas Hobbes taking a bit of a tongue-in-cheek look at “age” as it applies to Aaron Rodgers versus other Packers, we have an interesting comment from Rodgers.
In a must-read wide-ranging interview with Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee, the subject of how long Rodgers might want to play came up:
Wilde: Let’s talk about longevity. You’ve mentioned that this is basically a seven-year deal, through 2019. Careers seldom – as you were witness to with Brett Favre – end the way you draw them up. But if you were given the chance to draw it up, how would it play out?
Rodgers: Playing 15, 16, 17 years in one uniform; going out and being remembered as being a great teammate and a guy who performed well on Sunday; a guy his teammates could rely on every game day but also somebody who made practice a lot of fun and the locker room a lot of fun; someone who really cared about the game and hopefully did it all in one uniform. You realize in this game that it’s very rare that you can stay with a team your entire career. I look at that as a challenge. And I love challenges. I love it when people think things can’t be done, and trying to prove to them and myself that I can do them. And it is a challenge, to stay in one uniform for that long. And the way to do that is to play at a high level and keep yourself in incredible shape for that long. And if I can do that, then I think I can be a Green Bay Packer for life.
Wilde: And that could mean playing beyond this contract? I know you take it one day at a time, but …
Rodgers: Yes – if I play well enough.
Does this surprise anyone else? It does me. When the extension to Rodgers’ contract was announced, carrying through the 2019 season, my first thought was, “OK seven more years of being in the Super Bowl hunt every season – I can live with that.” It never really occurred to me to think beyond that time period.
Rodgers will have been in the NFL for 15 years at the end of his contract. For a guy who has said in the past that he doesn’t want the game to define him or be his everything in life, I had always imagined Rodgers being one of those guys that would not be afraid to walk away on his own terms.
Yet here he is sounding like he may be changing his tune. Perhaps time has softened those initial feelings of wanting to be thought of in more than just football terms. Certainly, growing older can make you look at things a bit differently. The thought of no longer having what has been such a big part of your life suddenly starts to seem like less of a good idea.
Rodgers is surely losing some of that youthful naivety that drove some of those “I don’t need this” feelings. It’s part of the subtle transition from young turk to wise veteran, and for Packers fans, it’s a good thing all around. Rodgers leadership abilities have grown with every year and the thought of him wanting to stick around for a few extra years as a grizzled, grey-haired Super Bowl MVP QB isn’t so bad, is it?
After all, what are the odds of the Packers finding a third straight franchise QB to replace Rodgers?
Um, yeah… hang on as long as you can, Aaron…——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.