All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers says “I don’t think there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be back” with the Green Bay Packers next season.
But he added that his future isn’t necessarily in his control.
Rodgers was clarifying remarks he made Sunday after the Packers’ 31-26 NFC Championship game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rodgers said after the game “there’s a lot of guys’ futures that are uncertain, myself included.”
“Obviously after the season I had, potentially winning MVP and we obviously made another good run, I don’t think there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be back,” Rodgers said Tuesday during his weekly spot on SiriusXM Radio’s “The Pat McAfee Show.” “But there’s not many absolutes, as you guys know, in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it.”
While discussing his postgame comments, Rodgers said Tuesday it “just kind of hit me in the moment” as he was thinking about some teammates whose futures were uncertain. The Packers’ list of potential free agents includes All-Pro center Corey Linsley and Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones among others.
Rodgers was asked Tuesday if the comment about his uncertain future was an attempt to capitalize on his leverage after a season in which he earned All-Pro honors. Rodgers threw 48 touchdown passes and five interceptions during the regular season.
“I haven’t even had the conversations yet,” Rodgers said. “This is Day 2. Yesterday was exit meetings. I had my meetings with my quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, and you say goodbye to your teammates and you start to clear your locker out. But I’m around this week. It’s not like jetting out of town and, ‘Sayonara, Green Bay.’
"I don't feel like I said anything that I hadn't said before.. It was just more of a realization I think that ultimately my future is not necessarily in my control...— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 26, 2021
I don't think there's any reason I wouldn't be back"@AaronRodgers12 #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/u1Qnjiugv6
“There’s conversations to be had. I’m going to have them with the right people. But it’s the same conversations we have every single year. There’s no big, ‘I’m going to come to the table with I need this, this and this.’ We have honest conversations about where we’re at every single year, whether that’s with [general manager] Brian [Gutekunst], [coach] Matt [LaFleur], [CEO] Mark [Murphy]. I’ve had these conversations for years. That’s part of being a leader on the squad and having a pulse on the team and the direction we’re going.”
Rodgers has spent his entire NFL career in Green Bay and has three years remaining on the four-year, $118 million extension he signed in August 2018. The two-time MVP has said on multiple occasions that the Packers’ decision to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft complicated his hopes of finishing his career in Green Bay.
Goff status uncertain?
The Rams are openly contemplating the possibility of a near future without quarterback Jared Goff.
General manager Les Snead echoed coach Sean McVay’s pointed uncertainty last week about the prospects of Goff, the fifth-year starter who led the Rams to the Super Bowl two seasons ago.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick’s four-year, $134 million contract starts next season, but Goff is coming off a second straight underwhelming campaign at the center of the Rams’ offense, which has declined sharply overall since its Super Bowl season.
When asked whether Goff definitely will be with the Rams in 2021, Snead replied: “What I can say is Jared Goff is a Ram in this moment, and it’s way too early to speculate. The future, that’s a beautiful mystery.”
McVay raised eyebrows last week following the Rams’ playoff loss at Green Bay when he said Goff would have to compete for a starting job just like everyone else next season — a noble sentiment, but a practical improbability for a player with $110 million guaranteed in one of the NFL’s biggest contracts.
McVay and Snead both emphasized they want more out of Goff, and their public uncertainty about the quarterback’s future could be a motivational tactic to encourage growth from a player who appears to have stagnated a bit.
Conference ratings up
The National Football League’s conference finals drew an average of 44.3 million viewers each Sunday, a 3 percent increase from a year earlier that shows big sports matchups remain a huge draw.
An additional 1.5 million watched online, a 47 percent increase, the league said in a statement Tuesday. Fox Corp., which carried the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defeat of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game, said its broadcast was the most-watched of any kind since last year’s Super Bowl.
The bump in viewers follows a difficult year that saw ratings tumble for nearly all live sports. Catch-up seasons for baseball, basketball and hockey crowded the fall TV schedule as teams played in mostly fanless stadiums because of the coronavirus.