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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to weigh what’s next

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs out on to the field as he is announced against the Detroit Lions during their football game Sunday, January 8, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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What’s next for Aaron Rodgers with the Packers missing the playoffs?

Rodgers said Sunday night in the wake of a season-ending loss to the Detroit Lions that his future is up in the air. Rodgers offered no timeframe for making a decision on returning to Green Bay for the 2023 season.

“At some point, the carousel comes to a stop and it’s time to get off, and I think you kind of know when that is,” Rodgers said Sunday. “And that’s what needs to be contemplated. Is it time? Also, what’s the organization doing? That’s part of it, as well. But the competitive fire is always going to be there. I don’t think that ever goes away. Sometimes it gets transferred, I think, to other things that might not ever fill that large void. But like I said, I feel good about what I’ve accomplished in this league and wouldn’t have any regrets walking away. But I got to see what it feels like once I get away from this.”

Retirement is a term Rodgers hasn’t shied away from in the offseason since 2021. Six weeks passed between the Packers’ final game and the declaration from Rodgers on March 8 that he was returning for the just-completed 2022 season.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said Sunday night the team welcomes Rodgers back, but knows “ultimately, he will decide that.”

There are decisions on the personnel side to be made independent of Rodgers that could sway his decision, he said Sunday. Free agents include wide receiver Randall Cobb, tight end Robert Tonyan, wide receiver Allen Lazard, tight end Marcedes Lewis and kicker Mason Crosby.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari, 32, has a $29.1 million cap hit in 2023. His $9.5 million roster bonus is due three days into free agency.

Rodgers’ contract was addressed last offseason with trade and retirement talk prevalent.

He signed a three-year deal worth $150 million that would set him up to make $58.3 million next season. Rodgers, however, said money won’t be a factor in his next move.

“Do I feel like I have anything left to prove to myself?” he said. “Do I want to go back and gear up for another grind? Or is it time? Is time to step away? Is it time for another voice to be leading this team?

“I think I need to get away and contemplate those things. Those are real to me. I have a lot of pride in what I’ve accomplished in this league, but I’m also a realist, and I understand where we’re at as a team. We’re a young team; there could be some changes with some of the older guys, and it could be time to step away. But I could take some time and say hell no, man, I need to get back out there and go on another run. But I’ll have to see what it feels like once I’m away from it.”

–Field Level Media