When Aaron Rodgers walked off the snow-covered field at Lambeau on Saturday night, many understanably wondered if it was the last time he’d be wearing green and gold.
The Packers, favorites to win Super Bowl LVI heading into the divisional playoff round, were stunned 13-10 by the 49ers.
Now, just days removed, and a lot of uncertainty in Green Bay, the Packers front office, despite the loss, look to the future in hopes of retaining their franchise QB.
On Monday, Head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that the Packers’ brass are “all on the same page… there is no debate.”
Rodgers, who has been publicly at odds with general manager Brian Gutekunst & Co., is taking time after the season to mull over his next move.
Aaron Rodgers to reporters tonight: “I’m gonna take some time and have conversations with the folks around here, and then take some time away and make a decision – obviously before free agency.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 23, 2022
He also added, “I don’t want to be a part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing.”
The shock of the season hasn’t yet worn off the Packers, either. So, taking time and not making a snap decision is important to all parties.
And while the Packers head coach is tasked with how the team performs on the field, his ability to convince Rodgers to stay in Green Bay may be the most important task of his career.
That campaign begins immediately.
“I sat down and talked to Aaron today for quite some time,” LaFluer said. “I would say that what we talked about I’m definitely going to keep between him and myself, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be back next year, obviously. I mean, this guy has done so much for such a long period of time for this organization, for this city, for this team.”
It seems Rodgers’ future in Green Bay will hinge on the Packers’ willingness to allow the franchise QB to have involvement in personnel decisions. That was the focal point of frustration last offseason and it doesn’t appear Rodgers mindset has changed.
The Packers have just $44 million in cap space, second-lowest in the NFL behind the Saints.
Rodgers said Saturday that his relationship with GM Gutekunst had improved, but the loss was too fresh to contemplate the future. The two will likely meet sometime this week.
And so, we wait– the long offseason in the Frozen Tundra begins for the Packers and whatever decision the likely MVP will make.
“I just want to do everything in our power to try to get him back here,” LaFluer said, “Making sure he’s comfortable with the direction of our football team, and confident that we can continue to have success here, and try to find a way to get us kind of over that hump so we can reach further and further and further.”
“I want to be respectful of his process. Whatever he needs to go through to make the best decision for himself, and certainly we would love for him to be a Packer and be a Packer until the day he decides to retire.”