As Aaron Rodgers walked off the snow-covered pitch at Lambeau on Saturday night, many understandably wondered if it would be the last time he’d wear green and gold.
The Packers, favorites to win Super Bowl LVI heading into the divisional round of the playoffs, were upset 13-10 by the 49ers.
Now, just a few days later and much uncertainty in Green Bay, the Packers’ front office, despite the loss, is looking to the future in hopes of retaining its franchise QB.
On Monday, head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that the Packers’ bosses 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 ponder his next move.
Aaron Rodgers to reporters tonight: “I’m going to take some time and talk to people here, and then I’m going to take time and make a decision, obviously before free agency.”
—Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 23, 2022
He also added: “I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing.”
The impact of the season has yet to dissipate on the Packers. Therefore, taking time and not making a rash decision is important for 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 starts immediately.
“I sat down and talked with Aaron today for quite a while,” LaFluer said. “I would say what we talked about I’ll definitely keep between me and him, but we’re hopeful he’ll be back next year, obviously. I mean, this guy has done so much for so long.” period of time for this organization, for this city, for this team.
It appears that Rodgers’ future in Green Bay will depend on the Packers’ willingness to allow the franchise quarterback to be involved in personnel decisions. That was the focal point of the frustration last offseason and it doesn’t look like Rodgers’ mindset has changed.
The Packers have just $44 million in salary-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 recent to contemplate the future. The two are likely to meet sometime this week.
And so, we wait: the long offseason begins in the Frozen Tundra for the Packers and whatever decision the potential MVP makes.
“I just want to do everything in our power to try to get him back here,” LaFluer said, “Making sure he’s comfortable with leading our football team and confident that we can continue to be successful here, and trying to find a way to overcome that obstacle so that we can go further and further and further.
“I want to be respectful of his process. Whatever he has to go through to make the best decision for himself, and we certainly would love for him to be a Packer and be a Packer until the day he decides to retire.”