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Aaron Rodgers wants to make sure Green Bay Packers fans and people within the organization he’s been close with know he feels nothing but love for them.
He spoke in glowing fashion Wednesday afternoon on the Pat McAfee show about how much wearing the Packers G on his helmet has meant to him and recalled a trip to Rome in which Green Bay fans recognized him and talked to him.
But in announcing his intentions to play for the New York Jets in 2023, Rodgers decimated the Green Bay front office.
He basically said they lied to him and said one thing in public and another in private about him. And, ultimately, he laid the responsibility for him not retiring and now wanting to play in New York on the Packers’ brain trust.
It all began after the Packers failed to make the postseason and Rodgers had one of the least productive seasons of his career.
“I was interested where they would be at mentally,” Rodgers said. “Everything I was told in the week I was in Green Bay was, ‘Take as long as you want and we want you to retire a Packer and if you want to come back and play, obviously the door is wide open.’ So that’s the information I was going on.”
Aaron Rodgers Says Packers Not Honest
Rodgers said he was uncertain about his next steps but when he entered a so-called darkness retreat he was “90 percent retired, 10 percent playing.” He spent one day of the retreat considering what retirement would be like and another day contemplating a return for his 19th season.
“When I came out of the darkness, something changed. I’m not sure what that was. But something changed,” Rodgers said. “Got back to my phone after five days off of it … I realized there had been a little bit of a shift. I heard from multiple people that I trust around the league, players mostly, that there was some shopping going on. That they were interested in actually moving me.
“It was clear to me at that point that although the Packers are going to say the right thing publicly, but that they were ready to move on. I don’t know what changed or if they said, ‘We need to make a decision because he hasn’t made a decision yet.’ Again, there’s no victims here. I’m not a victim.”
What Might Have Been For Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers then added: “I just think I wish in the beginning of the offseason there had been a conversation. Because I love direct communication.”
The 39-year-old quarterback suggested that if the Packers had been transparent, he might not be playing next season. But Rodgers rethought the issue when he heard the Packers wanted to move on.
” If they had just said, ‘We think it’s time to move in a different direction. And we love you, you’ll be a Packer Hall of Famer, you’ll go in the Hall as a Packer … but it’s time to move on,’ I would have said, ‘Thank you so much just for telling me that. Like I really, really appreciate that. That means the world to me that you would tell me that,’ Rodgers said.
That’s not what happened. Despite laying all the responsibility for what’s about to happen at the doorstep of the Packers front office, Rodgers said he’s at peace.
He said he feels “no malice,” and “no bitterness” about the Packers but admits “it’s been bittersweet for sure the last 10 days.”
Rodgers has been deciding his future the past 10 days. During that time Rodgers met with the Jets and promised nothing. He told the team he wanted to get into his offseason workouts, to see how he felt.
“I wanted to hit it hard for a week and see if the drive and the passion is still there and then see where we’re at,” Rodgers said.
And following that week, on a Friday he told the Jets he wants to play and do so for them.
Couple Of Parting Shots At Packers
And here is where Rodgers took another veiled shot at his soon-to-be former team:
“I haven’t been holding up anything at this point,” Rodgers said of the reason a trade between the teams has not yet been consummated. “It’s been compensation that the Packers have been trying to get for me and kind of digging their heels in.”
One more shot? Sure, why not …
“[It’s] so much love and gratitude and heart open for Packers fans and what it was like to be their quarterback,” Rodgers said. ” And also the reality of the situation. It is what it is. The Packers would like to move on. They’ve let me know that in so many words. Other people know that in direct words.
“And because I still have the fire and want to play and I would like to play in New York. It’s just a matter of getting that done right now.”