Quarterback Aaron Rodgers – Was this his last game?

Berlin – Was that it for Aaron Rodgers? Immediately after the Green Bay Packers’ unexpected playoff defeat in the home game against the San Francisco 49ers, the debate about the quarterback’s future started on US television and on social networks – the pictures from Lambeau Field provided the framework. In the snow with double-digit minus temperatures, the 38-year-old football professional slowly left the field after 10:13, looked at the spectators in the legendary stadium several times and said goodbye with a rocker greeting before disappearing into the tunnel. It is not so unlikely that he actually did this for the last time in a jersey of the traditional Wisconsin team after 17 years.

“I’m going to take my time and have conversations with the people here, then take my time and distance myself and make a decision before free agency begins,” Rodgers announced on Saturday night (local time) as he wore a black beanie on his head the last press conference at the Packers for the time being. His key message: “I don’t want to be part of a reconstruction if I keep playing.” Translated, this means: If I don’t see a chance for the title again next season, that’s it. From the point of view of Packers coach Matt LaFleur the thing clear: “We certainly want him back here, we would be crazy if not.”

Rodgers announces talks for the coming week

Many important players’ contracts are expiring, and management’s room for maneuver is limited by the salary cap in the NFL. With receiver Davante Adams, the Packers can draw an option, with other professionals it is not so easy. The future of Equanimeous St. Brown with the Packers is also open, the German-American’s contract also ends after four years.

“There will be many decisions to be made, many players whose future is unclear. It will be interesting to see where some of these decisions go,” Rodgers said. “I will have talks with Brian (Gutekunst, General Manager, Anm. d. Red.), next week or so, to get some clarity and think about my own future and how much longer I want to do this.”

Troubled relationship between Rodgers and the Packers

Relevant to all of this: The Packers and Rodgers’ relationship is troubled. Rodgers said on Saturday that his relationship with manager Gutekunst had improved over the past year – but that doesn’t mean it’s good. Since the Packers chose young quarterback Jordan Love at the first opportunity in the 2020 draft instead of a possible valuable assistant for Rodgers in attack, there have been atmospheric disturbances. They went so far that Rodgers left it open before this season to even play for the team again. And that’s after he was named the NFL’s most valuable player for the third time just the previous season.

And then there is the matter of the corona vaccination, which Rodgers is one of the few NFL professionals to refuse. This has damaged his popularity. And so it’s not surprising that many people worked through their malicious comments after the defeat that Rodgers is not vaccinated. Less spiteful, but no less fact-based, were the references to his 17-year streak with the Packers with just one Super Bowl win in February 2011. And since then, waiting for a return to the most important NFL game of the year, although the team was always one of the favorites and played accordingly in the main round. For a decade, however, there was always a disappointment at the end of the season.

Like now against the 49ers again after a game in which the Packers had led 10:3 five minutes before the end. It may have been Rodgers’ last with the Packers. Or even in the NFL.

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