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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers using off-season to focus on mental health

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he is thankful he has had the opportunity to focus on his mental health this off-season, amid a dispute with the franchise's front office. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he is "thankful" he has had the opportunity to focus on his mental health this off-season, amid a dispute with the franchise's front office. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo

July 6 (UPI) -- Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has held out from Green Bay Packers workouts this off-season amid a rift with the team's front office, said he is using this off-season to focus on his mental health and happiness.

Rodgers spoke about his off time during a news conference Monday for The Match charity golf exhibition. The reigning NFL MVP will partner with the PGA Tour's Bryson DeChambeau to take on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and golfer Phil Mickelson on Tuesday in Big Sky, Mont.

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"I've focused on in the off-season about how to take care of myself, the total package," Rodgers told reporters, according to ESPN. "Not just my physical self with workouts, but my spiritual self with my own mindful practices, my mental health as well.

"What's the best way to take care of that? That's what I've been doing this off-season. That's why I've taken the time I've taken and done the things or not done the things that I've done. And I'm very thankful for that time."

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Rodgers, 37, faces more than $93,000 in fines for skipping Packers mandatory minicamp last month. He forfeited a $500,000 workout bonus earlier this off-season for his absence from voluntary organized team activities. Rodgers faces a daily fine of $50,000 if he decides to skip training camp, which starts July 27.

Rodgers never held out over his previous 16 seasons with the franchise. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection's absence is due to a contract dispute and additional disagreements with the front office. Rodgers is under contract through 2023.

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work on my mental health," Rodgers said. "I haven't dealt with bouts of depression or anything like that, [which] for whatever reason are OK to talk about if you're talking about mental health.

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"I've just been really trying to think about what puts me in the best frame of mind."

Rodgers also delivered cryptic comments in reference to his dispute with the team.

"Sometimes, the loudest person in the room is not the smartest person," Rodgers said. "Sometimes the loudest person in the room is not the person who has all the facts on their side or the truth on their side. Sometimes there's a lot of wisdom in silence. Sometimes there's a lot of wisdom in being selective on what you say.

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"This off-season I've spent a lot of time working on myself."

The Match airs at 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday on TNT.

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