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Packers' Aaron Rodgers doesn't want 'farewell tour,' sees MVP pushback

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he doesn't want to receive a farewell tour during his final NFL season. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI
1 of 5 | Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he doesn't want to receive a farewell tour during his final NFL season. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn't ruled out retirement this off-season, but doesn't want a "farewell tour" from fans and opposing teams, the reigning NFL MVP said.

Rodgers made the comments on his weekly appearance Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show.

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"If you remember, when [Barry Sanders] retired, he had like a little note: 'Hey, guys, it was fun, thanks, I'm out,'" Rodgers said. "I always thought how cool that was. He loved the game, but he never was bigger than the game.

"That's a great way to do it. I think to get the fanfare and respect like Ben Roethlisberger did Monday at Heinz Field was awesome as well. He deserves that. ... There's some positives to both those things, but I would never want a farewell tour.

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"That has worked for some guys and has been great and cool, but that's not something I want."

Rodgers, 38, said he considered retirement last off-season. He ultimately decided to return for his 17th season with the Packers.

He led the NFL with a 70.7% completion percentage, 48 touchdown passes and a 121.5 quarterback rating in 2020. He also led the league with the highest touchdown percentage and lowest interception percentage last season.

Rodgers completed 68.6% of his throws for 3,977 yards, 35 scores and four interceptions through 15 starts this season. He again leads the league in touchdown percentage, interception percentage and quarterback rating. He is also a favorite to claim another NFL MVP Award.

But if Rodgers does claim the honor, he isn't expected to win unanimously. Hub Arkush, a veteran Chicago sportswriter, said Tuesday on the Parkins & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score that he will not cast his MVP vote for Rodgers because of his "off the field" actions.

Rodgers continues to receive criticism for his unvaccinated status, which forced him to miss a game earlier this off-season and could result in further absences if he receives another positive COVID-19 result.

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Rodgers also was accused earlier this off-season of lying about his vaccination status. The 10-time Pro Bowl selection, 3-time All-Pro and three-time MVP responded with "yeah, I'm immunized," when asked by reporters in August if he was vaccinated.

Rodgers, who also was fined for violations of the NFL's COVID-19 protocol, admitted in November that he might have "misled" people and took "full responsibility" for the comments.

"There's no guidelines," Arkush said of the MVP voting process. "We are told to pick the guy who we think is most valuable to his team. And I don't think it says anywhere, 'strictly on the field,' although I do think he hurt his team on the field by the way he acted off the field."

Rodgers told the Pat McAfee Show that he will include his mental and physical health when he makes his final decision about retirement.

"At some point, the ride stops and you got to get off," Rodgers said. "You want to, I think, still be able to play, still be able to walk, be able to have cognitive brain function when you're done playing -- those are important."

The Packers (13-3), who already secured the NFC's top seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs, face the Detroit Lions (2-13-1) at 1 p.m. EST Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit.

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (R) celebrates with the fans around Heinz Field following the 26-14 win against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh on Monday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

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