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Packers' Aaron Rodgers to decide future by March franchise tag deadline

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Packers' Aaron Rodgers to decide future by March franchise tag deadline
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers (12) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC divisional playoff game on Saturday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers plans to decide on his future with the Green Bay Packers before the franchise tag deadline in mid-March, the 17-year veteran announced.

Rodgers spoke about his plans with the NFC North franchise during his weekly appearance Tuesday on The Pat McAfee Show. The reigning MVP, who also is the favorite for the same honor this season, is under contract with the Packers through next season.

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He cited the contraction situation of Packers wide receiver Davante Adams when asked about the factors at play for his own future with the team.

Adams will be a candidate for the franchise tag, which allows NFL teams to prevent a player from becoming an unrestricted free agent in exchange for a predetermined one-year salary.

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Players typically prefer multi-year contract extensions or new contracts through free agency instead of the franchise tag due to better long-term financial security.

"One decision that will be upcoming will be obviously Davante and his future with the team," Rodgers said. "There still is this thing called a franchise tag, which I don't think '17' [Adams] wants.

"I think that should be enough time to make a decision by then. I don't want to put myself on a specific date, but I do want to be sensitive to Davante and many other guys who have decisions to make on their own futures.

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"To drag it out past free agency would be disrespectful to the organization and to those guys, and that 100 percent will not happen."

The Packers could use the franchise tag on Adams as early as Feb. 22. March 8 marks the deadline for the team to give the tag to the All-Pro wide receiver. Rodgers previously said he would make his decision by March 16, the start of free agency.

"Some of the factors are the direction of the team and the organization and how I feel like I fit in in the future," Rodgers said. "Mentally, do I still have the passion, competitiveness and desire to keep playing?"

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Rodgers, 38, said that a return to the Packers, a trade request or retirement are all at play in his decision. He said he "didn't think" free agency was an option and that he would not consider retiring and a 2023 return.

"There's not going to be a weird standoff, war of silence or anything," Rodgers said of his conversations with the Packers front office. "[Packers general manager] Brian Gutekunst and I have had good conversations throughout the year, and when it comes time to make a decision, we'll have a conversation and that'll be that.

"It won't be a long, drawn-out process."

Rodgers also commented on his future in his postgame news conference after the Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs Saturday in Green Bay, Wis. He hinted that, if he did keep playing, he didn't want to be part of a team with new pieces, in terms of personnel.

"I don't want to be part of a rebuild if I'm going to keep on playing, so a lot of decisions in the next couple of months," Rodgers told reporters.

The Packers are $44.8 million over their projected salary cap next season. Adams could receive close to $20 million if he receives the franchise tag.

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Rodgers skipped the entire Packers off-season program in 2021. He went on to complete 68.9% of his throws for 4,115 yards, 37 scores and just four interceptions in 16 starts this season. He also led the league in passer rating for the second-consecutive season.

Rodgers' Packers won the NFC North in each of the past three seasons. The Packers are 139-66-1 in the regular season and 11-10 in the playoffs since he took over in 2008 as the team's full-time starting quarterback.

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