Packers QB Aaron Rodgers won't retire, plans to join Jets

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers intends to play for the New York Jets next season, but must be traded first. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers intends to play for the New York Jets next season, but must be traded first. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo

March 15 (UPI) -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers intends to join the New York Jets for the 2023-24 NFL campaign after leaning toward retirement earlier this off-season, he said Wednesday on the Pat McAfee Show.

"I've made it clear that my intention was to play and my intention was to play for the New York Jets," Rodgers said. "And I haven't been holding anything up at this point.


"It's been compensation that the Packers are trying to get for me, and kind of digging their heels in, so it is interesting at this point to step back and take a look at the whole picture."

Rodgers, who signed a three-year, $150.8 million contract extension last March, would require a trade to join the Jets. He remains under contract with the Packers for the next four seasons.


He is set to receive a guaranteed $59.5 million this season.

Packers president Mark Murphy confirmed last week in an interview with WBAY Green Bay that the team gave the Jets permission to speak with Rodgers and would honor a trade of the star quarterback.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters earlier this month at the NFL scouting combine that the team would like to have "some answers" from the quarterback by Wednesday, the start of free agency in the NFL.

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Rodgers told McAfee on Wednesday that he went into the off-season "90% retired," but changed his mind after he attended a darkness retreat.

The quarterback said he spent five days or four nights in a dark, small room, contemplating his football future in February at Sky Cave Retreats in southern Oregon.

Rodgers, who did not use electronics during that time, said he emerged to find more than 200 messages on his phone. He then realized there was a "shift" and some "shopping" was going on, a reference to potential trade talks the Packers were allegedly having.

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"It was clear to me at that point, that although the Packers were going to say the right thing publicly, they were ready to move on. I don't know what changed that," Rodgers said.


Rodgers, 39, completed 64.8% of his throws for 3,695 yards, 26 scores and 12 interceptions in 17 starts this season. Jordan Love and Danny Etling are the only other two quarterbacks on the Packers roster for 2023.

Love, the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, started just one game over the past three seasons.

Zach Wilson and Chris Streveler are the only quarterbacks on the Jets roster heading into free agency.

"From my side all the love, appreciation and gratitude for everything Green Bay has done for me," Rodgers said. "And also the reality of the situation, like it is what it is.

"The Packers would like to move on. They've let me know that in so many words, they've let other people know that in direct words. And because I still have that fire and I want to play, I'd like to play in New York, it's just a matter of getting that done at this point."

Sources told NFL Network, The Athletic and ESPN on Tuesday that the Jets agreed to sign former Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard to a four-year deal.

The Jets also hired Nathaniel Hackett in January as their new offensive coordinator. Hackett was the Packers' offensive coordinator from 2019 through 2021.


"There's a lot of reasons why the Jets are attractive," Rodgers said. "There's one coach who's meant as much to me as any coach I've ever had, and he happened to be the coordinator there."

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