It’s January, which means we’re back on Aaron Rodgers retirement watch, ready to have our offseason hijacked by a breadcrumb trail of cryptic non-answers, suspicious social media activity and, of course, the suspense and anticipation that comes from his weekly appearances on The Pat McAfee Show. However, this week fans were left disappointed with the quarterback nowhere to be found for “Aaron Rodgers Tuesday,” scrapping his scheduled sit-down with McAfee to meet with the Packers, presumably broaching the subject of his NFL future.
Retirement speculation began Sunday night when Rodgers declined to swap jerseys with Jameson Williams, telling the Lions rookie, “I’m going to hold on to this one.” A known troll who loves playing mind games with the media, it’s hard to tell whether Rodgers is genuinely considering retirement or if his latest viral moment was all an act, throwing us off the scent for his own personal amusement. Unlike Tom Brady, who seems determined to play until his arm falls off, Rodgers has alluded to a life after football, though it would be surprising to see him walk away this soon after signing a record extension worth $50 million annually.
Rodgers didn’t have his fastball this year, submitting a career-worst 91.1 quarterback rating while throwing his most interceptions (12) since 2008. The 39-year-old needed a win Sunday night to keep Green Bay’s playoff hopes alive but fell short, completing just 17-of-27 passes for 205 yards in a season-ending loss to Detroit.
It seems Rodgers’ teammates are tired of being held hostage, exasperated at having to answer for a player who can’t make up his mind. “I don’t f---ing know,” said Allen Lazard, an impending free agent, at the conclusion of Sunday night’s game. “I don’t know where I’m going to be at. I can’t worry about somebody else.”
McAfee, who covered Monday night’s College Football National Championship as a studio analyst for ESPN, said the plan is for Rodgers to join the show at his usual time next Tuesday, hopefully shedding light on whether he’ll be back for a 19th NFL season in 2023.