GREEN BAY, Wis. – A day after Aaron Rodgers plunged the NFL world into frenzied speculation over his future over a lengthy Instagram post, the Green Bay Packers quarterback said Tuesday he had no news to report or a decision made. whether he will play in 2022.
Instead, Rodgers attempted to explain on “The Pat McAfee Show” that his post – hashtag “Monday Night Gratitude” – came at the end of a 12-day cleanse called Panchakarma, during which he spent time in a reflective state. “There’s nothing mysterious about gratitude,” Rodgers said.
“You kind of have to turn everything else off, so you’re not working out or getting tired or anything. It’s kind of a refocusing. Not only does it physically heal you, but I think it takes away the mental stress and then the spiritual part, I think, is that it kind of allows you to enjoy the meditations a little bit more, so when I go out my first thought is intense gratitude for the people in my life.” he declared.
Among the photos that caused the most noise was that of receivers Randall Cobb and Davante Adams from the Nov. 7 game in Kansas City that Rodgers missed due to COVID-19. They left a space between them where Rodgers would normally stand during the national anthem, and some internet sleuths interpreted this as a goodbye message.
“When I got that picture of Randall and Davante it brought tears to my eyes because those are my guys standing in front of the game,” Rodgers said. “Randall is still on my right, Tae is on my left and I give them both a hug after the anthem. It’s part of the pre-game ritual, but also a statement about friendship and love and connection we have collectively and individually in our own friendships. .
“They saved some space and a free seat for me in the game that I missed because of my positive COVID test, and that made me, man. And that’s one of my favorite pictures of the year. It’s really because it just shows love and how special each one of those moments is, so it’s one of my all-time favorite photos and the thought that comes to my mind. pushed me to do it deeply moved me, especially with the craziness of this week. it got me.”
Rodgers’ future could be tied to Adams, who is expected to become a free agent next month. The Packers will almost certainly use the franchise tag to keep him out of the market in hopes of securing a long-term contract to keep Adams in Green Bay if Rodgers returns.
“There’s obviously the possibility of tagging him at some point, which I don’t think either side probably wants to have that done,” Rodgers said. “They’d rather get a long-term extension, but I understand that’s part of the decision and I’ve talked about not wanting to drag this thing out.”
His 41-minute appearance on the show on Tuesday was more about thinking things through than looking ahead, although Rodgers said he had “a few other things to contemplate but it won’t be long” before deciding on play in 2022 and if so. , if it’s for the Packers.
He made it clear that he left Green Bay feeling very different from the Packers after last season compared to last year when he began his offseason of dissatisfaction with the organization.
“I would say the meetings were very different from what they had been in the past — in a positive way,” Rodgers said. “And that there were some real honest conversations that I enjoyed.”
Rodgers said the repair started shortly after he returned to the team last July when he met with general manager Brian Gutekunst at the start of training camp. It followed an offseason filled with Zoom meetings, phone calls and several team staff trips – including one in which he said several members of the coaching staff were following along the Pacific Coast Highway ahead. his California home while awaiting his return – trying to convince Rodgers to return to the team.
Rodgers compared that training camp conversation with Gutekunst to his stage appearance with Brett Favre at the NFL Honors in 2013.
“The best analogy is that it was me and Brett Favre shaking hands on stage at NFL honors,” Rodgers said. “I felt, and a lot of people, and Brett would probably say the same thing, that that was kind of a catalyst to bring Brett back into the fold. … And that’s what that conversation with Brian and me…I feel like that was sort of a first step towards a real smooth conversation and friendship, and I’m really grateful for the work he did on the relationship and on Russ Ball as well .
Actress Shailene Woodley played a big role not only in Rodgers’ Instagram post, but also on the Tuesday show. Rodgers, who announced 13 months ago that the two were engaged, credited him with playing a role in his success on the pitch over the past two seasons.
“I was also saying Shai, who’s been with you for two seasons, has won two MVPs; that’s no coincidence either,” Rodgers said, seemingly at odds with the entertainment site’s recent reports that the two had separated. “And I mean that. When your home life is stable and you have an amazing partner to live with, it makes work life a bonus. … When you have a partner like that, it makes life so much more enjoyable. and tasteful and exciting. I think living a life of gratitude is such an important way to keep that joy in your life. When you meet your person, life is simply changing and you cannot be changed by being surrounded by those special people we meet.”
He also apologized to those close to him who were affected by his controversial stance on vaccinations which came to light shortly after he tested positive for COVID-19 during the season.
“I didn’t realize the kind of shrapnel they would get,” Rodgers said. “So many people have stepped up and sent me great messages of support and love. of these people, and that I kind of understood the full seriousness of the situation. was delved into and decided to speak up several times had an effect on a lot of people. To these people, I just say I’m sorry. I never meant to put you in the middle of this, but you got into it vicariously because of your relationship with me.”