Rodgers plans to play for Jets in 2023, waits for Packers to move

Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023 after 18 seasons with the Green…

Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023 after 18 seasons in Green Bay, and the four-time NFL MVP is waiting for the Packers to trade him.

Rogers, 39, speaking during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on YouTube and Sirius XM, said he believes the Packers want to move on and make 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love their starting quarterback.

“At this point, as I sit here, I think I’ve made it clear since Friday that my intention was to play and my intention was to play for the New York Jets,” Rodgers said. “At the moment, I have not delayed anything. That was the compensation the Packers are trying to get for me, kind of reveling in it.”

Packers president and general manager Mark Murphy acknowledged the team allowed the Jets to talk to Rodgers, the face of the franchise after Hall of Famer Brett Favre was traded to the Jets in 2008. The Jets sent a contingent that reportedly included owner Woody Johnson, coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas last week to Rodgers’ home in Southern California.

Rodgers expressed appreciation for his 18 seasons in Green Bay, but added it was time for the Packers to “do the right thing.”

“I have nothing but love in my heart for every Packer fan and everyone who works in the organization,” Rodgers said. “My life has been better because of my time in Green Bay. But we just have to face reality. They want to move on. They don’t want me to come back, and that’s okay. They are ready to move on with Jordan. It’s wonderful. Jordan is going to be a great player.”

Rodgers’ comments came after days of speculation that his time in Green Bay could be over.

Murphy spoke about Rodgers in the past tense while discussing the point guard’s future with Green Bay’s WBAY last week while speaking at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association girls basketball championship game.

“Very few players play for just one team” Murphy told WBAY. “Obviously, Brett has had a great career. Aaron has had a great career here. Regardless of what happens, Aaron will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He will be in our Hall of Fame. We will return it, remove the number. It’s just one of the things we go through as a team. We want to try to achieve something good for Aaron and for us.”

At the end of the 2022 season, Rodgers said he will need time to decide whether to return to the Packers, request a trade or retire. He said Friday that he discussed his future with Packers officials shortly after the team finished an 8-9 season that ended a streak of three straight NFC North titles.

“All I was told the week I was in Green Bay was, ‘Wait as long as you want and we want you to retire as a Packer.’ If you want to come back and play, obviously the door is wide open,” Rodgers said. “That was the information I was gathering.”

As he contemplated his future, Rogers spent several days in solitary confinement in Oregon last month, where he said he was left alone in a room in total darkness.

Rogers said he was 90% leaning toward retirement at the time of his withdrawal. When he finished stepping down, he said he noticed a difference in the Packers’ approach to his future with the franchise.

“Now that I’m out of the dark, something has changed,” Rogers said. “I’m not quite sure what it was, but something changed. … I realized that there was a slight shift. I’ve heard from a few people I trust in the league — mostly the players — that there was some shopping, that they were interested in moving me.”

Rodgers said it made him realize the Packers probably didn’t want him back.

“It was clear to me at that point that while the Packers were going to say the right thing publicly, they were ready to move on,” he said. “I don’t know what changed it or what moved it — if they just said, ‘Hey, we need to make a decision here because he hasn’t made a decision yet.’ Again, no casualties. I’m not sitting here as a victim.”

The Jets’ interest in Rodgers was evident as they sought to end the NFL’s longest active playoff drought. They lost their last six games last season, going 7-10 and haven’t made the postseason since 2010.

Their new offensive coordinator is Nathaniel Hackett, who earned raves from Rodgers as Green Bay’s offensive coordinator in 2019-21. Saleh and Johnson have both expressed interest in adding a veteran quarterback to a roster that already has one of the league’s best defenses.

If Rodgers ends up with the Jets, history will repeat itself.

The Packers traded the 39-year-old Favre to the Jets in 2008, ushering in Rodgers as Green Bay’s starting quarterback. During his Hall of Fame career, Favre won three MVPs with Green Bay.

Rodgers backed up Favre for three seasons after the Packers selected him out of California with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Love has backed up Rodgers for three seasons since the Packers traded for the former Utah quarterback with the 26th overall pick in 2020.

Rodgers’ future has been the subject of speculation ever since the Packers selected Love. Rogers admitted that the selection caught him by surprise. A year later, he missed the mandatory Packers mini-bomb in a confrontation with Packers management.

But in the end, both sides patched things up.

Rodgers signed with the Packers last year after winning the MVP for the second consecutive season.

When asked at the Packers’ mandatory minicamp last June if he expected to finish his career in Green Bay, Rodgers said, “Yeah. Of course.”

Those plans apparently changed after a 2022 season in which he had the lowest passer rating of a starter (91.1) and threw 12 interceptions, his most since 2008. Rodgers now believes his time in Green Bay is over.

“Coming into that reality was really bittersweet,” Rogers said. “I was drafted by Green Bay. I… love this city, love this organization. I will always love this organization. But the facts are that they want to move on, and now so do I.”


AP Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak contributed to this report.


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