At 33 years old, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers is still in his prime. That much was clear last season when he threw for 4,428 yards and tossed a league-high 40 touchdowns.
However, the two-time MVP acknowledged Tuesday night at the Gatorade Player of the Year Awards he's on the cusp of starting his second act with close to a decade of starting experience under his belt.
"I think I'm on the back nine of my career," the told NFL Network's Alex Flanagan, via NFL.com's Max Meyer. "But I think I'm just kind of starting the back nine. This will be my 10th year starting, I got to sit for three years. So I'm not the typical 13-year pro, having the opportunity to sit for three years and not take the wear and tear to learn the game."
Rodgers, who is currently under contract through the 2019 season, also confirmed he wants to end his career with the Packers after they put him in a position to succeed beyond his initial expectations.
"I think we all have numbers," Rodgers said, via Meyer. "When I was a young player, I remember thinking as I looked at some of the older guys, if I got to five that'd be cool, or eight, or anything after 10 would be amazing. For me, I think the longevity is tied to being a Green Bay Packer. I'd like to finish my career in Green Bay."
However, the short-term focus for Rodgers will be squarely on leading the Packers back to the top of the NFC North and into the Super Bowl conversation a year after they fell one win shy of competing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
But if the end of the last season was any indication, the Packers should come out humming in 2017.
Following a 4-6 start, Green Bay bounced back and finished 10-6 as Rodgers threw for 15 touchdowns and no interceptions over the Packers' final six games.
The gunslinger was dialed in during the playoffs, as well, when he posted six touchdowns and a single pick in a pair of wins over the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys before the Packers stumbled in the NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Now looking ahead to a fresh slate, Rodgers knows the Packers need to avoid an early slip-up if they want to re-establish themselves as the class of the conference.
"We got to get those home playoff games again," he said, via Meyer. "We all feel like if we get that No. 1, No. 2 seed and it's coming through Green Bay in the playoffs, it makes it really tough on other teams."