While it might have been obvious from the second the final whistle sounded on the Packers' NFC Championship Game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Aaron Rodgers says his desire to leave Green Bay was a long time coming.
“Last year at this time, I was looking at the season as my last year in Green Bay," Rodgers told Peter King of NBC Sports.
Rodgers requested a trade this offseason and spent spring and most of the summer trying to force his way out.
The reigning MVP eventually relented and reported to camp after the Packers agreed to rework his contract—not to give him more money but to allow him more freedom. Rodgers can now leave the Packers after the 2022 season without fear of a franchise tag, and the team agreed to revisit his future next offseason.
King noted that the two sides essentially agreed to a one-year trial period to work out their differences.
"In 2022, he will either agree to stay in Green Bay (and perhaps sign an extension) or request a trade, likely with some say about his landing spot. The Packers, I am told, will not release him in 2022," King wrote.
Rodgers' displeasure has largely been with team management rather than the coaching staff or his teammates. The team went about allaying some of Rodgers' displeasure by trading for longtime favorite teammate Randall Cobb, who they did not pursue after he became a free agent in 2019.
"I really do love it," Rodgers told King. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have come back. I've got so many other things that I love and I'm passionate about. I love competing. I love practice, still. I've had a really good camp. Last year I felt like I started a little slow and then something clicked. I've actually had a really good camp here. I feel good about where I'm at."
With the Packers coming off two straight appearances in the NFC Championship Game, anything less than a Super Bowl appearance and this may be Rodgers' last season in Green Bay.