The 2021 season may be Aaron Rodgers' final season in Green Bay, but he's not viewing it as a "farewell tour."
"I don't want a farewell tour," Rodgers told reporters Wednesday. "I don't know what's going to happen after the season, but I'm going to enjoy it with the right perspective, for sure, and not look at it as I'm getting through this. I'm going to enjoy the hell out of all of it."
Rodgers reportedly told the organization that he didn't want to return after a 2020 season that saw him win his third MVP and lead the Packers to the NFC Championship Game. He spent the entire offseason being coy about his future until reaching an agreement with the Packers on the eve of training camp.
As part of a restructured contract, Rodgers can become a free agent after the 2022 season without fear of the franchise tag. The Packers also agreed to revisit his future with the franchise after this season.
The deal essentially amounts to a one-year trial period. If Rodgers is still unhappy, the overwhelming odds are the Packers will trade him—likely to a destination of his choosing—next offseason. If Rodgers decides he wants to finish his career in Green Bay, the two sides will probably sit down for a contract negotiation.
The displeasure from Rodgers seemed largely aimed at management, stemming from a seeming lack of urgency to win. Green Bay selected Rodgers' long-term replacement, Jordan Love, with its first-round pick in the 2020 draft and selected backups in the first three rounds overall—typically the time when Super Bowl contenders try to land instant-impact players.
"The reason I approached it like that is I just knew when the [Love] pick was made that the clock had started, for sure," Rodgers said. "And I thought unless there was something in the season that really made me feel like I'm going to be here past 2021 that maybe this would be my last year. I didn't want to be going into a year with some sort of ... as a lame duck, like I said. I didn't think that was fair to what I accomplished and what I mean to this team, and nothing really changed in that regard. I went into the offseason, that [it] could have been it."
The Packers have made a few concessions in hopes of satisfying their star quarterback, most notably bringing back longtime Rodgers favorite Randall Cobb, who they did not retain when he was a free agent in 2019. Cobb was one of Rodgers' favorite targets from 2012 through his departure.