Aaron Rodgers on Packers Return: I Woke Up and Said 'I Think I'm Going to Play Ball'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 2, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers heads to the locker room after a loss to the Buffalo Bills in a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

The saga of whether Aaron Rodgers would return to the Green Bay Packers was one of the NFL offseason's biggest storylines, but the quarterback is ready to "play ball" with the season approaching.

"I just woke up one day and said, 'I think I'm going to play ball,'" he told Laura Schreffler of Haute Living when discussing his decision to return. "I really thought about what I wanted to do, and there are a lot of growth opportunities and good change to be part of in Green Bay, so I decided to come back."

He doesn't seem to have any regrets even though he missed much of the team's offseason activities.

"I mean, it felt a little bit strange, because I was gone for the entire offseason," he said. "But the first couple of days—the first couple of hours, really—once I saw the guys and was back in the locker room, it was just like last year. It started to feel way more normal."

It was quite the offseason for Rodgers, as it included everything from him hosting Jeopardy to questions about whether he would retire or be traded. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in April that the quarterback was "so disgruntled" with the organization that he wanted out.

While he can become a free agent after the 2022 campaign without having to worry about the franchise tag after he and the Packers restructured his deal, he apparently does not want the upcoming year to be something of a swan song with the only NFL team he has ever known.

"I don't want a farewell tour," Rodgers told reporters. "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."

There is no questioning his ability, even at 37 years old.

The reigning MVP completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and five interceptions last season while leading the Packers to their second straight NFC Championship Game. He added to a resume that includes three MVPs, a Super Bowl ring and nine Pro Bowl selections.

And he is apparently ready for more in 2021.