Despite plenty of drama throughout the offseason, Aaron Rodgers said on The Rich Eisen Show he never ruled out returning to the Green Bay Packers this year.
"No, I think that's definitely an exaggeration," Rodgers said on rumors he was done with Green Bay. "I think there were many things I was hoping were gonna adjust moving forward, but I never closed the door on returning completely, just like I didn't close the door on retiring. I wanted to leave all options open."
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the night of the 2021 NFL draft that Rodgers told the organization he did not want to return to the team. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports added the quarterback would be willing to hold out or retire instead of playing for the Packers.
As Rodgers later explained, the Packers refused to commit to him beyond the 2021 season:
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“If they wanted to make a change, even though I just won MVP and didn’t see my future with the team past 2021, then why wait?”<br> <a href="https://twitter.com/ErinAndrews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ErinAndrews</a> sat down with <a href="https://twitter.com/AaronRodgers12?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AaronRodgers12</a> to discuss the eventful offseason for the Packers QB: <a href="https://t.co/AxJvpfcm9C">pic.twitter.com/AxJvpfcm9C</a>
The team used its 2020 first-round draft pick on Jordan Love, who will presumably become the quarterback of the future in Green Bay. It meant Rodgers' days were numbered with the organization, even after winning his third MVP award in 2020.
After missing organized team activities in May and the mandatory minicamp in June, speculation grew that Rodgers truly would not return to the Packers.
The two sides were finally able to work out a deal in July, creating a restructured contract that could allow him to hit free agency in 2022.
"I just woke up one day and said, 'I think I'm going to play ball,'" he told Laura Schreffler of Haute Living.
It will give the Packers at least one more chance to contend with the current core after losing in the NFC Championship Game in each of the past two years, although a 38-3 Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints wasn't a great start.