There’s currently a changing of the guard happening amongst NFL quarterbacks.
With future Hall of Famer Philip Rivers announcing his retirement and rumors swirling about the futures of other Canton-bound quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, the torch is being passed to the next generation right before our eyes.
And while speculation ran rampant earlier this week, one future Hall of Fame quarterback has shot down the rumors that he’ll soon be retiring.
This past Sunday’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was viewed by many fans as a chance to see two all-time greats duke it out in a conference championship for the first and possibly final time.
With both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers nearing the end of their careers, no one knows how many more chances we’ll get to see these greats compete against one another on such a big stage.
But with Brady seemingly proving more and more that he’s immortal, and Rodgers still playing at a high level, few thought going into the game that retirement was an immediate possibility for either one.
That all changed, though, after the Packers lost in heartbreaking fashion, and Rodgers stoked the fire of speculation in his post game press conference.
“A lot of guys’ futures, they’re uncertain, myself included” a dejected Rodgers said.
“There’s a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now, and I’m just going to have to take some time for sure, and clear my head and just kind of see what’s going on with everything,” he continued.
Aaron Rodgers after the game: “A lot of guys futures, they’re uncertain, myself included. … Just gonna have to take some time away and clear my head and kind of see what's going on with everything." pic.twitter.com/3GlzPU9EsZ
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 25, 2021
As you would expect, those comments from Rodgers quickly spread across the Internet and began a firestorm of speculation in the media.
For Green Bay fans, though, those comments caused mass hysteria at the thought that their quarterback had played his final game.
Sometimes being a fan really sucks pic.twitter.com/h0hd2b69So
— Liz Gonzales (@TheLizGonzales) January 25, 2021
After collectively losing their minds, Packers fans can now sleep easy, though, as Aaron Rodgers has finally set the record straight.
In an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers’ former teammate A.J. Hawk asked about the rumors, and the quarterback shot down the notion that his retirement is imminent.
“Obviously after the season that I had, potentially winning MVP, and we obviously made another good run, I don’t think there’s any reason why I wouldn’t be back,” the two-time NFL MVP said. “Look, there’s not many absolutes – as you guys know – in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it, and I guess that’s why it went kind of nuts.”
"I don't feel like I said anything that I hadn't said before.. It was just more of a realization I think that ultimately my future is not necessarily in my control…
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 26, 2021
Rodgers’ explanation of his comments is completely understandable, and anyone who’s not in the media or isn’t a hysterical Green Bay fan could see that from the start.
He clearly wants to keep playing and the Green Bay Packers would be absolutely insane to not want him back, so there should have never been any doubt what the ultimate outcome here would be.
Fortunately, Packers fans can sleep easy now knowing their quarterback isn’t planning on sailing off into the sunset just yet.
But it’s probably best to start mentally preparing for the day Aaron Rodgers does walk away – it’s not like he can play forever.
After all, he’s not Tom Brady.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.