Aaron Rodgers is back with the Green Bay Packers for at least one more season — but he came awfully close to hanging up his jersey for good in retirement.
"Yeah, it was definitely something I thought about," the quarterback admitted to reporters on Wednesday, according to Yahoo Sports.
The 37-year-old attended training camp for the first time this season on Tuesday, after an offseason that left many fans wondering if he would play for the team again.
Rodgers has not hidden his dissatisfaction for the Packers' front office in recent months, and on Wednesday, he admitted he became frustrated with their unwillingness to commit to him long-term as their starting quarterback.
"If you can't commit to me past 2021, and I'm not part of the recruiting process in free agency, if I'm not part of the future, then instead of being a lame-duck quarterback, then let me move forward," Rodgers said on Wednesday, as noted by ESPN.
Christopher Polk/Getty Aaron Rodgers
Rumors of a rift between Rodgers and his team of 16 years began to pick up steam when Green Bay traded up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The move, many speculated, seemed to point to the team preparing to move on from Rodgers sooner than later.
"I'm not a victim here," Rodgers said on Wednesday. "I made a ton of money here, and I've been really fortunate to play a long time and to play here. At the same time I'm still competitive and I still feel like I can play, I proved it last year."
Rodgers has emphasized that his problems with his longtime team did not arise from Love's signing. Speaking to ESPN SportsCenter host Kenny Mayne in late May, Rodgers said, "I love Jordan. He's a great kid. A lot of fun to work together. I love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. Incredible, incredible 16 years."
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During Wednesday's press conference, Rodgers said he still has a competitive fire within him and believes he can lead a team to success on the football field.
"There's still a big competitive hole in my body that I need to fill," Rodgers told reporters. "And as I got back into my workouts I just realized that I know I can still play and I want to still play, and as long as feel I can give 100 percent to the team, then I should still play."
Regardless of what transpired over the last few months, Rodgers maintained he was happy to be back in the city.
"I love my teammates," he said. "I love the city, love my coaches. It is a lot of fun to be back here."