The Packers suffered a stunning 13-10 defeat to the 49ers in the divisional playoff round. As the NFC’s No. 1 seed for the second straight season, an early playoff exit wasn’t anticipated. With Green Bay’s season over, quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ football future moves to the forefront.

Rodgers is under contract through the 2022 season after his 2023 contract year was turned into a voiding/dummy year in an effort to end his offseason rift with the Packers, during which he contemplated retirement. “I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing,” Rodgers said in a post-game session with the media. Packers leadership is unanimous in wanting Rodgers to return to Green Bay.

Rodgers originally indicated he would make his decision before free agency begins on March 16. He amended his timetable without giving a specific date Tuesday on The Pat McAfee Show. Rodgers suggested he would decide before the end of the franchise designation period to be sensitive to All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams’ situation. The 15 day window to designate franchise players runs from Feb. 22 through March 8. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport recently reported that the Packers intend to place a franchise tag on Adams. Rodgers has three choices: return to the Packers, demand a trade or retire.

Return to Packers

The issues that made Rodgers disgruntled won’t be an impediment to him returning to the Packers. They are in the rear view mirror. A strained relationship with general manager Brian Gutekunst has dramatically improved since last offseason.

Green Bay having one of the NFL’s most challenging salary cap situations could be a different story. Using NFLPA data, the Packers are $43.97 million over the agreed upon $208.2 million 2022 salary cap ceiling based on offseason accounting rules. Only the top 51 salaries (i.e.; cap numbers) matter with these rules. The Packers have 51 players under contract…

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