Aaron Rodgers’ season – his riveting, disappointing, fantastic, shocking, tumultuous, must-see, MVP-caliber 2021 season – is over, much sooner than he (or just about anyone else not affiliated with the San Francisco 49ers) expected.
So now what? It’s a question that must be broached more quickly than assumed – and with fresh eyes given Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers folded in the playoffs shy of the Super Bowl for the 11th consecutive season. The three-time MVP – Rodgers will almost certainly collect No. 4 next month – had no answers following Saturday’s 13-10 loss to the Niners, acknowledging he’d need time to let the immediate disappointment sink in while also mulling his long-term options with a franchise now facing tough choices.
“A little numb, for sure,” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to end like this.”
Rodgers continued: “It’s disappointing, sad and fresh. I’ll have conversations in the next week or so and start to contemplate after that.”
NFL PLAYOFF WINNERS, LOSERS: Heartbreak for Aaron Rodgers, Packers
OPINION: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers must shoulder bulk of the blame for brutal playoff loss to 49ers
The Pack are projected to be more than $40 million over next year’s salary cap, and that doesn’t even account for pending free agent Davante Adams, a two-time All-Pro receiver who serves as Rodgers’ favorite target and one of his closest friends in the locker room. Green Bay is 39-10 in the regular season during three seasons under coach Matt LaFleur, yet he’s now 2-3 in the playoffs. Not good enough for Rodgers, who expected to have a second Super Bowl ring long before now. Now, in the aftermath of another sterling regular season – one when Rodgers dropped several hints along the way that seemed to suggest the bridges to Green Bay’s front office had been repaired after being napalmed not even a year ago – everyone, AR12 included it seems, is left to wonder where he’ll suit up in 2022. Worth noting next season is also…