Green Bay, Wes. – A day after Aaron Rodgers put the NFL world in frenzied speculation about his future due to a lengthy Instagram post, the Green Bay Packers quarterback said on Tuesday he had no news to report or make a decision on whether he would play in 2022.
Instead, Rodgers attempted to explain on “The Pat McAfee Show” that his message – marked “Monday Night Gratitude” – came at the end of a 12-day purification called Panchakarma, during which he spent time in a state of meditation. “There is nothing mysterious about gratitude,” Rodgers said.
“You have to turn off everything else so you don’t exercise, not stress or whatever. It’s kind of re-centering. It not only heals you physically but I think it takes the mental stress and then the spiritual part which I think allows you to enjoy.” I meditate a little more, so when I go out, my first thought is very grateful for the people in my life,” he said.
Among the photos that caused quite the stir, was one of the recipients Randall Cope and Davante Adams from the November 7 game in Kansas City that Rodgers missed due to COVID-19. They left a space between them where Rodgers would normally stand during the national anthem, and some internet investigators interpreted this as a farewell message.
“When I got that picture of Randall and Davante, my eyes tears because these guys are standing up before the game,” Rodgers said. “Randal is always on my right, Tae on my left and I hug them together after the anthem. It’s part of the pre-match ritual but also a statement about the friendship, love and relationship that unites us collectively and individually in our own friendships.”
“They kept a space and an open space for me in the game that I missed because of my positive COVID test, and that’s what made me, man. And this is one of my favorite photos of the year. It’s really because it just shows the love and how special each of those moments is, So this is one of my all-time favorite photos and the idea that went into doing that was so moving for me, especially with how crazy that week was. To get that post-game photo of them, you got me.”
Rodgers’ future may be tied to Adams, who is set to become a free agent next month. The Packers will almost certainly use the franchise brand to keep it out of the market in hopes that they can reach a long-term contract to keep Adams in Green Bay if the Rodgers returns.
“Obviously there’s an opportunity to point to it at some point, which I don’t think either side would probably want to,” Rodgers said. “They’d rather have a long-term extension, but I understand that’s part of the decision and I’ve talked about not wanting to pull this off.”
His 41-minute appearance on the show on Tuesday was more about thinking than looking ahead, although Rodgers said he has “a few other things to think about but it won’t be long” before he decides whether to play in 2022 and if It was so, if for the sake of firmness.
He has made it clear that he left Green Bay feeling differently for the Packers after last season than he did last year, when his dissatisfaction with the organization began.
“I would say the meetings have been a lot different than they have been in the past – in a positive way,” Rodgers said. “And that there were some honest conversations that I appreciate.”
Rodgers said the reform began shortly after his return to the team last July during a meeting with general manager Brian Gutkunst early in training camp. It came after an outside period filled with Zoom meetings, phone calls and several trips by team members — including one in which he said several members of the coaching staff lined up along the Pacific Coast Highway in front of his California home waiting for his return — trying to impress Rodgers. Back to the team.
Rodgers likened his training camp conversation with Gutkunst to his appearance on stage with Brett Favre at the NFL Honors in 2013.
“My best analogy is that Brett Favre and I were shaking hands on stage in the NFL with honors,” Rodgers said. “I felt, and a lot of people, and Brett would probably say the same thing, I felt it was kind of an incentive to get Brett back into the fold… and that’s what that conversation with Brian and I was…. I feel like that was kind of the first step toward having a real conversation and friendship. Real, and I’m definitely grateful for the work he’s put into the relationship and Ross Paul, too.”
Actress Shailene Woodley was a huge part not only of Rodgers’ Instagram post but also of Tuesday’s show. Rodgers, who announced 13 months ago their engagement, has credited her with playing a role in his success on the field in the past two seasons.
“I’ve been telling Shay too, I’ve been with you for two seasons, and you won two MVP awards; that’s no coincidence either,” Rodgers said, seemingly contradicting the entertainment site’s recent reports that the two have split up. “And I mean it. When your home life is stable and you have a wonderful partner to live with, it makes working life a reward. … When you have a partner like that, it makes life so much more enjoyable, delicious and exciting. I think living A life of gratitude is an important way to maintain that happiness in your life. When you meet your person, life only changes and cannot change when you are around those special people we meet.”
He also apologized to those close to him who were affected by his controversial stance on vaccinations that emerged shortly after he tested positive for COVID-19 during the season.
“I didn’t realize what kind of shrapnel they were going to get,” Rodgers said. “Lots of people have stepped onto the board and sent me great messages of support and love. But I think I’ve come to realize I’m out of this now and having conversations with some of these people, and they kind of understood the whole seriousness of the situation. You got pushed into it and he decided to talk a few times that had an impact on a lot of People. For those people, I’m just saying I’m sorry. I never meant to get you in the middle of it, but you got into it by proxy because of your relationship with me.”