Aaron Rodgers Fuels Retirement Talk After Refusing Jersey Swap

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Rodgers fuels retirement talk after refusing jersey swap originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Is this the end?

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football in Week 18. But it was what happened on the field after the game that has the NFL world buzzing.

The 18-year veteran was approached by Lions rookie Jameson Williams, who asked for a jersey swap with the 39-year-old quarterback.

Rodgers declined, saying “I gotta hold on to this one.”

As Rodgers exited Lambeau Field, he embraced longtime teammate Randall Cobb. The 32-year-old receiver played with Rodgers from 2011 through 2018 before rejoining the Packers in 2021.

In his postgame press conference, Rodgers offered a cryptic explanation of why he refused the swap.

“I think I might’ve told him I would give him a jersey when we played in Detroit (earlier this season),” Rodgers said. “So, I’ll probably have to send him a jersey. But there’s just some special ones that I like to keep. It was nothing against Jameson, I’ll be sure to send him one, but I kind of wanted to keep this one.”

What was so special about this jersey in particular, you ask?

“Night game, Lambeau, Week 18,” Rodgers explained. “There’s just certain jerseys you like hanging on to – like playing in Chicago, big Sunday night games. It’s not about keeping it, it’s a cool one to give to somebody you really care about.”

Despite his age, it’s hard to see Rodgers retiring after this season. He signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension last March that paid him $42 million in 2022 before jumping to $59.515 million in 2023 and $49.3 million in 2024.

With those upcoming salaries – and Rodgers’ probable desire to end his career on a brighter note – it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the last of him.

The Packers finished the season 8-9, their worst record since 2018 when they went 6-9-1. Green Bay holds the No. 15 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and is expected to have limited cap space, according to Over the Cap.

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