Aaron Rodgers made a comment on Sunday about potentially returning to the Green Bay Packers in 2023 that was a bit of a head-scratcher.
After the Packers’ 28-19 win against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers was asked if the emergence of rookie wide receiver Christian Watson will factor into his decision about returning to Green Bay in 2023.
Watson had another big day against the Bears on Sunday, catching 3 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown and also scoring on a 46-yard run (his only carry of the day).
The former North Dakota State standout has eight touchdowns on his last 19 touches.
Christian Watson over the last 4 weeks :— GBP Daily (@GBPdaily) December 4, 2022
• 19 touches
• 362 total yards
• 8 TD pic.twitter.com/QtUMLR6mTn
When asked if Watson’s play over the last few weeks will impact his 2023 decision, Rodgers gave a bizarre answer that mentioned Desean Jackson and Marshawn Lynch at California before referencing a “mutual desire” by both sides.
“It’ll all factor into it, but there’s gotta be a mutual desire on both sides,” said Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers asked about Christian Watson’s rise potentially being a reason he returns in 2023:— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 4, 2022
“I left Cal and I could’ve came back with DeSean Jackson at receiver and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield … I say that because the way Christian has developed…”
Full quote: pic.twitter.com/SeZdCNebhO
There actually doesn’t need to be a mutual desire on both sides. There only needs to be a desire on Rodgers’ side — he holds all the cards.
Green Bay can’t release Rodgers unless they’re comfortable with a nearly $100 million dead cap hit (no NFL team would be comfortable with that). And they probably can’t trade him either because of his massive salary next season. So it’s basically either Rodgers retires, or he’s the Packers’ starting quarterback next season.
I have a feeling that Rodgers’ comments mean something else. I’m guessing he wants to be begged back by the Packers — which would be on brand for Rodgers.
However, I’m not sure that’s going to matter. Would Rodgers really move on from $60 million next year because the Packers didn’t go through the charade of begging him to return? That seems like a stretch — even for Rodgers.
I’m sure there will be plenty of speculation after the 2022 season about Rodgers’ future. But I’d be shocked if he’s not under center for the Packers next season.
Featured image via USA TODAY Sports