As No. 12 tells Deshaun Watson to hold his beer. The cryptic six-month drama better known as Aaron Rodgers 'beautiful mystery' officially began Tuesday. Green Bay Packers team president Mark Murphy got on local radio proclaiming "we're not idiots, Aaron Rodgers will be back."
AR12 made his weekly appearance on Pat McAfee believing he 'thinks' he will be back in Green Bay but stressed the word 'think'.
Brett Favre chimed in, believing there is no way the Packers would jeopardize losing Rodgers.
Jason La Confora wrote an eight-minute read on CBS Sports identifying multiple coaches and front office executives who believe Rodgers played his last Packers down when he decided not to scramble for a potential game-tying touchdown on Sunday. Per one agent all Rodgers has to do is play the retirement card.
Welcome to 2008, the sequel - and it may not bode well for Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers excels in breakups. Ask Danica Patrick. Ask Olivia Munn. Ask Ryan Braun. Ask Jordan Rodgers (a reality show talent in his own right). Ask Aaron Rodgers parents. Forget all the happy talk from Al Michaels and others as Rodgers cruised to statistically his best season ever en route to Most Valuable Player honors. The friction between Rodgers, coach Matt LaFleur and the Packers front office appears as real as ever. The AR-12 aircraft carrier is cruising full speed towards the Strait of Hormuz, what happens next is indeed a mystery.
Some quick facts.
Rodgers has three years left on his contract that will pay him $74.4 million. That would be along the lines of another quarterback and University of California product - Jared Goff. Rodgers obviously has leverage asking for a raise, and the Packers have the salary cap resources to restructure his contract along the lines of Patrick Mahomes and others. If Rodgers wants to make that elusive second Super Bowl appearance, his chances remain good in Green Bay despite the likely departures of running back Aaron Jones and center Corey Lindsley. Would Rodgers chances be as good with New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Francisco or any other team linked to acquiring him? Then there is something called Jeopardy! Rodgers will be a guest host for the popular quiz show this offseason. Some suggest Rodgers could become permanent host. Predecessor Alex Trebek pulled in $18 million annually hosting the program. Rodgers can bet on himself, walk away from the NFL, pursue media endeavors (like Pat McAfee) and not take a pay cut. Ideal leverage to play the retirement card. As crazy as Brett Favre 2008 was, whoever thought a game show could dictate Rodgers career path 13 years later?
A 'beautiful mystery' indeed - and everyone knows who the smartest man in the room is.