GREEN BAY – While the Green Bay Packers have more immediate free-agency decisions to make – tight end Jermichael Finley, for example, spoke about his desire to be a “Packer for life” earlier this week – at some point, the team will have to address the fact that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has outperformed the contract he signed in 2008 that runs through 2014.
Speaking three years and one day after signing that deal – a six-year, $65 million contract that he signed after making just seven NFL starts – Rodgers said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on ESPNMilwaukee and ESPNMadison that he’s not thinking about when the team might tear up the remaining three years of his deal and sign him to a new extension.
“It’s not something I think about,” said Rodgers, who is represented by David Dunn, who handles many of the top quarterbacks’ contracts. “We were so blessed to be able to have that contract done in 2008. We knew at the time that was more money than I ever could have imagined signing for, and it was a no brainer for me. But we knew if I performed the way I felt I was capable of performing, that by league standards that by the time I got into my third or fourth or fifth season, that I’d be underpaid by league standards.
“But I don’t look at it that way. I look at it as I’m fortunate to make the kind of money I make and be in the situation I’m in and be with the Packers’ organization. I want to retire as a Packer. They know that, the fans know that, my teammates know that, and this is where I want to be. I’m not worried about (a new contract). We’re still a few years away from me completing this deal, and whenever it comes time to make a new deal, I’m looking forward to maybe signing my last deal, playing it out, and retiring.”
While the Packers have already signed wide receiver Jordy Nelson and right guard Josh Sitton to contract extensions, Finley, center Scott Wells, running back Ryan Grant and backup quarterback Matt Flynn are all set to be free agents after the season.
Rodgers, who turns 28 on Dec. 2, said he doesn’t plan on playing more than another 10 years.
“I like to focus on the here and now. I think that’s important to stay in the present,” Rodgers said. “You’ve also got to think about your end-of-your career and post career goals. I don’t really see myself 10 years from now still playing ball. I don’t. I’m in my seventh season. When you come in the league you want to get to five, and feel like that will be an accomplishment. When you get to five, you kind of want to get to eight. You get to eight, you get to 10, you think, ‘Man, that’s a decade of playing football.’ And anything after that is an added bonus.
“I just don’t see myself being 37 and still playing. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy it if I’m still healthy and playing the way I want to play, but I just see 12, 15 years, something in there, and it being quite an accomplishment, and something that I can be proud of.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.