SOURCE: CBS Sports
Don’t expect Aaron Rodgers to hang up his spikes anytime soon. The star Packers quarterback may be coming off a season during which he broke his collarbone for the second time in his career, but he’s still supremely confident that he’s going to stick around in the league for a long time yet.
Rodgers is headed into his age-35 season, and if he gets his way, he’ll stick around for at least five more years after 2018.
“I’d love to play to 40,” Rodgers told NBC’s Peter King. “I just think that number means a lot. Obviously, Tom [Brady] is kind of rewriting the book. Brett [Favre] had a good season when he turned 40. My goal is be able to move like I do or close to how I do and still be able to do that at 40 … just because nobody’s been able to do that and still move around the same. Steve Young’s career was cut short in his late thirties. John [Elway], the same—he didn’t really move the same as when he was younger. So to be able to move the same way at 38, 39, 40 would be cool. That’s my aim.”
Rodgers insists that he’d like to stick with the Packers through his age-40 campaign. To do so, he’ll have to come to an agreement with the team on a new contract. He’s got two seasons left on the five-year, $110 million contract extension he signed some years back, and is set to draw base salaries of $19.8 million and $20 million over the next two years.
Based on the recent contracts signed by high-profile QBs, one would expect Rodgers to receive a significant raise on his next deal — perhaps one that pays him as much as $30 million per season or more. In order to provide the Packers good value on such a deal, Rodgers will have to stay healthy. Considering he’s now broken his collarbone twice in five years, one might think he’d be amenable to changing his style of play going forward. But that doesn’t seem like the case.
“I’ve played football since I was 13 years old and I’ve taken two shots where I couldn’t wiggle free, and broke my collarbone twice,” he told King. “I feel pretty good about the way I play, avoiding some major stuff. I’ve had a couple muscle pulls. But other than that, as a starter I’ve been pretty healthy. Two hits. First time [in 2013, against Chicago] I didn’t see the guy. Second time I did. [In 2017, Minnesota’s Anthony Barr leveled him outside the pocket.] I didn’t think he was gonna hit me maybe as hard as he did. But he did and that was what happened.”
Two injuries in 22 years of football is not that extensive an injury history but two broken collarbones inside of five years isn’t a great sign. To know that, one need only to look at Cowboys quarterback and current CBS lead color analyst Tony Romo, who had a similar issue throughout his career. For Rodgers’ sake — and that of the viewing public, which would surely enjoy watching one of the best to ever do it play for six more seasons — hopefully he did not experience the same issues down the stretch of his career.