If I were a betting man, I would say it is a lock that Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers will return at least one more season.
I have no clue what NFL team jersey Rodgers will wear, but he will play at least one more year.
Why, you ask? Because Tom Brady retired. So did J.J. Watt.
It all comes down to one thing: EGO!
All three players are shoo-ins as first ballot NFL Hall of Famers. However, three’s a crowd if Rodgers were to also retire. And his ego is too big to pull the pin just yet.
To become eligible for the NFL’s Hall of Fame, a player and coach must have been retired at least five years before he can be considered.
For example, any individual who last played in 2017 is eligible for the first time in 2023. There are five semifinalists eligible for the first time this year: longtime Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, fellow offensive lineman and six-time Pro Bowler Jahri Evans, 2008 Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, fellow former pass rusher Dwight Freeney and former cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Brady's and Watt’s retirement officially begin this year which means the earliest they can be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is 2027.
Watt, the Arizona Cardinals’ pass rusher announced on Dec. 27, that he would retire at the end of the season. Watt could still play if he wished, but after battling injuries much of his career, he decided to walk away from the game he loves so much.
Brady retired after the 2021 season, decided to “un-retire,” in 2022, then on Wednesday, said this is his final retirement decision.
Brady will grab top billing for the 2027 Hall of Fame awards ceremony. Watt will be No. 2 unless Rodgers also decides to retire now. My guess is Rodgers doesn’t want any part of playing second fiddle or even No. 3 in the 2027 ceremony.
That’s why Rodgers will return for at least the 2023 season. That way he is assured of taking over the spotlight whenever he is inducted.
PHOTO: Green Bay Packers