Aaron Rodgers denies jersey swap after loss to Lions, retirement speculation begins

Needing just one more win to reach the playoffs, the Green Bay Packers were stunningly taken down by the division rival Detroit Lions, 20-16, on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. 

As the Lions celebrated, veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers walked on the field to offer his congratulations before heading to the locker room. 

But he did have an interesting exchange with rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams, who wanted to swap jerseys with Rodgers. 

Swapping jerseys at the conclusion of a game is relatively commonplace in the NFL.

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) waves to fans as he leaves the field following an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Green Bay, Wis. Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) waves to fans as he leaves the field following an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Green Bay, Wis. Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Though he’s done it in the past with other players, Rodgers was heard saying, “I’m gonna hold on to this one.”

It could be nothing, or it could be something, but speculation about Rodgers’ future in Green Bay is surely going to heat up now. 

Not only was this exchange heard, but Rodgers’ body language after the game was interesting to watch. He was slow to walk off the field, looking into the stands as if he was drinking in the moment. 

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Randall Cobb, his long-time friend and teammate, also walked with him through the tunnel headed to the locker room, both of them with arms around each other sharing a conversation. 

This isn’t the first time Rodgers’ future with the team has been brought up. 

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams celebrates after scoring during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis.

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams celebrates after scoring during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis.
(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million contract with the Packers this past offseason, which would take him through the 2026 season at age 43. However, there are options in his deal for 2023 and 2024. 

Because of that, reporters have peppered Rodgers about what he wants to do past this season, but he hasn’t budged on giving a definitive answer. 

While Rodgers hasn’t hinted that he wants to leave, he also hasn’t denied rumors that he will move on to a new team for the first time since he broke into the league in 2005 with Green Bay. 

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If this is his final game as a Packer, Rodgers, a future Hall of Famer, would be leaving with four All-Pros and 10 Pro Bowl selections as well as four MVP trophies and a Super Bowl ring from 2011, where he was also MVP in that contest. 

Rodgers would part with a 147-75-1 record in his 18 years with the Packers, totaling 475 touchdowns along the way. 

But again, who knows? Rodgers could be adding to those totals next season.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) breaths out as he warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Green Bay, Wis. Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) breaths out as he warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Green Bay, Wis. Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Rodgers couldn’t put together that game-winning drive as he has done so many times in the past in games like this on Sunday night, as he threw an interception to Lions safety Kerby Joseph after Detroit took a 20-16 lead on Jamaal Williams’ second touchdown of the night. 

Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense did what they had to do on the ensuing possession, killing the clock and icing their victory to play spoiler. 

While the Lions were already eliminated from the playoffs, they sent the Seattle Seahawks to the big dance next weekend. 

Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers reacts after throwing a touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers reacts after throwing a touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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Now, as the Packers look to reflect after a rollercoaster season, all eyes will be on their starting quarterback and what conclusion he draws heading into next season. 

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