Aaron Rodgers on future in Green Bay: 'I don't want to be part of a rebuild if I'm going to keep playing'

Aaron Rodgers was a "little numb" following the Green Bay Packers' 13-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and it had little to do with the 2-degree weather at Lambeau Field.

The Packers were once again ushered out of the postseason after the offense mustered just three points on its final nine drives, and the special teams cratered -- again.

The latest postseason exit in Green Bay ushers in another round of questions surrounding the presumptive four-time MVP's future with the Packers. Immediately following the loss, Rodgers said he'll take some time before diving into what comes next.

"I didn't think we'd be talking about this after this game," Rodgers said. "I'm going to take some time and have conversations with folks around here, and then take some time away and make a decision -- obviously before free agency or anything gets going on that front. It's fresh right now. A little shocking for sure. I was hoping to have a nice weekend for the NFC Championship, to enjoy the lead-up and then start contemplating some things, so I haven't even let the moment really sink in yet."

When it does sink in that the Packers fell short of the Super Bowl yet again, Rodgers has a lot to weigh. Baked into that process is how Green Bay has fallen flat in the postseason. The QB was asked if the way the season ended influences his thinking about the future.

"Of course it does," he replied. "But you know there are a lot of decisions to be made, a lot of players whose futures are up in the air. Definitely will be interesting to see which way some of those decisions go. But I'll have conversations with (GM) Brian (Gutekunst) in the next week or so and get a little bit more clarity. And think about my own future and how much longer I want to keep doing this."

Packers coach Matt LaFleur said from where he sits, the club hopes Rodgers returns for an 18th season.

"Certainly, we want him back here," LaFleur said. "I think we'd be crazy not to want him back here. He's going to be the two-time MVP. This guy does so much for our football team. No only what you guys see on Sundays or every game day, but what he does in that locker room. How he leads. I just know what he puts into this thing. And certainly, I'm extremely disappointed that we couldn't get over the hump, for not only him, but for everybody in that locker room."

Rodgers, however, took a longer view, noting that the Packers have a lot of tough decisions ahead, not just regarding himself but a host of other pending free agents.

"I think this thing is definitely going to look different moving forward," Rodgers said. "Green Bay has a lot of decisions, a lot of guys with opportunities. So it will be interesting to see what things look like moving forward. But I am thankful for this time, for this team. Super disappointed. Bummed out. Frustrated with how I played tonight. Frustrated with how it ended. But can still be grateful for this season and these guys."

The Packers are projected to be more than $40 million over the salary cap heading into next season, with pending free agents like star receiver Davante Adams, who could be franchise-tagged if a long-term deal isn't struck.

With all the looming questions, Rodgers was asked if he thought it was still possible to win a Super Bowl in Green Bay or if he viewed this season as the last hurrah.

"I don't know. That's a fair question," he said. "Definitely one I've thought about. But there are a lot of decisions to be made. Key players, a lot of guys who played tonight... so many guys whose contracts are up or on the brink or salary cap stuff. So, a lot of decisions to be made. I don't want to be part of a rebuild if I'm going to keep playing. So a lot of decisions in the next couple of months."

If the Packers, with Jordan Love waiting in the wings, are in for a big overhaul, Rodgers could seek greener pastures.

For now, the quarterback didn't want to get into whether a trade request or retirement was in his future.

"It's tough to say at this point," he said. "I don't think it's fair to anybody or myself to really go down those paths at this point. It's disappointing. Sad. And fresh. So a lot of conversations in the next week or so, and start to contemplate after that.

For 17 seasons, Rodgers has only known one franchise. He's won MVPs, one Super Bowl, and all the individual accolades that one QB could possess. But once again, a second trip to play for a Lombardi Trophy eluded Green Bay and Rodgers.

Rodgers was asked if Saturday was his final game with the Packers how he viewed his legacy.

"I don't know. It's raw right now," he said. "But very proud of what I've been able to accomplish here. Thankful, deeply thankful for so many years here in the organization and all the incredible teammates and coaches I've had over the years. That's part of the legacy, the friendships, and the memories on and off the field. But I'm still super competitive, still know I can play on a high level. So it's going to be a tough decision. A lot of things to weigh in the coming weeks. But, man, just so much gratitude for this city and this organization."

One thing is certain: In those coming weeks, Rodgers' future in Green Bay and the NFL will be a hotly debated topic.

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