No quarterback at the top of his game wants to confront the specter of his team without him. But that’s what happened to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the NFL’s 2020 draft. While he felt the team was just a wide receiver or two away from a Super Bowl appearance, team management selected quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State with the 20th pick in the first round.
For Rodgers, the pick was a slap in the face, but he’s grown more philosophical about it over time, especially with the help of his fiancé Shailene Woodley.
Love Heals All Wounds
Aaron Rodgers told the New York Post he used the experience as a teaching moment: “(It) was a great opportunity to really grow and learn and sit with feelings and choose to not be bitter and be a victim,” and added that it made him “enjoy life and adjust perspective to enjoy the little things.”
Of course, the “little things” also include his recent engagement to actress Shailene Woodley. Rodgers credits her with helping him see life’s bigger picture. The result? The Packers went 13-3 in 2020 and played in the NFC championship game.
Any concerns the Packers organization had about Rodgers in 2020 were assuaged by his on-field performance. He led the NFL in the all-important touchdown-to-interception ratio for the fifth time and won his third Most Valuable Player award.
Pundits speculated after last year’s draft that Rodgers, like Tom Brady, might choose to end his career with another team. Given the team’s 2020 performance, however, that’s looking less likely. He’s also signed through 2023 on a cap-friendly deal with the Packers.
What is Aaron Rodgers’ Future?
Still, the 2020 draft let Aaron Rodgers ponder life after football. He’s currently guest-hosting “Jeopardy!” until April 16, 2021, and has said having the permanent position would be a “dream job.” Viewers may remember his 2015 appearance when he won “Celebrity Jeopardy!”
No matter what Aaron Rodgers chooses to do in the future, a couple of facts are true. He will have his north star Woodley by his side, and he’ll be enjoying doing everything he wants to do.