- Aaron Rodgers recently reiterated his stance that he wants to play into his 40s, saying “sustained greatness” motivates him.
- Rodgers also said 35 is a quarterback’s “peak” and Tom Brady set the standard for how quarterbacks can age and play well as they get older.
- Rodgers has spoken to Brady in the past about staying healthy and increasingly sounds like the 41-year-old New England Patriots quarterback.
Heading into his 14th season in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers does not sound as if he has any plans to stop playing football soon.
Rodgers, who has said before that he would like to play into his 40s, reiterated that stance last week while speaking at the Wisconsin High School Sports Awards.
When asked about what drives him to keep playing, Rodgers said “sustained greatness.”
“It’s sustained greatness I think is what drives me,” Rodgers said. “It’s to be the best and to be able to choose when I’m done playing.”
Rodgers noted that not every player is so fortunate to be able to stay with one team their whole career, pointing to longtime Green Bay Packers players like wide receiver Jordy Nelson and quarterback Brett Favre. He said he wants to be so good that the Packers can’t afford not to keep him.
“The fairytale ending of starting a career and ending it with the same organisation rarely happens,” Rodger said. “So that’s kind of my goal, is to be able to be indispensable to this organisation into my 40s to where you’ve got to keep me around.”
Rodgers also spoke from the BMW Charity Pro-Am last week and called 35 is like a quarterback’s “prime” now while saying Tom Brady has set the standard for longevity.
“Thirty-five is like your prime now,” Rodgers said (via Eric Boynton of Go Upstate). “I think with the nutrition advancements and guys taking care of their bodies really well. Brady’s obviously setting the mark pretty high being 41 and still playing well at an MVP level every year, so obviously, you want to keep playing as long as you can.”
Last year, Rodgers spoke about restricting his diet, eating mostly vegan with some occasional meat, eating healthy 80% of the time. He focused more on rest and recovery, changing his workouts and cutting down on the amount of golf he played. He even said he had spoken to Brady about taking care of his body.
Rodgers’ love of football and desire to keep playing even sounds like Brady. He told reporters from the Pro-Am that playing football is still his favourite thing to do.
He said last year that seeing other people retire motivates him to keep playing.
“I think as you get older, and you see a lot of your friends move on, retire, get cut, get injured and stop playing, you have that point where you think about your own career and how long you can go,” Rodgers said. “And for me, I got even more motivated to be an irreplaceable part of our team.”
Brady isn’t the only player playing well past what many people have expected. Drew Brees, at 39, played up to his usual standards in 2017, while Philip Rivers and Eli Manning both remain starting quarterbacks for the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants, respectively.
At 34, Rodgers is currently in contract negotiations for an extension with the Packers. After missing half of the season last year with a broken collarbone, Rodgers will have to prove he can stay healthy as he gets older, perhaps the most significant key to Brady’s longevity.
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