GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers.
Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that was released Wednesday morning. He spent much of the 1 1/2-hour conversation describing his recent isolation retreat in which he said he spent four days alone in a dark room.
“There’s a finality to the decision,” Rodgers said. “I don’t make it lightly. I don’t want to drag anybody around.”
The podcast was released one day after Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was asked about Rodgers and said that they “haven’t had the conversations that we need to have yet.” Gutekunst indicated he hoped a decision was made by the start of free agency on March 15.
“There’s been some contact back and forth,” Gutekunst said. “Obviously he’s had some things on his plate. Hopefully those things will happen soon.”
Gutekunst also indicated that he believes 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love is ready to be an NFL starting quarterback. Love has backed up Rodgers the past three seasons.
Rodgers, who is due to make about $59.5 million if he plays, noted that “for everyone involved, directly and indirectly it’s best for a decision earlier.”
Ravens GM hopes to sign Jackson
INDIANAPOLIS — Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta said Wednesday the Ravens have not decided which type of franchise tag they would use on quarterback Lamar Jackson if the team can’t sign him to a long-term contract before the start of free agency.
Jackson has played to the end of his rookie deal, and the deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag is Tuesday. Baltimore could use the non-exclusive tag, which carries a salary of $32,416,000 for next season, but then Jackson could negotiate with other teams, and if he received an offer the Ravens didn’t match, they could lose him for two first-round draft picks.
The exclusive franchise tag would prevent another team from signing the star quarterback, but the cost could be a good bit higher.
“There are a couple different franchise tags,” DeCosta said at the NFL scouting combine. “We’re hopeful that we’ll get a deal done with Lamar before that happens, but sure. They’re big numbers. We’ve known they’re big numbers, we’re prepared for that, and we have four, five or six different plans based on what happens over the next 10 days.”
DeCosta said he and Jackson met recently, and the team still wants the 2019 NFL MVP in Baltimore. He also said the team prepares for every contingency.
Panthers weigh QB options
INDIANAPOLIS — The Carolina Panthers have made no secret about their plans to address their unstable quarterback situation again this offseason.
Team officials have already met with free agent quarterback Derek Carr and six draft eligible QBs — Alabama’s Bryce Young, Kentucky’s Will Levis, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, TCU’s Max Duggan and Florida’s Anthony Richardson – this week in Indianapolis. The Panthers have the ninth overall pick in the NFL draft.
The team now must decide whether to sign Carr, who turns 32 this month, or draft a young quarterback — or perhaps both.
“We have to see if this is the right fit, if this is an answer,” Panthers first-year coach Frank Reich said of Carr. “Part of that is, yes, this is a good option. But we have to look at all our options and this is the time of the year that we do that.”
Flores’ suit going to court
NEW YORK — NFL Coach Brian Flores can press discrimination claims against the league and three teams after a federal judge on Wednesday rejected the option of arbitration, presumably before Commissioner Roger Goodell, and offered some stinging observations about the status of racial bias in the sport.
The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan clearing the way for Flores to bring his claims to trial also required two other coaches who joined the lawsuit to submit to arbitration. The league had tried to move the Flores claims to arbitration, citing contracts that coaches had signed.
Flores sued the league and three teams a year ago, saying the league was “rife with racism,” particularly in its hiring and promotion of Black coaches.
Caproni wrote that the descriptions by the coaches of their experiences of racial discrimination in a league with a “long history of systematic discrimination toward Black players, coaches, and managers — are incredibly troubling.”
Vikings earn top marks in NFLPA survey
INDIANAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings treat their players best, according to a new NFL Players Association survey.
The Washington Commanders have a long way to go.
The report, released Wednesday during the league’s annual scouting combine, rated teams in eight categories — everything from meals and nutrition to training and travel — based on anonymous responses from about 1,300 players. The teams were ranked from 1 to 32.
The Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders were the top three teams while the bottom three were the Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders.
GUION: Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion has been sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall.