Aaron Rodgers Injury: Why Injured New York Jets QB Seems Unlikely to Retire

The Aaron Rodgers injury could mean the end of the four-time MVP's career. Here's why it probably won't.

The news that New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles Monday night means Rodgers’ 2023 season is over and raises real questions about the four-time MVP’s ability to ever play again.

More than a quarter of NFL players who tear their Achilles don’t play again, and very few of those who do are over 30. Rodgers turns 40 in December.

He didn’t know for sure that he wanted to play in 2023 before emerging from his darkness retreat.

So why would he want to go through a grueling rehab only to put himself at risk for yet another injury?

Because he gave up a ton of money to help the Jets afford him, and he’d potentially be giving up a ton more if he retired.

How Aaron Rodgers Injury Might Not End His Career

Before we jump to the future, let’s go back to the past.

Rodgers entered the offseason owed roughly $110 million guaranteed by the Green Bay Packers. After the trade, he took a roughly $35 million pay cut when he signed a new extension.

MORE: Free Agent QB Options for NY Jets

“The team gave up significant pieces for it to just be a one-year deal,” Rodgers said shortly after signing the extension. “I’m aware of that. … Anything could happen with my body or the success we have this year, but I’m having a blast, so I really don’t see this as a one-year-and-done thing.”

Could Monday’s injury change that?

Sure. But if so, he might have to give up even more than he already has.

When players retire, they not only forfeit future guarantees but they could also be forced to pay back a prorated portion of all bonuses already paid out.

In Rodgers’ case, that could mean missing out on more than $60 million more that he was due, meaning he would have passed on nearly all of what he was owed just six months ago.

Now, Rodgers has made more than a third of a billion dollars in his 19-year career. So he’s not exactly poor.

But we’re not talking about a small amount of cash, either.

“Zero chance,” one prominent agent told PFN when asked about the likelihood of Rodgers retiring after this season.

MORE: What Is An Achilles Injury? Potential Timetable and More

Here’s why: If Rodgers remains on the team’s active roster but cannot pass a physical, much, if not all, of his 2024 salary remains guaranteed. He can make tens of millions of dollars simply by rehabbing and then letting the Jets decide whether they want to cut him or not.

Then there’s this: Does Rodgers really want this to be the final image of him on an NFL field?

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