Aaron Rodgers has had a lot to think about this offseason. From an ongoing rift with the Packers to revealing his engagement to actress Shailene Woodley to a two-week stint as the host of Jeopardy!, the reigning MVP’s public and private life have been constant topics of conversation since he last took the football field.
He just hasn’t said much himself.
In advance of a return to action — Rodgers is competing in a Tuesday charity golf exhibition alongside Bryson DeChambeau and against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson — the star quarterback talked at length about another important initiative of his over the past few months: mental health.
“I’ve focused on in the offseason about how to take care of myself — the total package,” Rodgers said during a Monday news conference for “The Match,” per the Associated Press. “Not just my physical self with workouts but my spiritual self with my own mindful practices, my mental health as well. What’s the best way to take care of that? And that’s what I’ve been doing this offseason. That’s why I’ve taken the time I’ve taken and done the things or not done the things that I’ve done. And I’m very thankful for that time.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work on my mental health. I haven’t dealt with bouts of depression or anything that for whatever reason are OK to talk about if you’re talking about mental health. I’ve just been really trying to think about what puts me in the best frame of mind.”
Thus far, that’s included keeping his distance from Green Bay. In the aftermath of a failed contract negotiation this spring, Rodgers skipped all of the team’s offseason program. He’s also remained relatively silent regarding his feelings about the only football team he’s ever known. That, he noted Monday, has been very intentional.
“Sometimes, the loudest person in the room is not the smartest person,” Rodgers said. “Sometimes the loudest person in the room is not the person who has all the facts on their side or the truth on their side. Sometimes there’s a lot of wisdom in silence. Sometimes there’s a lot of wisdom in being selective on what you say. This offseason I’ve spent a lot of time working on myself.”
The biggest question remaining is whether Rodgers will work again for the Packers — and the answer seems as uncertain as ever. With three weeks left until the start of training camp, his priority continues to be taking care of his inner self.
“The mental side of it is so important for all of us athletes,” Rodgers said. “I don’t think it’s talked about enough. But taking time to work on yourself is, I think, the best gift any of us can give ourselves.”
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