Aaron Rodgers Says He's Been Working on His Mental Health and 'Spiritual Self' During Packers Offseason
The NFL quarterback skipped his team’s mandatory minicamp in June amid speculation that he wants to be traded
Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers spent the NFL offseason working on his mental health.
The quarterback, 37, spoke to reporters ahead of The Match charity golf event and addressed the reason he didn't attend his team's mandatory minicamp last month.
"This offseason I've spent a lot of time working on myself," he said at the Tuesday press conference. "I've focused on in the offseason about how to take care of myself — the total package."
Rodgers explained that part of making himself "the total package" meant paying attention to his mental health.
"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?" he said.
He continued, "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," the NFL star clarified. "I've just been really trying to think about what puts me in the best frame of mind."
Rodgers also discussed how "important" mental health is for athletes.
"The mental side of it is so important for all of us athletes," he 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."
Rodgers and the Packers won their division playoffs before losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game last season. Since, Rodgers has guest-hosted Jeopardy! and revealed that he and actress Shailene Woodley got engaged.
The NFL MVP has been the subject of trade rumors and talk that he wants to leave the Packers. Several sources told ESPN in April that the speculation is true.
The team's general manager, Brian Gutekunst, told the outlet at the time, "As we've stated since the season ended, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond."
Gutekunst added, "Aaron has been a vital part of our success and we look forward to competing for another championship with him leading our team."
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Rumors of issues between Rodgers and the Packers first emerged after the team traded up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The move, analysts speculated, seemed to point to the Packers preparing for a roster without Rodgers.