QB Aaron Rodgers pens heartfelt goodbye to Packers, city of Green Bay before joining Jets

By Coral Smith, Digital Content Producer

One day after the long-anticipated news of his trade to the Jets finally came out, quarterback Aaron Rodgers penned a heartfelt thank-you to the Packers and the city of Green Bay for the first 18 years of his career.

With his move to New York expected to be finalized in the next few days, Rodgers took to Instagram to write a long goodbye letter to all those involved with his storied tenure with Green Bay. His words were accompanied by photos of major moments in his career, such as when he was drafted, and snapshots with some of his most notable teammates and friends, including Marcedes LewisRandall Cobb, and Mason Crosby.

“I’m not sure it’s possible to fully express the gratitude that I have to the Packers, our incredible fans, the state of Wisconsin, the thousands of players that I crossed paths with, the incredible men and women who work for the organization, and the amazing people who I got to meet along the way, in one post with 10 pictures, but I hope you read this and feel my heart and soul, filled with love, joy, and peace about my time in green and gold,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers was drafted No. 24 overall in the 2005 draft and became the Packers’ full-time starter by the 2008 season, opening a new chapter for the historic franchise that was highlighted by a Super Bowl XLV victory, 11 years with a playoff appearance, and four NFL MVP awards for Rodgers.

Thinking back on the years he spent wearing No. 12, Rodgers recalled how spending almost two decades with the same team meant he essentially “grew up” with the Packers organization, coming out of that time with many unforgettable life experiences.

“I grew up in Green Bay, drafted at 21, fell in love with the game, met some lifelong friends, and take with me memories that will last a lifetime,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers went on to thank multiple members of the Packers organization who had an impact on his career, including the late former GM Ted Thompson, who drafted him, his head coaches Mike McCarthy and Matt LaFleur, CEO Mark Murphy and GM Brian Gutekunst.

While Rodgers’ trade to New York was not necessarily a quick and easy process for anyone involved, it appeared the way things might have ended did not leave Rodgers will any ill will for his former team. He ended his message by emphasizing to his friends and fans that he will always have love for the Packers and the city of Green Bay, and that while he was leaving, it was not a permanent goodbye just yet.

“To the fans, thank you, you made every run out of the tunnel special, every home game magical, and it was my honor to be your QB. To my teammates, I love you all, and am thankful for the moments on and off the field that brought us close,” Rodgers wrote. “I played with legends, I played with friends; thanks for believing in me and having my back always.

“This is not the end for us, I will see you again Green Bay, you’ll always have my heart.”

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major