GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers acknowledges this season feels different because of the uncertainty surrounding how much longer he and some teammates might remain in Green Bay.
But he doesn’t believe those questions will hinder his focus as the reigning MVP heads into his 17th — and perhaps final — season with the Packers.
“I’m speaking personally and I can’t speak for everybody,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “But the feel that I get with the energy in the locker room is not pressure. It’s focus. I think it’s the right perspective and the right type of focus. We know we have a talented team. We know what the expectations are.”
The Packers open their season Sunday against the New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville, Florida. Green Bay has reached the NFC championship game in four of the last seven seasons and lost every time, including the last two years.
“This is probably the hungriest team that I’ve ever been around, honestly, just because we have been so close a number of times now,” All-Pro receiver Davante Adams said.
The Packers’ opener follows an eventful offseason.
Rodgers skipped the Packers’ organized team activities and mandatory minicamp in a standoff with team officials before reporting to training camp on time. Rodgers wants to have input in the team’s decision-making process and has said he doesn’t know whether he will remain in Green Bay beyond this season.
Adams could become a free agent next year and said Wednesday there’s no chance he will sign a contract extension before Sunday’s game. Other Packers with contracts expiring at the end of the season include receivers Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and tight end Robert Tonyan.
The potential for roster turnover is creating a sense of urgency.
“We’re just focusing on accountability and holding each other accountable because regardless of what happens with any of our situations, this group will not be together the way it is now in years down the line,” Rodgers said. “So we’re going to enjoy this year for all that it has to offer, and each other, and I think that’s the right perspective to have when you get in this situation.”