NFL

Rodgers' offseason focus on mental health amid doubts over Packers future

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke about his mental health and was thankful for the space given as his future dominates headlines.

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Rodgers' offseason focus on mental health amid doubts over Packers future

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he has taken time to work on his mental health amid questions about his long-term future with the NFL franchise. Rodgers – who skipped Green Bay's organised team activities (OTA) – is officially a holdout following his absence as the Packers reported for their mandatory minicamp last week.

The three-time MVP and 37-year-old is pushing to leave the Packers – a team he has represented since 2005, winning a Super Bowl. Reports of Rodgers' unhappiness first emerged on draft day this year, though Green Bay are unwilling to trade the veteran.

Thankful for opportunity to work on mental health

Speaking to the media on Monday, Rodgers told reporters:

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work on my mental health. I haven't dealt with bouts of depression or anything, that I think for whatever reason, are OK to talk about if you're talking about mental health.I've just really been trying to think about what puts me in the best frame of mind. What habits can I form that allow me to feel most in my body, most present, happiest? And that's what I've been doing."

Rodgers amassed 48 touchdowns, five interceptions and a completion rate of 70.7 per cent for the Packers – who lost to eventual Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In total, Rodgers completed 372 of 526 attempts for 4,299 yards as the Packers topped the NFC North with a 13-3 record to clinch home-field advantage and the top seed in the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2011.

His place in history

Rodgers is level with Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown with three MVP honours – only Peyton Manning (five) has more in NFL history.

The still Packers querterback added: "Sometimes the loudest person in the room is not the smartest person. 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."

The Packers will open their 2021 season against the New Orleans Saints on September 12.