The Green Bay Packers' 33-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers seems to relish talking about the inevitable: retirement.
The 12-year NFL veteran, who turns 34 in December, "knows he's far removed from being a spring chicken in the league," wrote NFL.com.
"I think I'm on the back nine of my career," Rodgers said Tuesday in an interview with NFL Network's Alex Flanagan at the Gatorade Player of the Year awards.
Yet, argued the site, despite his possible advancement to a new stage in his career, Rodgers holds one clear advantage over several other quarterbacks creeping up in age.
"But I think I'm just kind of starting the back nine. This will be my 10th year starting, I got to sit for three years. So I'm not the typical 13-year pro, having the opportunity to sit for three years and not take the wear and tear to learn the game," said Rodgers.
Obviously retirement can't really be ignored for any quarterback with Rodgers' age. He's not there yet, but it's coming faster than we know. And if he has just one season of sub-par protection, that time window could collapse even faster.
However, "once a quarterback hits his mid-30s, it's hard not to think about looming retirement and contingency plans at the position. Rodgers was squarely in the middle of such a situation early in his career, which involved his predecessor Brett Favre. Thegunslinger believes his ability to play at a high level for a decade has been a product of one key factor: Remaining in Green Bay."
"I think we all have numbers," Rodgers said. "When I was a young player, I remember thinking as I looked at some of the older guys, if I got to five that'd be cool, or eight, or anything after 10 would be amazing. For me, I think the longevity is tied to being a Green Bay Packer. I'd like to finish my career in Green Bay."
Rodgers is entering his 13th season in the NFL, all with the Packers. He's passed for 36,827 yards, 297 TDs and an astonishing sub-75 INT number (72).