Aaron Rodgers to Spend 4 Days in 'Darkness Retreat' to Decide NFL Future

Aaron Rodgers Tests Positive for COVID-19

The athlete revealed more about his decision process, including a post-Super Bowl 'darkness retreat.'

Following his victory at the Pebble Peach Pro-Am over the weekend, Aaron Rodgers revealed even more insight into his retire-or-play decision during his latest appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, on Tuesday with the four-time NFL MVP saying a four-day "darkness retreat" after the Super Bowl will allow him to come to a "final, final decision."

"It's an opportunity to do a little self-reflection in some isolation and after that, I feel like I'll be a lot closer to that final, final decision," Rodgers said Tuesday. "I've had a number of friends who've done it and they had profound experiences."  

Rodgers detailed he will be in pitch black all day and night for four days and nights, describing the experience as "sensory deprivation isolation" and that it will simulate the drug DMT with the potential for hallucinations.      

"I'm gonna have hallucinations where I am Nic Cage," the 39-year-old, 18-season NFL veteran said. 

The retreat will not be out in nature, but rather at a house, according to Rodgers.

"They'll drop food and drink through a slot and there is a bathroom," he said. "In there for four days and nights and come out after the fourth night."

However, Rodgers did admit Tuesday that he's "for sure contemplating playing football" despite the golf success over the weekend, and that he has had the "darkness retreat on the calendar for a number of months." One thing the Super Bowl XLV MVP said won't affect his thought process is the retirements of Tom Brady and J.J. Watt, two no-doubt, first ballot Hall of Famers like Rodgers. It's likely those two will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 2028 offseason, five years after their retirements. Rodgers would probably join them in Canton, Ohio at the time should he decide to hang up his cleats.

"The idea I wouldn't want to share a stage with Tom [Brady] and J.J. Watt is ridiculous," Rodgers said. "That's already going to be an incredible Hall of Fame class... their decisions don't impact my own decision."  

Nor do the wishes of passionate Las Vegas Raiders, a group Rodgers said was the most vocal as he played the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this past weekend. However, he made clear that he feels like the possibility of playing on a different team comes down to the Green Bay Packers front office. Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension with the Packers last offseason. 

"I'm under contract with the Packers, people forget that," Rodgers said. "That gets lost in the conversation." 

Rodgers' Super Bowl Pick

What wasn't lost in Rodgers' Tuesday chat with McAfee was his thoughts on Super Bowl LVII between the top seeds from the the AFC and NFC, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. The quarterback immediately went out of his way to highlight the Eagles' offensive line to begin his analysis about the big game. All five of Philadelphia's starting offensive linemen were named to the Pro Bowl, they ranked in the top three for both pass-blocking grade (83.8, first) and run-blocking grade (76.1, third) according to Pro Football Focus, and First-Team All-Pro center Jason Kelce as well as First-Team All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson had two of the four lowest pressure rates allowed among offensive linemen with at least 500 pass-blocking snaps.

"It's going to be won up front, the Eagles have one of the best offensive lines I've seen in the last 20 years, and if they handle the defensive line for the Chiefs, they're going to have a very good chance to win," Rodgers said. "They dominated the line of scrimmage against the 49ers...it's definitely going to be won in the trenches."

The Packers quarterback then described the path for Chiefs quarterback and fellow State Farm pitchman Patrick Mahomes to come out victorious, which he said hinges on Mahomes' ability to get going quickly.

"K.C. has to get ahead early and play from the lead," Rodgers said. "That gives them the best chance to be a little more one-dimensional. Philly will still run the ball, and if they can control the line of scrimmage, they should win. Pat [Mahomes] is such a dynamic player, and if he gets hot and they go up and down the field and make Philly one-dimensional that could be the recipe to win. I really think they [K.C.] need to get ahead early, likely by two scores."

When told that the Eagles are 1.5 favorites with roughly 76% of bets being placed in favor of Philadelphia, Rodgers responded with a seemingly innocent comment.

"Vegas seems to be pretty right on about a lot of their stuff," he said. 

In isolation, that's just a throwaway quote. Although, between former Packers and current Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams performing his former quarterback's touchdown celebration and a number of sportsbooks listing the Raiders his his most likely 2023 destination, the line could have easily been a thought-out troll effort from a player who has openly admitted to "enjoying the cat and mouse game with the media" in past interviews. 

In the end, Rodgers is contractually a Green Bay Packer and his decision, strictly about playing football not about what team that will be for, will likely come to light after the quarterback spends 96 hours in the dark in the week following the Super Bowl. 

This story was originally published by CBS Sports on Feb. 8, 2023.