Aaron Rodgers says he passed on VP opportunity because he wanted to keep playing football

Rodgers is entering his second season with the Jets after missing almost the entirety of his first campaign in New York.

ByBen Morse CNNWire logo
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
RFK Jr. considering Jets QB Aaron Rodgers for running mate: ABC News
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura top the list of Robert F. Kennedy's potential running mates.

Aaron Rodgers said on Tuesday that he chose to continue his NFL playing career rather than becoming Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s running mate in the US presidential race.

CNN previously reported Kennedy had met with Rodgers about the possibility of joining Kennedy's campaign. Kennedy ultimately named Silicon Valley attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his vice-presidential pick.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from a previous broadcast.

"There were really two options. Retire and be his VP or keep playing. I wanted to keep playing," the 40-year-old Rodgers told reporters as the New York Jets quarterback spoke for the first time about the potential choice he had to make when it came to switching the pigskin for the podium.

CNN has reached out to the Kennedy campaign for comment.

Rodgers is entering his second season with the Jets after missing almost the entirety of his first campaign in New York, having ruptured his left Achilles tendon just four snaps into his debut.

Although he returned to the practice field towards the end of last season, Rodgers never returned to NFL action in the 2024 season.

The Jets have begun their offseason program, beginning with organized team practice activities (OTA) which Rodgers has been a full participant in.

"It's just about the mental part," said Rodgers as he ramps up his return from injury, four months ahead of the new season.

"These practices have been nice the last couple of days. Feel what it's like to be out there, to be moving around, to not be thinking about it and see how I respond the next day. This is the last part," he added.

"The strength is good, the movement is good, just the confidence to do everything."

Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that Rodgers has no restrictions during practice sessions, and the four-time MVP says that he feels like he "can do anything" right now.

"I can run at top speed. It's just, in those moments, the reactions coming naturally."

After Rodgers' injury in the opening game of the 2023 season, the Jets endured a disappointing season as a result of turbulent quarterback play and underwhelming offensive performances.

But with Rodgers back in the line-up, expectations are high ahead of the new season.

"Well, I think if I don't do what I'm capable of doing, then we're all probably gonna be out of here (next season)," Rodgers said. "I like that kind of pressure, though.

"I know it's a tough market to play in; it's not for everybody. Relish that opportunity. That's the way the NFL is.

"As you get older in the league, if you do not perform, they're going to get rid of you or bring in the next guy to take over. It happened in Green Bay, and I'm a few years older than I was back then. I expect to play at a high level, I expect us to be productive and competitive, and all that stuff to take care of itself."

The Jets open the 2024 season on the road against the San Francisco 49ers, the defending NFC champions, on Monday Night Football on September 9.

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