Packers chief confident Rodgers will be back

Los Angeles (AFP) –

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Green Bay Packers chief executive Mark Murphy insists Aaron Rodgers will remain with the franchise despite last weekend's NFL playoff heartbreak against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rodgers triggered intense speculation about his future in the wake of Sunday's 31-26 NFC Championship defeat at Lambeau when he told reporters his future was "uncertain".

It followed a bitterly disappointing end to Sunday's loss, when head coach Matt LaFleur controversially opted to kick a late field goal rather than allow Rodgers to go for a potentially game-tying touchdown on fourth down.

Murphy, however, told Wisconsin's WNFL radio show "The 5th Quarter" late Monday that he expected the 37-year-old quarterback to return next season.

"We're not idiots," Murphy told the program. "Aaron Rodgers will be back, he's our leader."

Rodgers, who is the front-runner to win this season's NFL MVP award, had sounded less definitive in the aftermath of Sunday's defeat, which ended his dream of a second Super Bowl crown with the Packers.

"A lot of guys' futures, they're uncertain - myself included," Rodgers told reporters. "That's what's sad about it, most."

Asked what the next step of his career would be, Rodgers added: "I don't know. I really don't.

"There's a lot of unknowns going into this offseason now. And I'm just going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and kind of see what's going on with everything...there's always change.

"That's the only constant in this business."

Rodgers' predecessor, Packers legend Brett Favre, meanwhile played down the chances of the quarterback leaving.

In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Favre said he expected Rodgers to suit up for Green Bay next season.

"Look, there's no way the Packers would do anything to jeopardize losing Aaron, unless Aaron just chooses to retire, which I would be shocked," Favre said.

"I wouldn't pay much attention to what he said. I've been there. It hurts. It's painful. The last thing you want to do is think about next year because you've just had a major disappointment, and that's what you're hearing in that soundbite."