Who Is Aaron Rodgers?

Aaron Rodgers is an American football player who was the longtime starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers before a 2023 trade to the New York Jets. He played football in college for the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a star player for two years before being drafted by the Packers in 2005. Named Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 2008, Rodgers went on to lead his team to victory in Super Bowl XLV and win four MVP awards, setting numerous NFL passing records along the way.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Aaron Charles Rodgers
BORN: December 2, 1983
BIRTHPLACE: Chico, California

Early Life

Aaron Charles Rodgers was born in Chico, California, on December 2, 1983. Rodgers was the second of Ed and Darla Rodgers’ three sons. Football was an early love for Rodgers, who at age 2, was able to sit silently and watch an entire NFL game. At the age of 5, he could pick out different football formations on the television screen and throw a football through a hanging tire.

Also a talented baseball player, Rodgers starred for his Raleigh Hills Little League team when the family lived in Beaverton, Oregon, in the mid-1990s. After returning to California, Rodgers set a variety of school passing records as quarterback for Pleasant Valley High School. However, coming from a small town like Chico hurt his college prospects. Unable to land a Division I scholarship, he enrolled at Butte College, a junior college in nearby Oroville, California, in 2002.

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College Career

aaron rodgers looking downfield for a receiver while gripping a football

Aaron Rodgers plays for the University of California at Berkeley in 2004.
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During his one year at Butte, Rodgers led the school to a 10-1 record and a No. 2 national ranking. He was also named his conference’s MVP. His success with the program caught the eye of scouts at the University of California at Berkeley, and the following season, Rodgers enrolled at the college and became the team’s starter.

During his two years at Berkeley, Rodgers led a vaunted offense that propelled him to break a number of school records and helped make him a Heisman finalist in 2004. Rodgers bypassed his final year at Berkeley to enter the 2005 NFL draft and was one of college football’s top prospects. But, even while garnering praise for his passing attack, he saw his fortunes sink on draft night. Despite being considered a top 10—maybe even top five—pick, he lasted until the 24th selection of the first round, when the Green Bay Packers selected him.

Joining the NFL’s Green Bay Packers

For Rodgers, coming to Green Bay meant sitting and watching the team’s starting quarterback Brett Favre, an ironman of a football player who started every game for the Packers since 1992.

aaron rodgers throwing football in green bay packers uniform

Aaron Rodgers was a backup quarterback for Green Bay until 2008.
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Finally, in 2008, after Green Bay elected not to re-sign the then 38-year-old Favre, Rodgers got his chance to quarterback the team as a starter. Rodgers did not waver, manning QB duties for all 16 regular season games while throwing for 4,038 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Super Bowl Champion and MVP

Rodgers endeared himself to Green Bay fans and proved he was one of the game’s elite quarterbacks when he steered the Packers to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011. On the big stage, Rodgers earned MVP honors, completing 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards and notching three touchdowns.

Rodgers maintained his spot among football’s top performers in succeeding seasons. When he made his 100th regular season start in December 2014, he ranked first in NFL history in career touchdown passes, yards, and passer rating among all quarterbacks at that point of their careers. At the end of the season, he was voted NFL MVP for the second time.

Later NFL Career and Trade to Jets

Rodgers continued to put up elite numbers, leading the NFL with 40 touchdown passes in 2016. However, his 2017 season was derailed by a fractured collarbone in week 6, and his return late in the year wasn’t enough to push Green Bay back to the playoffs.

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The Packers felt comfortable enough to offer their 35-year-old quarterback a lucrative contract extension before the start of the 2018 season, and Rodgers responded with vintage play, throwing an impressive 25 touchdowns against just two interceptions. However, the Packers sputtered to their worst record since his first year as a starter, finishing 6-9-1.

Rodgers delivered similar production in 2019, and this time the Packers surged to the top of their division with a 13-3 record before they were overwhelmed by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

The quarterback won his third and fourth NFL MVP awards for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but the Packers lost in the conference championship and divisional rounds, respectively. During the ensuing offseason, there was rampant speculation that Rodgers could retire or demand a trade out of Green Bay. Instead, the Packers signed him to a contract extension in March 2022 worth $150.8 million over three seasons.

The deal didn’t work out, however, as the Packers finished 8-9 the next season and missed the playoffs. Rodgers admitted he played through most of the season with a broken thumb suffered in Week 5.

Ready to move on, Rodgers announced in March 2023 he intended to play the next season for the New York Jets, who were in need of a starting quarterback. On April 24, ESPN reported that Green Bay agreed to trade him to New York in a deal involving the exchange of six draft picks total.

Rodgers Hosts ‘Jeopardy!’

In April 2021, Rodgers served as a guest host of the popular trivia game show Jeopardy! for 10 episodes. The quarterback won a celebrity edition of the show in 2015 and was one of a number of notable figures to fill in as emcee while the show searched for a permanent replacement for beloved host Alex Trebek, who died in November 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer. The appearance helped the quarterback raise $236,725 for charity.

Rodgers even told USA Today he had interest in becoming the show’s full-time host. However, his playing schedule would not allow for it.

Personal Life

Rodgers dated actor Olivia Munn from 2014 to 2017. In early 2018, he was revealed to be dating race car driver Danica Patrick. In July 2020, Patrick’s rep confirmed the pair was “no longer together.”

In an MVP acceptance speech in February 2021, Rodgers said that he was engaged amid reports that he was dating actor Shailene Woodley. Later that month, Woodley confirmed their engagement on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. The couple officially called off their engagement in February 2022.

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