Just one day after news broke that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had been traded to the New York Jets, the longtime Wisconsin resident penned an emotional tribute to the state and team that made him famous.
In a post on Instagram filled with photos of his teammates over the years, he thanked the "the @packers, our incredible fans, the state of Wisconsin, the thousands of players that I crossed paths with, the incredible men and women who work for the organization, and the amazing people who I got to meet along the way."
"I hope you read this and feel my heart and soul, filled with love, joy, and peace about my time in green and gold," he wrote.
Rodgers said that he "grew up" in Green Bay, as he was drafted to the team at the age of 21. He said he'd fallen in love with the game, met lifelong friends and will "take with me memories that will last a lifetime."
He went on to thank his coaches, both current and former, as well as everyone in the Green Bay Packers organization, down to the folks working the concession stands during games.
"To the fans, THANK YOU, you made every run out of the tunnel special, every home game magical, and it was my honor to be your QB," he wrote.
Rodgers also thanked his teammates, writing he is "thankful for the moments on and off the field that brought us close."
"I played with legends, I played with friends; thanks for believing in me and having my back always," he said.
The quarterback concluded that "this is not the end for us."
"I will see you again Green Bay, you’ll always have my heart."
Rodgers has been named MVP four times since being drafted by the club in 2005 to replace another Green Bay legend, Brett Favre.
Rodgers famously led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 2011 over the Pittsburgh Steelers and has thrown the fifth most touchdown passes in NFL history, at 475.
NBC News reported that as long as Tom Brady remains retired, Rodgers would be the active career leader in touchdown passes in the league.
According to NBC News, Rodgers announced in March that he wanted to play for the Jets on the "Pat McAfee Show," and had voiced his ongoing displeasure with Green Bay management in recent years.
He also gained notoriety for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.