It's hard to believe that Aaron Rodgers is entering his 13th NFL season. After a mesmerizing 2016 campaign in which he threw 40 touchdowns versus only seven interceptions, the Green Bay Packers quarterback is still at the top of his game.

Rodgers, who turns 34 in December, knows he's far removed from being a spring chicken in the league. Yet, despite his possible advancement to a new stage in his career, Rodgers holds one clear advantage over several other quarterbacks creeping up in age.

"I think I'm on the back nine of my career," Rodgers said Tuesday in an interview with NFL Network's Alex Flanagan at the Gatorade Player of the Year awards. "But I think I'm just kind of starting the back nine. This will be my 10th year starting, I got to sit for three years. So I'm not the typical 13-year pro, having the opportunity to sit for three years and not take the wear and tear to learn the game."

Once a quarterback hits his mid-30s, it's hard not to think about looming retirement and contingency plans at the position. Rodgers was squarely in the middle of such a situation early in his career, which involved his predecessor Brett Favre. The Packers' current gunslinger believes his ability to play at a high level for a decade has been a product of one key factor: Remaining in Green Bay.