Aaron Rodgers Has More on His Mind Than Football. A Lot More.

Aaron Rodgers, perhaps the most gifted N.F.L. quarterback of his generation, spent a week last month in Costa Rica with a handful of fellow pro football players in search of transformation.

At a mountain retreat with views of the Pacific Ocean, they drank a psychedelic brew under the watchful eyes of a Yawanawa shaman and a documentary film crew.

Soon a news flash from back home — and then another — pierced the vibe. First, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the independent candidate for president, said that he was considering making Mr. Rodgers his running mate, a partnership that did not ultimately materialize.

The next day, CNN reported that Mr. Rodgers had suggested in 2013 that the massacre of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax or an inside government job. Mr. Rodgers responded on social media, saying that he had “never been of the opinion that the events did not take place.”

These are not the circumstances in which you expect to find an N.F.L. champion — sipping the brew, ayahuasca, in Central America while flirting with a run for vice president and batting away accusations of conspiracy mongering. It is certainly not what the team’s fans were imagining when Mr. Rodgers arrived last year as the would-be savior of the moribund Jets.

Football fans generally want low-complexity heroism from their standout players, and in many ways they get that from Mr. Rodgers: He led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory and has been named league M.V.P. four times. He has had a string of famous girlfriends (the former racecar driver Danica Patrick and the actresses Olivia Munn and Shailene Woodley) and endorsement deals with mainstream-American brands, like State Farm Insurance.

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