The veteran defender announced on Thursday that he would retire at the end of the current campaign, ending a 16-year career at his only professional club.
The 35-year-old has been a first-team regular again since Rodgers took over at Anfield in the summer and the Liverpool boss says he will continue to draw on his vast experience.
"He has been a giant for me since I came in here, an incredible man, he is one of a dying breed," he said.
"He is someone who has good real old school values and ethics but, as you can see from his last two performances, he still has the qualities to play at this level.
"He is a real iconic player for this club and, for me, one which will be irreplaceable.
"I don't think he can be replaced. I genuinely think he is a player who I would call a pure defender.
"You see a lot of rash defending nowadays but he defends with great intelligence, he knows when to mark a man and when to mark space and understands the basic principles of defending.
"We still have a lot to play for as we look to finish as high up the Barclays Premier League as possible and continue our progression in the Europa League, a competition we'd like to win.
"He will have a significant role to play for us between now and May and I know his commitment and dedication on the pitch will remain as it has done his entire career at Liverpool."