As Aaron Rodgers once said, R-E-L-A-X! Over some time there have been some rumblings about the Packers QB. I’m here to say Rest Rodgers Drama.
Perhaps I am being an optimistic Packers fan, but truthfully, I see it more as a lack of an overreaction. Like it or not, we live in a must-have-it-now type of society. That affects media and news as much as any other industry. As a result, in sports journalism, and frankly in all forms of reporting in general, the priority has become sensationalism. Who can get the flashiest story out the quickest? Who can be the first one to spout out their hot take?
Instead of asking those questions, the people in platforms of power should be thinking something along these lines. Is what I am saying accurate? Am I informing my audience?
The 2021 NFL Draft process gave us several examples of the former type of behavior. From coded language to position change narratives, there is still a discrepancy in quarterback evaluations regarding race. The ugly side of the NFL reared its head again as a prominent media member made unfounded claims about Justin Fields‘ work ethic. Yet these false opinions were presented as if they were fact.
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Another example of the false narratives spun by media members are the draft spot predictions. It’s almost as if every reporter had an inside source who knew exactly which player each team would take. Perhaps the most polarizing case was that of San Francisco’s 3rd overall pick. The majority of media members claimed it was a done deal that Mac Jones was going to be selected by the 49ers. Instead, Trey Lance got the nod at #3 and Jones fell all the way to 15th overall.
My point is, so many opinions are presented as fact, and the news surrounding Aaron Rodgers appears to be nothing more than that. Everyone seems to know an inside source that has spoken to Rodgers, yet no one has actually heard from in. For someone to be as selective as Rodgers has been with his media appearances, I find it hard to believe that he is just randomly talking to people around the Packers building.
Am I an insider with exclusive information? No, but so many people who claim to have this knowledge and insight have repeatedly been proven to be wrong. I am simply asking people to calm down and examine what we actually know.
What We Know
Green Bay is coming off of back-to-back 13-3 seasons with NFC Championship Game appearances in both. The first two years of the Matt LaFleur regime have been a success. The Packers are in win-now mode with a roster ready to compete for a Super Bowl.
The rumor is that Rodgers will never play for the Packers again. He “reportedly” either wants to be traded or he will retire. While neither scenario is impossible, I believe neither is very likely, at least not this year.
I will start with the trade. As I mentioned earlier, this Packers team is ready to win now. During the draft, they filled arguably their three biggest needs. If Green Bay were to trade away Rodgers, their most pressing concern would unequivocally be quarterback. Obviously, the front office believes in the talent of Jordan Love. But is he ready to lead the team to the playoffs in 2021? This represents the biggest hurdle for me. If the Packers were to trade away Rodgers, they would likely want a ready-to-win-now quarterback in return. How many teams have a signal-caller worth enough to even warrant a conversation?
The best chance to facilitate a trade for Rodgers would have been before or during the NFL Draft. With an elite prospect like Justin Fields falling, teams had their chances. The 49ers selected Lance and effectively ended their pursuit of Rodgers. The Broncos were next and had a chance to address the quarterback position. Instead of acquiring Rodgers or drafting Fields, they selected a cornerback and gave away the biggest trade piece they could have had to secure a trade.
One story going around is that the Broncos selected Patrick Surtain knowing it was Green Bay’s biggest weakness. That the move to ignore QB actually means Denver is interested in a QB. First, that sounds like backwards logic to me. But more importantly, what if Surtain is part of a package. I have heard names like Bradley Chubb, Jerry Jeudy, and a boatload of 1st round picks. That may seem like a lot of nice pieces, but they also all play at positions where the Packers do not have a clear need. Chubb would be the fourth pass-rusher. And while Jeudy could be as high as second on the team in targets, he could also fall as far as seventh. And getting firsts from a team with Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback means that those picks will all likely be in the mid-twenties. Not exactly franchise-altering.
Honestly, would the Packers be any worse off if Rodgers just retired and kept the rest of the team in tact? My answer is no, and I believe retirement is more likely than a trade. First, if Rodgers did decide to hang them up, he would have to repay the Pakcers over $22M over the next two years. That is cap saving that Green Bay could move towards next year, and spend big on free agents. Not the worst situation for Jordan Love to take over in.
There is also added value in knowing that the Packers will never have to face off against Rodgers. Rather than sell him for peanuts, they should just let him walk away and never have to worry about him. The franchise’s great quarterback would retire a Packer and have played his whole career in Green Bay. And no other team in the league would get to benefit from Rodgers’ passing prowess.
Therefore, I believe retirement is more likely than a trade. But is that even that close of a possibility? Truthfully I don’t know. And unlike a lot of people covering the NFL, I’m not afraid to admit that. Only Rodgers really knows the answer to that. And until he speaks, let’s all relax.
Thank you for reading Rest Rodgers Drama. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL content available on Full Press Coverage.
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