It all seemed so perfect. Have a sure-fire Hall of Fame QB play into his mid-30’s then, draft his replacement, and slowly phase out the guy who put your team on the map. It sounds a lot like what is happening in the tiny hamlet of Green Bay right now, only it isn’t. It all took place 16 years ago, when the sure-fire Hall of Famer was Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers was his replacement.
Flash forward to now, and Rodgers is now sure to end up with a bust in Canton, with Jordan Love brought in to be his replacement. But remember, back then Favre kind of held all the cards, as he played the retire-unretire game, and you also have to remember that while Rodgers was the NFL MVP last season, Favre’s last season in Green Bay looked like a QB on his last legs.
So, is it fair to now villainize Rodgers? Does he deserve to bear the brunt of the Cheeseheads ire? Does it have to end this way with Rodgers either on a different team or in Hawaii?
The answer is simple, and while 95% of denizens of the little Wisconsin town say let Rodgers go, the smart move is to do whatever it takes to keep him in town. After all, over the last 2 seasons all he has done is lead the Packers to a combined 26-6 record, 2 NFC Title games and won his third MVP award.
The biggest thing stopping this from a simple resolution is three tiny letters, e-g-o. After all, it was Rodgers whose ego was bruised when the team traded up to draft Love without letting him know. It is ego that won’t allow Packers President Mark Murphy do the right thing now, and it is ego that will not allow Packers GM Brian Gutekunst to deal the reigning MVP.
Are there landing spots for A-Rod? Absolutely. Both Denver and Las Vegas would be ideal spots for him, as they are both out of the NFC and both could use a QB for different reasons. But the price would be very high.
In Denver, it would probably cost Drew Lock, Von Miller or Patrick Surtain, 3 future first rounders and a 2nd rounder. For Vegas a deal would look more like Derek Carr, Darren Waller and the same draft picks. The problem is, the Packers have come out and said “we are not trading A-Rod”.
The easy move for Green Bay to make would be to simply comply to what Rodgers wants and fire Gutekunst. The problem is, the Packers won’t do it. If you ask any football who is more important to the team’s success the 3-time MVP QB or a very average at best GM, the answer is simple. But for some reason the trigger will not be pulled.
So for the 2021 season, Packers fans are going to have to struggle with the fact that either Blake Bortles or Jordan Love will lead this team to a very middling record, and probably a seat at the non-playoff table. While the man who could change all their fortunes, is either doing his best Alec Trebek, or just taking in the beautiful beaches of Hawaii.