Packers in 'Jeopardy' as Rodgers moves towards exit

Andy Henson, 8/5/2021

April 29th 2021 and the eyes of the NFL world were fixed on Cleveland, Ohio, as the rookie QB class of this year's draft awaited their respective destinies. Yet, some 515 miles away, in Wisconsin, it was an old stager of the game who suddenly grabbed the headlines on opening night.

Shortly before the Lawrence to Jacksonville pick was rubber stamped, rumours began to emerge that Aaron Rodgers was once again, most unhappy with life in Green Bay and had told certain figures within the organisation that he would not be returning next season.

ESPN reported that senior bodies within the Packers HQ were well aware of this and that they had been working hard since the season ended to try and rectify the issues and have no interest in trading the moustache away.

It has since emerged that 49ers GM John Lynch dropped the cheekiest of calls to GB the day before they drafted Trey Lance to be the future of the franchise. Apparently the call was short. We also know that the Rams made the same call before settling on NFC North rival QB Matthew Stafford.

An NFL player has never been traded away after winning the MVP award. Never say never though…..right?!…

As we know, Rodgers was a hot topic of discussion after last year's draft. He made no secret of how angry he was about the Packers trading up to the first to draft Jordan Love. Safe to say, he played like a man on fire this past season, turning in an MVP showing and effectively sticking both middle fingers up at the Green Bay hierarchy. Yet it seems that the damage was more long lasting.

All of the talk after the 2020 Draft was about how Green Bay robbed him of a 1st round offensive weapon with the Love pick. Perhaps. However, a pissed off Rodgers proved to be a dangerous tool, producing one of the best seasons by any QB in the history of the NFL. He threw for 4,300 yards and 48 touchdowns, while setting a career high completion percentage.

It’s a good old fashioned stand off now. The player wants out but the franchise has no interest (at least on the surface) in letting him go. We will find out in time who wins this one, but at this stage, it appears a trade is more likely than him pitching up in green and yellow come week 1.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the more realistic destinations, given current rosters and financial limitations.

Las Vegas Raiders shot caller Derek Carr is the marmite of the QB ranks. He really isn’t bad but at the age of 30, how much better is he going to get?

The former 2nd round pick played well last season, finishing just outside of the top 10 in touchdowns and overall QB rating but if an upgrade is available, you go after it! The Raiders could also save themselves the handsome sum of $20 million but cutting ties. Edgar Bennett, who serves as part of the Raiders offensive coaching team, worked with Rodgers for 2 years in Green Bay, so we can add some familiarity to this particular equation.

The biggest issue with this potential destination is that the Raiders aren’t likely to win anything anytime soon. Chiefs aside, they also have to contend with fellow divisional rivals the Los Angeles Chargers, who are rebuilding around their own mightily impressive franchise QB and a Denver Broncos team, who might only be a QB away from being a very different prospect this coming season. Even with the addition of Rodgers, it would leave them a mountain to climb to make the postseason. He turns 38 in December and he needs more assurances in a new team than the Raiders can offer.

During our last pod, Paul talked us through his theory of how Rodgers lands in New York the season after next, to lead his Giants to the promised land. Or at least to a divisional title. Oh ok….to a winning record then?!

How much can the Giants stomach another season with Daniel Jones running the show?

It’s worth remembering that they traded down in the first this time around. While some questioned their eventual pick (Kadarius Toney), it does leave them with trade ammunition in the form of an extra 2022 pick. We also saw plenty of promise from their defensive ranks last season to suggest they don’t need to tweak much there. With a wide receiver list longer than a Leonard Cohen song, they could perhaps afford to offload one of them as part of any offer to bring A-Rod to the Big Apple. In the most open division of them all, adding a serious QB would drastically shake things up in the East.

From a team who Rodgers could catapult to divisional winners, to a team he could turn into straight up Super Bowl contenders. The Miami Dolphins. I know, I know….before the hoards of Fins fans flood my mentions with abuse….Tua is your guy! We all know that. In reality, as with most teams / fans, he’s only your guy until a better guy comes along and we are talking about the guy your wife told you not to worry about here.

Miami were in a prime spot in round 1. Theoretically, could have taken Justin Fields but where would the sense have been in adding another rookie to their QB room, when they still need to see what Tua can really give them? Their interest in Deshaun Watson has gone for obvious reasons. At least for now.

Miami would be a huge pull for Rodgers, whether it was the climate or the depth of offensive options at his disposal. Send Tua the other way in exchange for a real shot at the bowl?

We’ll wrap up with what seems like the most realistic option of all. The Denver Broncos.

For a team stacked with weapons, overlooking one of the 2021 QB prospects, to take on the new season with Drew Lock and Teddy B, seemed a little strange. However, if they already think (or even maybe know) that they stand a chance of bringing in Rodgers, it makes sense that they addressed a different spot on the roster. Perhaps they drafted a nice first round talent that they might be able to package up in a significant trade deal?

The Broncos know all about what bringing in a veteran QB can do for your chances of success and will no doubt be looking on in envy at the QB situation in Los Angeles and Kansas City. They can’t afford to lose any more ground in that division and adding Rodgers to that roster would be a huge shake up for the division and the entire conference for that matter.

A team that has the capital and the temptation to make it happen.

Aaron Rodgers’ time in Green Bay appears to be over. Money talks. Probably never a truer word spoken when it comes to sport. However, what he wants is a ring before he moves full time into game show presenting. Rodgers is only going to a team with genuine Super Bowl chances. Writing this is a Vikings fan…..I don’t care where he ends up as long as it’s outside of the North.

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