Here’s why it is at least a year earlier for the Packers to take a quarter high in the repechage:
1. Financial data: Aaron Rodgers’ contract does not expire until after the 2023 season. Given the ramifications of his release cap salary (see: dead money), it is anything but a lockdown to be on the list and start for the next three years. Designating a quarterback now makes no financial sense. The Packers would miss out on the major competitive advantage of having a starting quarterback on a rookie contract.
2. Super Bowl window open: The Packers were at a Super Bowl game last season. Taking a quarter high in this draft does nothing to bring this team closer to winning the championship. If the goal is to maximize the chances of winning a Super Bowl in 2020, valuable assets – such as deep draft choices – must be used to build elsewhere. The long-term stability of the quarterback is important, but the same goes for strengthening a roster that can win big with an expensive veteran quarterback. Inexpensive assets such as draft choices must be used correctly to do so.
3. Aaron Rodgers: Yes, Rodgers will be 37 in December. But his situation is nothing like that of Brett Favre in 2005. Rodgers plays at a high level (according to Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur) and has repeatedly confirmed his desire to continue playing in his forties. And Rodgers wants to do it in Green Bay to cement his legacy. There is little or no threat that it will move away in the next few years. Favre suffered from huge performance losses and planned to retire each summer. The situations are not synonymous.
4. The quarters do not sit for a long time: It was much more common for quarters – even the big choices – to sit and learn on the bench for a few years. Obviously, Rodgers waited three years for his turn at Green Bay. It just doesn’t happen in today’s game. The young quarterbacks sit – Patrick Mahomes sat for a year in Kansas City – but they must all play as soon as possible. The Packers cannot really expect to live up to Rodgers for two or three years.
5. Comparative situation: In 2005, the Packers took Rodgers after suffering a dramatic and unexpected fall. Many expected him to be ranked # 1 overall or ranked in the top five. He fell to # 24. Is there a quarterback capable of a similar fall? If Joe Burrow falls to # 30, the Packers should obviously take it. At least they should have a long talk about Tua Tagovailoa, who could fall due to an injury. But taking a quarter in the current situation of the Packers requires a special scenario. It’s hard to see one playing later this month.