So where is Aaron Rodgers going to play this season?
Does he really want to get out of Green Bay? Does he want to host a TV show? Is he just sulking?
Is he ready to sink into the mud to force a move if that’s what it takes?
Every non-Chiefs team in the league should pick up the phone to try and find the answers. Rarely, if ever, is a franchise quarterback available in his prime is available through a trade – a reigning league MVP has never been traded. Rodgers may be 37, but he still has at least four to five years of top-level play under his belt. It’s worth remembering: Tom Brady has started as many Super Bowls since he was 37 (five) as any other quarterback of all time. Given his pocket excellence, Rodgers’ game should age just as gracefully.
Still: we can narrow the list down pretty quickly. Realistically, teams that already feel like they have a young and future franchise-level quarterback won’t be picking up the phone. Teams that have recently been pushed back and therefore moved on to new targets in the draft (49ers, Patriots) won’t be either. The Colts came out after making a move for Carson Wentz early in the offseason; the same goes for Lions and Rams. And you can rule out any team that already has an aging quarterback who is absorbing a large chunk of that team’s salary cap (Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, et al).
That leaves us with six potential landing points – with an apology to the Giants, who should be making the call but won’t.
Rumors of a Rodgers-Denver deal have been circulating since opening night of the draft. It makes sense. The Broncos aren’t going anywhere with Drew Lock and his league-leading interception total; Teddy Bridgewater will serve as a competent bridge for anyone looking at the Broncos next, but that’s not the long-term answer.
Who the Broncos are looking to in the medium and long term is even more pressing given the state of their division. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs aren’t going anywhere for the next decade. Ditto for Justin Herbert and the Chargers. To keep pace, the Broncos need to gain momentum. They couldn’t or didn’t want to climb the draft to land one of the best quarterback prospects of this year, which leaves them with three options: A, ride this season and hope they can land a better one. quarterback in next year’s draft; B, tangling with Bridgewater in a state of quarterback purgatory; C, try to exchange for an upgrade.
There is no price the Broncos should refuse to pay. Want some first-round players? Sure. Do you want us to place a second round pick? Of course. Oh, do you want Bradley Chubb too? He will be waiting for you at the airport.
Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders brain trust Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock find themselves in a similar position in Denver: the backbone of a playoff team is there, but they lack the spark in the quarterback that can help reduce away with Kansas City (and cover up some of their questionable staff picks).
Gruden is renowned for his impatience, and he’s long been the sort of vocal, strident defender of anything the quarterback seems to covet; the coach would certainly accept the quarterback’s wishes with his attacking plan – Gruden, for all his bluster, is as malleable as any coach in the league in adjusting his attack to the skills of his quarterback.
The Raiders have the choices and the young talent to make a big offer. And if returning to the West Coast is part of Rodgers’ calculation, the Raiders represent his best opportunity.
The Panthers are high. Owner David Tepper has been looking to make a splash at quarterback since buying the team. Carolina sniffed at Deshaun Watson before his legal issues surfaced and they were the first to inquire about Russell Wilson when the quarterback’s sour relationship with the Seattle hierarchy came to light.
Bringing in Sam Darnold while paying Teddy Bridgewater to leave was a smart bet. Maybe there is Something there in the old first round pick. Maybe he was a victim or circumstances and bad coaching in New York. Maybe not. Maybe it stinks. But the Panthers are happy to bet on the potential of something, anything, rather than stepping on water with a product known as Bridgewater.
But just because Carolina only recently added Darnold means they’re married to him indefinitely. If Rodgers is available and interested, the Panthers will be front of the line to champion their cause – they could even include Darnold in such a deal if the Packers wanted to buy Jordan Love more time or wanted to return him themselves. for additional assets.
In two years, Chris Grier and Brian Flores, the chief honchos in Miami, orchestrated the rebuilding of the model. They took care of draft picks, built to specific requirements of the free agency system rather than chasing names, shot some top players long-term, drafted their quarterback of the future once that the right pieces were in place, brought this quarterback slowly.
The list showed full support. The team has developed a group of players from poor outlook or fragmentary pieces into the foundation of a team that has real aspirations for the division title this coming season.
Miami could continue on this normal evolutionary line. They could continue to take things linear: they can explain Tua Tagovailoa’s early struggles like any rookie quarterback’s natural problems; they could give it time to grow up; they can continue to build around Tagovailoa, slowly and methodically.
Or they could try to succeed in the microwave at present; they could use some of their assets left over from the days of rebuilding and attempt to strike a deal for Rodgers. No matter how smart or calculated a team’s long-range plan is, it means little to a coach or general manager if their handpicked quarterback flips the ball in third. It’s myopic, but that’s how the league works. Would the Dolphins’ hierarchy instead focus on the next six years (maybe more) of Tagovailoa or the next three years (maybe more) of Rodgers, especially in a division that is changing?
New Orleans Saints
For the first time in a long time, the Saints are looking for a quarterback. Sean Payton has the kind of friendly reputation with quarterbacks, it’s more of a partnership than a coach that could lure Rodgers to the NFC South. The Saints have had bad big trades before and are happy to be ruthless in the pursuit of improving their roster: they will move up to fan favorites, swing superstars into trades, adjust the salary cap in order to earn a few bucks. additional. to add another player now to win today not caring about the future. Anyway, all the things Rodgers has trouble with in Green Bay.
At some point, the Saints will soon have to pay for all the sins of the Drew Brees era background wage cap, but there is enough flexibility in the new collective bargaining agreement for the team can start. two more years, opening enough of a window that might get Rodgers moving.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers don’t want to trade Rodgers. If anything, it would be better from the Packers’ point of view for Rodgers to retire rather than move on to another team, regardless of how much compensation would come in exchange, meaning the quarterback will have to make a stench – publicly or privately – to get out of Green Bay.
This offers three interesting questions for Rodgers to answer before hitting the ultimate I want to get out button (so far all Rodgers-want-to-get-out chatter has come in leaks, not through his own mouth): will he leave to improve his chances of winning a Super Bowl elsewhere? Does he want to leave because he feels that promises have been broken by his superiors and that he cannot continue working with the team? Does he really want to move because he’s tired of Wisconsin and wants to go back to the West Coast where he could potentially host Jeopardy !?
It’s hard to say that wherever he could land there would be a demonstrable improvement over Green Bay’s list.
The Packers went to the NFC Championship game last year, their scoresheet is healthy and they have the assets to add immediate help if Rodgers agrees to stay and sets his own schedule. Rodgers could turn any franchise into a legitimate contender, such is his excellence and individual style, but it’s hard to argue that his Super Bowl chances would be improved by moving elsewhere.
The idea that Rodgers could retire to be the full time host of Jeopardy !. The show’s show-runner has publicly stated that he’s looking for a host who can commit to the show full-time rather than seeing it as a stampede alongside his lead role.
Being an NFL quarterback would seem to disqualify Rodgers from contention. Rodgers doesn’t think so.
“They film 46 days a year. I worked 187 this year in Green Bay. This gives me 178 days to make Jeopardy !. So I feel like I could fit 46 into this 178 and make it work, ”Rodgers told The Ringer. “It would be a dream job for sure, and I have no hesitation in saying that I want the job.”
Rodgers wants Jeopardy! but do Jeopardy! do you want Rodgers? Rodgers did a great job as a game show host… for a professional quarterback. But some of the buzz surrounding his performance seems exaggerated. It’s similar to Blake Griffin’s date with stand-up comedy. Athletes are typically categorized into such things on a curve, the commentary written in great gratitude to any athlete for showing a minimum of personality beyond a barrage of clichés. And so the praise is pouring in. He’s hilarious! He was amazing! Griffin was not giving Dave Chappelle a sleepless night. And while Jeopardy! Aaron Rodgers probably enjoys the bump of being in the business, are they ready to turn a media juggernaut into a rookie before a TV professional?
What if Jeopardy! demanded that the host work full time, would Rodgers be ready to retire in his prime, a year after winning the league’s MVP award, in order to host a game show? He could. Everyone’s priorities are different. But that would potentially put him on the line for $ 31 million if the Packers were looking to collect his signing bonus.