Things have not been going well for Aaron Rodgers lately. He stirred a lot of controversy for his anti-vaccine stance, lost in the first round of the NFL playoffs at home and is now splitting up with fiancé Shailene Woodley. This goes beyond football, and Rodgers needs to bid Green Bay farewell and make a go of it elsewhere.
The four-time NFL MVP who won his fourth award just this week is 38 years old. He’s one of the best quarterbacks ever but has only one Super Bowl to his name. Ever since the Packers’ loss to Tom Brady and the Bucs in last year’s NFC Championship, his relationship with the Packers as a franchise has become publicly frayed.
He may be past his prime years, but if Tom Brady has taught us anything, it’s that you’re never too old to win another Super Bowl. Here are five potential new teams where Rodgers could reach the promised land again.
It’s been no secret that the Broncos are the next favorite to land Aaron Rodgers if he doesn’t retire or stay in Green Bay. It makes perfect sense too. Rodgers is from the west coast and Denver’s new head coach, Nathaniel Hackett is someone that Rodgers reportedly really trusts.
On top of that they have an excellent receiving core, featuring talent such as Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Tim Patrick and tight end Noah Fant. The Broncos showed promise at times this year, but suffered from not having the right fit at quarterback.
A new head coach in Hackett and one of the greatest quarterbacks ever both joining that Denver squad could be just what it needs to get back to postseason form. It’s safe to say the NFL world also wouldn’t mind seeing Rodgers in the same division as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.
Denver hasn’t made the playoffs since Peyton Manning won his 2nd with them back in 2015, so they’re certainly going to do whatever it takes to land Rodgers. The ball sails in Colorado due to the air, so it could be an offensive paradise for Rodgers, and just the change of pace he needs to get back to the big game.
The newly named Washington Commanders are desperate for a reliable quarterback. After making the postseason last year, they had a tough go of it in 2021, going just 7-10 and having serious inconsistency under center.
Taylor Heinicke started most of the games for Washington this season after his decent performance against the Bucs in the wild card last year, but he was less than inspiring. A 7-8 record when starting coupled with a 39.9 quarterback rating is not sustainable.
Commanders’ Head Coach Ron Rivera stated on Friday the urgency for a change at the quarterback position stating;
“Is there a sense of urgency? I think there always is, just because that’s the most important position on your team…It is something we want to get right.”
According to Sports Illustrated, there is real reason to believe that Rivera would be willing to trade Washington’s best player, young phenom defensive end Chase Young if it meant landing Rodgers or Russell Wilson. If Rivera is serious about dealing Young for a quarterback, it’s hard not to think that the Packers should listen to that offer.
Rodgers is already unhappy in Green Bay and has made it clear there’s no guarantees about where, or even if he’ll play next season. Green Bay acquiring Young would significantly bolster their defense and allow rookie quarterback Jordan Love to take over.
This is less plausible than the Denver trade, but on paper it seems like it’d be a win-win for both teams given the current situation.
San Francisco 49ers
They’re even closer to where Rodgers grew up and played college ball, and are in need of a new quarterback. The Jimmy Garoppolo experiment is over. It was a nice run, but San Fran is not getting back to the Super Bowl with Jimmy G at the helm.
With weapons like Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Elijah Mitchell, there’s no telling the kind of damage No. 12 could do to opposing defenses. The niners also have an exciting, skilled and successful young head coach in Kyle Shanahan who could be an immediate remedy for the issues Rodgers has had with his current head coach, Matt LaFleur.
Rodgers has struggled massively in his career against San Francisco, going 0-4 in the playoffs on top of recent regular season struggles. With the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, they passed on the California native in favor of Alex Smith.
This could be the chance for the Niners to right that wrong and for Rodgers to come home and bring a chip to the Bay Area. You know what they say, if you can’t beat em’, join em!
This one feels like more of a long shot, but no reason not to speculate.
In the wake of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, there is a serious quarterback vacuum that now exists in Pittsburgh. Steeler fans are not excited for Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins to start under center in 2022, and nor should they be.
If Rodgers ended up being traded to Pittsburgh, he’d have an extremely talented and reliable receiving core of Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington. This group’s issue over the past few years is that they’ve had a washed up “Big Ben” throwing to them.
Rodgers may be 38 but he is not a shell of his former self on the field the way “Big Ben” has been recently. The Steelers have a lot of talent to bargain with, and their need for a quarterback is more evident than ever before.
Rodgers to the Steel City seems unlikely, but don’t rule anything out right now.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Now that the two year reign of Tom Brady in Tampa has ended (for the time being), it’s time for the Bucs to find a new quarterback. If the 2022 season began today, it’d be Blaine Gabbert taking the snaps.
This team and fan-base are hungry to get back to the Super Bowl and build a dynasty and so is Aaron Rodgers. It’s somewhat similar to the 49ers situation.
The loss to Tampa in last season’s NFC Championship game began the significant deterioration of the relationship between Rodgers and Green Bay management. This is a team that has no challengers for their division, and will almost certainly make the postseason again with the right quarterback.
Anyone who knows that team knows about the talent on offense. Evans and Godwin would be enough on their own, then add a top five offensive line and great backfield talent in Leonard Fournette.
If Rodgers really wants that 2nd ring, he’d at least consider the Bucs as an option. Bruce Arians is a proven coach and the Bucs have a lot to offer to Green Bay in return for Rodgers in the way of defense.
The Bucs are a winner, but now, they’re in need of a leader at the quarterback position. Some warm weather could be exactly the cure for Rodgers’ Super Bowl blues.
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