Top 5 Destinations for Aaron Rodgers

 

Aaron Rodgers dropped a huge bomb in the football world when on the first night of the NFL Draft, a story broke that he no longer wanted to be with the Green Bay Packers which was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This decision was too long coming, and, quite frankly, I expected this after the Packers traded up in last year’s NFL Draft to select former Utah State quarterback, Jordan Love, who was the first offensive player the Packers drafted in the first round since Aaron Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in the 2005 NFL draft 15 years ago. Yeah, it’s time to move on. Here are the top 5 destinations for Aaron Rodgers in no particular order.

 

New England Patriots: It had to kill Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick to watch Tom Brady win a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay last season. New England went on a spending spree during free agency, guaranteeing an NFL record of $148.6 million in signings. While the Patriots figure to be better than the 7-9 outfit they fielded in 2020, they’re probably not a viable Super Bowl contender with Cam Newton at quarterback. Rodgers would change that and get a chance to work with a coach he greatly admires. 

 

Las Vegas Raiders: Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock, the Raiders brain-trust, find themselves in an interesting position: they have the backbone of a playoff team, but they’re lacking the spark at quarterback that can help close the gap to the Kansas City Chiefs (and help cover up some of their questionable personnel choices). Gruden is famously impatient, and he has long been the kind of vocal, strident advocate for all things Rodgers-ness that the quarterback appears to covet. The coach would certainly acquiesce to the quarterback’s wishes with his offensive scheme– Gruden, for all his bluster, is as malleable as any coach in the league in adjusting his offense to the skills of his quarterback. The Raiders have the picks and young talent needed to make a big offer. And if moving back to the West Coast is any part of Rodgers’ calculation, the Raiders represent his best opportunity.

 

Denver Broncos: The Broncos have the worst quarterback in the AFC West and one of the poorest in football in Drew Lock. That must drive Denver general manager John Elway — one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history — bongos. Back in 2012, the Indianapolis Colts made quarterback Peyton Manning available and Elway pounced. Manning then threw a remarkable 131 touchdown passes in his first three seasons with the Broncos — including an NFL record 55 in 2013 — and helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50. If Rodgers becomes available, Elway will undoubtedly try repeating that Manning magic by dealing for Rodgers.

 

San Francisco 49ers: Green Bay will almost certainly try trading Rodgers out of the conference. If San Francisco has the most assets to offer, though, the 49ers could be an option. Rodgers grew up less than three hours from San Francisco and was a huge 49ers fan. Rodgers was devastated when San Francisco passed on him in the 2005 NFL draft and would relish a chance to finish his career in the Bay Area. The 49ers were in the Tom Brady sweepstakes in last year’s offseason. And with their commitment to current starter Jimmy Garoppolo lukewarm, at best, they could be a major player for Rodgers.

 

New Orleans Saints: For the first time in a long time, the Saints are in the market for a quarterback. Sean Payton has the kind of quarterback-friendly, it’s-more-of-a-partnership-than-coaching reputation that could lure Rodgers to the NFC South. The Saints have had big trades before and are happy to be ruthless in pursuit of upgrading their roster: they will move on fan favorites, will dangle out superstars in trades, will finagle the salary cap to squeeze out an extra couple of dollars to add another player now to win today not caring about the future, which is one of the main reasons that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. At some point soon, the Saints will have to pay for all of the salary cap sins of the back-end of the Drew Brees era, but there’s enough flexibility in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the team to kick that can down the road for another two years, opening up enough of a window that could tempt Rodgers to make the move.