Aaron Rodgers is a 12-time Pro Bowl quarterback and two time NFL MVP. He has the Packers, who once upon a time were Super Bowl contenders, in first place with only 8 games to go. But he’s been struggling so far this season that some are calling for him to be benched or traded if he wants more money from the team
Aaron Rodgers is a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, who are currently in the midst of their first season without him. His number has been retired by the team in his honor.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – In the NFL, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It is, however, gentler at times.
Nobody expects quarterback Aaron Rodgers to think about that when he chooses whether to return to the Green Bay Packers for his 18th season or attempt to win another Super Bowl in a different outfit — assuming he doesn’t retire.
Matt Hasselbeck, a former NFL quarterback and current ESPN commentator, found this when the Seattle Seahawks chose to cut him after the 2010 season.
“I would never have left Seattle,” Hasselbeck recently said. “I was 35 years old and towards the end of my life when they decided not to bring me back.” As a result, I go to Tennessee. It’s hot and humid outside, and my muscles have never felt better. My body has never felt better.
• Full bracket, schedule and format » • First look at Bengals-Chiefs, 49ers-Rams conference title matchups » • See more playoff content »
“Every day, we’re on grass — this beautiful soft grass — and we’ve never practiced on that harsh turf in the indoor facility. It was the most wonderful feeling I’d ever had. I started all 16 games and had the greatest statistical year of my career. At 35, I thought to myself, “This is good.” I’m in terrific shape.”
Rodgers’ decision-making started in earnest this week, far sooner than he anticipated.
Rodgers stated after the NFC divisional playoff defeat to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, “I didn’t think we’d be talking about this after this game.” “But I’m going to take some time and have some chats with the people around here, and then I’m going to take some time away and make a choice before free agency or anything like that.”
The Packers stress that this is all Rodgers’ choice, and that everyone on the organization, from team president Mark Murphy to general manager Brian Gutekunst to coach Matt LaFleur, is united in wanting Rodgers back.
Rodgers, 38, isn’t the first quarterback to experience this, and if Brett Favre and Peyton Manning were able to end their careers elsewhere, so can anybody.
Five former NFL quarterbacks agreed to discuss what Rodgers may do and the advantages of concluding his career in Green Bay or elsewhere.
‘There is life beyond death,’ says Hasselbeck.
Why Why should (or shouldn’t) Rodgers continue with GB? • Has Garoppolo’s NFL future been reshaped? • The Browns’ path to the Super Bowl is being blocked by great AFC quarterbacks • AFC quarterbacks are putting more pressure on the Jets and Wilson in the summer
“What makes you want to leave?” Well, this is the third year in a row that we haven’t made it to the Super Bowl. Is he of the opinion that it’s reached the end of its usefulness and that there’s nothing further he can do there? Is he concerned that some of the players would be unable to return due to financial constraints, resulting in a weaker team? As a result, I believe you can be on either side of the fence.
“Then it’s a question of, ‘OK, where do you go?’” It’s such a narrow pool because, if we look at Brady as an example, he went into a place with a fantastic defense, some really excellent players, and a strong offensive line.
“I’m simply not sure how many teams we can say yes to while sitting here. [Trading him inside the NFC] would be foolish. Gutekunst thinks it’s absurd until the offer is so drastically different. The pool of teams will be fascinating because how many can he join that you believe will be at least a lateral move? Brady received a boost in skill from the New England Patriots. What can he do that will at least constitute a lateral move? I believe you will visit Cleveland and Denver. I’m afraid I won’t be able to see Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s offensive line and skill are both atrocious at the moment.”
‘Why would you want to leave?’ says Rich Gannon.
With his fourth club, Rich Gannon earned the NFL MVP award at the age of 37, but Rodgers has one question: Why destroy a good thing? AFP/Getty Images/John G. Mabanglo
Gannon played for four different clubs during the course of his 17-year career. With his fourth club, the Oakland Raiders, he earned the NFL MVP award at the age of 37 in 2002. He got to know the Packers while working as a color commentator for their preseason games, and he now conducts a SiriusXM NFL radio program.
“All I have to say is that the grass isn’t always greener.” As a result, you’re hoping he’s receiving sound guidance. ‘Why would you want to leave?’ I’d ask myself. The stats keep rising under head coach and playcaller [LaFleur] and coordinator [Nathaniel Hackett]. Last year, he earned the MVP after throwing 48 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing over 70% of his throws. This year is the same way.
“So you say, ‘OK, what exactly is the issue?’” Oh, you didn’t get the receiver you wanted or anything else? It’s not going to be ideal all of the time. You’re part of a fantastic organization, you’ve dominated your division, and you’re vying for NFC titles. Another Super Bowl victory will be required to solidify his legacy. I believe he understands, and he is fully aware of it.
“I’ll just say this: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. As a result, you’re hoping he’s receiving sound guidance.” Gannon, Rich
“When it comes to companies, what you’re looking for is tremendous leadership and continuity and consistency at every level of the organization: owner, general manager, head coach, quarterback,” I usually say. I understand that the Packers don’t have an owner [stockholders and a committee chaired by Murphy are the owners], but my argument is this: Is there structure, discipline, and accountability? Do we have a strong offensive line, capable running backs, and great wide receivers? Do we seem to be becoming better on defense? ‘Where do I have the greatest chance of winning?’ you must ask. ‘Why would you leave that place?’ you could ask. You’ve got this vibrant young head coach who has won more games than anybody in his first few seasons. ‘OK, let’s go to Houston and see how it works,’ you remark. I’m not saying he won’t be a great player if he moves anywhere, but why mess with a good thing?
“And here’s another thing: when I moved to a new team, there was so much turnover, so many new coaches, so many new players, that I spent my time teaching the coaches.” ‘This is insane,’ you think at some time. After then, it’s no longer enjoyable.
“If you’re a free agent like Tom Brady, it’s a different story.” I’m certain that if anything happens, Aaron Rodgers will pick up the phone and contact Tom. Tom spoke to a number of people before meeting with [Bucs coach] Bruce Arians, and he did a lot of homework on [Bucs offensive coordinator] Byron Leftwich and Arians. With [defensive coordinator] Todd Bowles, Bruce persuaded him that we’ll have a terrific defense. Then they bring his friend [Rob Gronkowski] along, and they mention that they have some pretty excellent receivers and that they’re going to improve the offensive line, and he notices that they have some really good guys on the opposite side of the ball.
“I don’t believe the fact that it was in Tampa and in warm weather helped matters. If you sat him down and asked him about it, I’m sure he’d claim there were at least ten factors that went into his choice. Even at that time, if you look back to the first 12 games of the previous season, you had no idea how things would end out. Then they got hot, and in December and January, the defense was on fire, and the rest is history.”
‘Let me show everyone,’ Kurt Warner says.
Kurt Warner was an unique quarterback who had top-level success with numerous organizations, and he understands how damaging that would be to Rodgers’ reputation. Sports Illustrated/Getty Images/John Biever
Warner is one of the few quarterbacks to win Super Bowls with two different clubs, and his accomplishments with the Rams and Cardinals helped to solidify his Hall of Fame credentials. He was released by the Rams in 2003, when he was 32 years old. He played five seasons with the Cardinals after one season with the Giants. He presently works as an analyst for the NFL Network.
“Some people, like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, have proved they can be terrific in one location and then go somewhere else and be great.” There’s simply something about being able to demonstrate that you can have tremendous success, win in two locations, and help create two companies, having experienced a bit of that myself. I believe it expresses something very unique. Only a few men are capable of doing so, of transforming two dissimilar organizations in such a manner.
“But, on the other hand, I would’ve preferred to stay in one place for 20 years and leave my mark and be able to say I was with one organization the entire time.” “I look at it this way: If he does go somewhere, here are some things that he can say to himself at the end of the day, ‘This is what I’m looking forward to doing, and this is the opportunity that I have here to put myself in a category with some of these other guys who are known as the
“How would people react if Aaron went elsewhere and didn’t have the same level of success for the first year or two?” Warner, Kurt
“I wasn’t given the opportunity to draft my own ticket.” There weren’t ten persons competing for my services. So I went to a location that had been abandoned for 50 years. Everyone is expecting you to come in and say, “Oh, it’s like ’99, go win a Super Bowl in your first year.” So, how would people react if Aaron went elsewhere and didn’t have the same success for the first year or two?
“But if you do it and have success like Tom Brady, it solidifies your legacy. Not that Tom Brady’s legacy wasn’t already solidified, but this further adds to it. As a competitor, you think to yourself, ‘Man, what an incredible challenge to go someplace,’ and you think to yourself, ‘Let me show everyone.’ I’m going to show them that Green Bay made a mistake or whatever it was they did, but more importantly, I’m going to show them that I can overcome anything in my path.’ And that, to me, goes a long way toward establishing your legacy and demonstrating how wonderful you are because it’s such a rare thing to accomplish, and to be one of those men.”
- aaron rodgers mvps
- aaron rodgers free agent
- aaron rodgers rings