12's Future In Green Bay

Business works both ways.

Jim Rome
January 27, 2021 - 9:39 am
Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur

USA Today

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I’ll be honest, after the season that Aaron Rodgers had, the very last thing I expected to be doing in late January is talking about his future in Green Bay. But here we are. Here the bleep were are.

Earlier this week, Packers team president Mark Murphy went on WTAQ-WNFL radio and said: "I’ll say this, there's no way in heck that Aaron is not going to be on the Packers. I mean, he is going to be the MVP of the league. He might have had his best year ever. He's our unquestioned leader, and, you know, we're not idiots."

So that should end it, right? The Packers team president says they know how good Rogers is, he’s the unquestioned leader, and we’re not idiots. That should be the end of the story, right?

Especially when Rodgers himself was on with Pat McAfee and said: "I don't think that there is any reason why I wouldn't be back. But look, there's not many absolutes in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn't do it. And I guess that's why it went kind of nuts."

There’s some wiggle room there, when he points out that there are no absolutes, but that certainly seems like it, he’s fine, they’re fine, and why would you bust up one of the best things ever. Sure, losing to Tampa Bay in the NFC title game, at home, sucks badly, but Aaron is balling out and they have an amazing thing going, right?

And the Packers, as their president said, aren’t idiots and will do absolutely everything they can to keep Rodgers, and keep him happy...  And not just because he’s the unquestioned leader and because he’s playing at an MVP level, but for a host of other reasons. Right? Nothing to see here; just keep moving, right. Ehhhhh let’s not get into that just yet. Actually, my guy Jason La Canfora already has gotten into it, and has a piece up on CBS Sports dot com that adds a little juice to the conversation.

And it starts with this story: “On Sunday night, I got a text from a number that I did not recognize within minutes of sending a tweet about why I believe the 49ers make the most sense to be Aaron Rodgers' next team. The text inquired as to why a different team wouldn't be an even more fitting destination.”

JLC writes that he proceeded to lay out, “in fairly blunt terms” why that different team doesn’t make sense as a destination for Rodgers. JLC says that he thought the text was coming from a producer at CBS Sports HQ who was looking to get info for a graphic for the Monday morning show.

And sure enough, it turns out that text was actually coming from the head coach of that different team.

And the head coach wrote back to JLC: "Everything you said is true, but trust me we want in on this thing. It's never really been good between him and the coach. It's been a long feeling-out process, and it looks like it's over. Aaron knows exactly what he is saying and exactly what he is doing."

Hello! And uh oh!!! And JLC goes on to write that what the head coach was saying was an echo of other things that he has heard from coaches, GM’s, and other league personnel, all of whom “are convinced a bitter divorce is pending between one of the greatest quarterbacks of this or any generation, and the storied Green Bay Packers.”

And if you want another quote on that, check this from an assistant coach to JLC: "It's been the worst kept secret in football. I don't think they've ever really won him over. Last year they held him back, and then they picked his replacement in the draft. This guy is nothing if not calculated. He's sending a signal to the rest of the league – Come and get me."

Rodgers is smart as hell. And I don’t know if he’s looking to send a message or not.  Looking to bust out or not. But if he is, can you really blame him?! The guy led the Packers to the NFC title game last year; had them this close: all they had to do was get him a little help, a weapon or two, and maybe they take the next step. But instead of doing that, they go out and draft his replacement. And they trade up to draft his replacement; they couldn’t have been any clearer with that message: you’re on the clock.  We got rid of Brett Favre, and we’re ultimately get rid of you for Jordan Love. Nothing personal, big dawg: just business.

So what’s Aaron do with that? Not the thing everyone said he would do: namely, go on a scorched earth policy, freak out and light the facility of fire. Instead, dude comes back in his best head space, has one of his best season ever, and is the consummate, pro, leader and teammate, even if they were looking to rush him out the door. He gets them to the NFC championship, at home and goes legend again. Only to have the coaches fail him once again: especially the head coach who took the ball out of his hands fourth and goal down 8 with just over two minutes to go, and gave it to the goat. So to answer your question, Murph, do we think you’re idiots: I’d say giving the ball to Tom Brady and thinking you were going to get it back was pretty idiotic?

Again I don’t know if Aaron is looking to leave or not, but can you really blame the guy if is he? How can he to look at Tom Brady, a guy who he is better than right now, but who has a much better situation than Aaron has and not think: I want that. That motherbleeper just came into my house, ate my food, drank my beer and in his first year already has won as many NFC title games as I have in my entire hall of fame career. The shock isn’t that Aaron might want out, it’s that he wouldn’t want out. And if he does and I’m a team that could use an upgrade at quarterback, and that’s just about every team in the league, with the exception of a few, I’m beating down the door to Lambeau Field and offering anything and everything to see if I can get Rodgers.

Seriously. What team shouldn’t be doing that? Kansas City, I guess. And that’s only because Patrick Mahomes is younger than Rodgers, but tell me another team in this league that would not be better with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback for the next few years? That’s how good Rodgers is. How good he still is

So the question is not should Green Bay make it right with Aaron, but rather CAN they make it right with him. They should give him whatever the hell he wants.  Question is, much like it is with Deshaun Watson in Houston, will it even matter at this point. Or have all the bridges been torched. And really this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Joe Montana didn’t end his career with the Niners. Tom Brady won’t end his career with the Patriots; and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t end his career with Green Bay. Just know this, if he doesn’t, it won’t be his fault.