- Aaron Rodgers’ post-game comments have fired up trade speculation
- Green Bay could look to trade Rodgers this offseason
- We picked out three potential trade destinations for the soon-to-be MVP
In the wake of a gut-wrenching fourth consecutive NFC Championship game loss, Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, discussed the possibility that he may not be around in Green Bay come September 2021.
Speaking to the media after the game, albeit while emotions were still raw, Rodgers said “A lot of guys’ futures… that are uncertain. Myself included.”
While the idea that Rodgers may leave Green Bay does sound absurd, it is important to consider how icy things felt during the 2020 preseason with the head coach, Matt LaFleur, and the general manager, Brian Gutekunst, drafted Rodgers’ replacement, Jordan Love, in the first round of the 2020 draft.
It could even be argued that Rodgers’ MVP level of performance this past season was fuelled by his anger at the Green Bay front office and coaching staff for their lack of belief in him.
With Rodgers’ opponent and peer, Tom Brady, walking off the field into another Super Bowl and Deshaun Watson wanting out of Houston, the proposition of experiencing something new and fresh just may lead to Rodgers seeking pastures new.
So, with that in mind, which three teams should consider going all in and trading for perhaps the most gifted quarterback to ever walk the earth?
Niners go all-in
The links between Rodgers and the 49ers are clearly apparent. Rodgers is a California native and was a 49ers fan growing up. Moreover, the 49ers passed on Rodgers in the 2005 draft, opting to select Alex Smith over the Packers quarterback.
As a result, whenever ideas of Rodgers departing Green Bay were brought up, the 49ers were always on the shortlist of teams for Rodgers to join. The situation at quarterback for the 49ers this offseason has only acted to accentuate the links between Rodgers and the 49ers.
After a disappointing 2020 campaign, the possibility of the 49ers moving on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo becomes increasingly likely by the day. Especially when you consider the 49ers would only eat approx. $2.8 million in cap space if they were to cut Garoppolo outright.
Throughout his time in the Bay, Garoppolo has been marred by his inability and/or refusal to throw the ball outside of the numbers and down the field, negating the explosive element of Shanahan’s offence. Per Sports Info Solutions, Garoppolo averaged an average throw depth of 6.2 in 2019 and 6.3 in 2020, compare this to Rodgers’ average throw depth of 8.3 in 2019 and 7.5 in 2020, and the conclusion is clear.
Furthermore, Rodgers, despite playing in a similar system to Garoppolo, is less turnover-prone. Over the course of two seasons, Rodgers threw only 9 total interceptions. Compare this to Garoppolo who threw 13 interceptions in 2019 alone, and further 5 in 2020.
Garoppolo is not a bad quarterback per se, but no matter which way you cut it, Rodgers in undoubtedly an upgrade on the 49ers current quarterback. You’ve seen what Rodgers has been able to do in a Shanahan-lite system coached by LaFleur. If Rodgers were to become available, 49ers general manager, John Lynch, should at the very least pick up the phone and consider a trade.
Colts replace Rivers
However, for Colts general manager Chris Ballard, it could be a case of out with one Hall of Famer and in with another if Rodgers were to land in Indy.
Despite crashing out in the Wildcard Round of the 2020 playoffs, if Rodgers were to line-up under centre for the Colts, it would instantly transform the team into Super Bowl contenders.
With a top ten by DVOA under Matt Eberflus, a stable offence overseen by Frank Reich, one of the best offensive line units in the NFL and a tag team of young exciting offensive weapons in Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman, the Colts are one quarterback away from being serious contenders come February next year.
Broncos chase superstar again
New Broncos general manager George Paton might kickstart his tenure emulating his predecessor, John Elway. Elway brought a 36-year-old Peyton Manning to Denver. However, Elway signed Peyton in free agency. Paton would have to trade a bounty of picks and players to secure Rodgers.
Similar to the Colts, the Broncos are closer to earning the status of contender than some may think. Garett Bolles has the blindside locked down after a stellar season, Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon make up a more than capable backfield, while Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant comprise an exciting pass-catching unit.
Even though Elway may not be the Broncos’ official GM, he still pulls the strings in Denver. Elway may just not be able to resist copying the Manning move and bring in an elite quarterback to execute the offence. It’s especially tempting after the series of failures that was/is Brock Osweiler, Joe Flacco and Drew Lock.
Elway needs an ego boost and trading for Aaron Rodgers might just be it.