Our lengthy national nightmare has finally come to an end. For the time being. But let’s not pretend that nothing happened in the last five months. Don’t attempt to persuade me that there’s nothing to see here. No one wants to go to battle with a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback (and this isn’t Green Bay’s first time dealing with someone of that caliber), and this was messy and drawn out for a reason. Sure, the two parties established enough financial and contractual common ground to allow for a temporary solution that effectively serves as a player exit door. That much was accomplished.
Landing Places for Aaron Rodgers in 2022: A Look Ahead to Next Year as The Quarterback Nears a New Packers Contract That Will Allow Him to Go
Rodgers, on the other hand, isn’t going to forget his long list of grievances that led to this story in the first place, and the actual goal of this new contract is to give the quarterback a say in where he closes his career. Has he received written assurances that he will be traded as early as January? No. However, neither party wants to go through it again. Rodgers would love being one of the most talked about players in the NFL every week in this ‘Last Dance’ situation, according to the Packers. Then, in early 2022, we’ll all be waiting for ‘The Decision,’ with Rodgers guiding himself to a new team (and another new contract!) through trade (maybe Tom Brady could loan A-Rod his buddy Jim Gray?). There will be no trade without extra years on the contract; Rodgers can always play the retirement card if necessary, and the Packers won’t be able to compel him to play for the Texans or something similar.
However, it begs the question of which clubs would be best for 2022. Which teams could potentially have what Rodgers wants and be in a position to make a deal? Where do you think the most likely landing places are? It’s never too early to start thinking about it! Rule out the NFC North for obvious reasons, as well as teams that desperately need a quarterback but aren’t close to competing (Houston, etc.), and teams that have recently drafted or acquired whom they believe to be the QB of the present and future, and this is how I’d size up the field, with roughly one-third of the NFL worth mentioning:
Isn’t it true that they have to be the clubhouse’s leader? Rodgers is unconcerned about Colorado. They have a solid defense and some intriguing offensive pieces. Near the end, it worked for Peyton Manning. John Elway may be able to help. This offseason hasn’t been all smoke between these two teams. That sounds like a wonderful fit in terms of lifestyle and football, plus the QB of the future isn’t currently on the roster.
New Orleans Saints
Wouldn’t it be something if Aaron Rodgers and Sean Payton teamed up? For the time being, they have look-see quarterbacks, but bringing Rodgers in a year after Drew Brees departs with an experienced squad and leading them to the Promised Land? Is A-Rod going to Jazz Fest? That also appears to be a good match. OL is fantastic. Can run the ball all over the place. Play a lot of games outside or in a dome if the weather is nice. Tom Brady is in the same division as him. Hmm.
In Pittsburgh, Big Ben is performing his ‘Last Dance,’ while Rodgers is in Green Bay. However, do you think Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins will be the long-term solution? Do you think a team that hasn’t finished below.500 in a long time will do a full-scale rebuild with a rookie quarterback when they’ll likely choose between 18 and 20 in the first round (a no-land man’s for top quarterbacks)?
Can they continue to trade top picks in a way that the organization has never done before in order to move up and get one? Is Rodgers’ defense and what they believe will be a revitalized run game a plug-and-play situation? Could you envision kicking off postseason games for these two legendary teams?
Tua Tagovailoa, I believe, will be OK. Even after wasting their first-round pick two years ago on one of the more accomplished college quarterbacks in recent years, the Dolphins have clearly had a wandering eye. Green Bay would be a far cry from South Beach. Ownership has a history of failing to entice players and/or coaches of this caliber to Miami, but Steve Ross would give it his all. With a lot of draft cash, he might be able to recoup some of it by flipping Tua.
After a rocky offseason, what if Russell Wilson and the Seahawks had a split as well? Is it possible that the time will work out? GM of the Seattle Seahawks, John Schneider, has links to Green Bay and is a fan of Rodgers. Seattle is another city that appeals to him. They’re used to paying a high-paid quarterback and may obtain a huge return for Wilson that would outweigh the price they’d have to pay for Rodgers. Pete Carroll may appear to be 45, but he is the league’s oldest coach, and starting over with a young quarterback wouldn’t be his first choice if they chose to take a historic return on a Wilson deal.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady continues to send out signs that he intends to play well past 2021. More than a year, at the very least. But injuries happen, and things change, and even if Brady left next year, this team would still be built to win right now, with an older coach in Bruce Arians at the helm. What about this for a change of pace: Brady to Rodgers? Again, there would have to be mitigating conditions, but if Tampa Bay needed a quarterback, this would be an easy choice.
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