While all signs are pointing to a return to the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers is reportedly torn on where he wants to play in 2022 according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
With all eyes on #Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and his future, here is the latest: Sources say Rodgers is truly torn on where he wants to play in 2022. While many in the NFL expect him to return — there's lots of positivity in Green Bay — he is going back and forth on what he wants.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2022
Now, it’s totally fair to be a little skeptical here. On Monday there were reports out of the NFL Combine that Rodgers’ camp and the Packers are currently working out the details of a contract extension that’d make the quarterback the highest paid player in NFL history. There’s a less than 0% chance Rodgers camp is using what leverage they have to push Green Bay to meet his demands. At the moment he has a lot of sway in what happens in the Davante Adams situation, for example, and Rodgers wants Adams back if he sticks with the only franchise he’s ever known.
What if he’s truly torn, though? Does that immediately reignite hopes that George Paton and the Denver Broncos have a chance at the future Hall of Famer? DNVR’s Andrew Mason shared a clip of Rapoport’s conversation with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that suggests as much.
Re: Aaron Rodgers going “back and forth” …@richeisen: “The question is where’s the ‘forth’? We know where the ‘back’ would be, where would the ‘forth’ be?”— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) March 5, 2022
:@rapsheet: “The ‘forth’ has always been the Denver Broncos.”
If you ask me it’s totally reasonable that Rodgers would be torn between the Packers and Broncos.
Nathaniel Hackett and his coaching staff have deep ties to the 38-year-old quarterback and Paton’s done a good job maintaining significant cap flexibility. The Broncos can afford to sign Aaron Rodgers to a record breaking deal without gutting the roster.
Speaking of the roster: Denver has some pretty big holes at premium positions such as edge rusher, offensive tackle, and cornerback, but they also have one of the most promising young foundations in the league. Justin Simmons is one of the best safeties in football and Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, and Jerry Jeudy could rival Rodgers’ best receiving corps. if they ever have a good quarterback throwing them the ball. There’s also players like Dre’Mont Jones, Garett Bolles, Noah Fant, and Albert Okwuegbunam. Paton’s first draft class was also considered the best in the league by Inside the League.
While Green Bay’s cap situation is really dire, we spent years watching the New Orleans Saints finagle the cap to maximize the last years of Drew Brees’ career and there’s little reason to believe Brian Gutekunst can’t do something similar. If he does, the NFC looks like a much easier road to the Super Bowl than what the Broncos face in the AFC.
At this point we’re caught in the waiting game, but that’s better than nowhere at all. The Broncos are long past committed to seeing this whole Aaron Rodgers saga to its conclusion, for better or worse. They passed on every other alternative last offseason and find themselves in a much weaker quarterback market this year. I took a look at the alternatives to Rodgers a couple weeks ago. Now that Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins are poised to return to the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings the Broncos look like they’ll be competing for passers such as Mitch Trubisky, Jameis Winston, and Teddy Bridgewater. It’s telling that Paton left the door wipe open for the Broncos 2021 starter earlier this week.
Unless you’re chomping at the bit for a Jimmy Garoppolo trade, there’s no reason to root for Paton to kill his pursuit of Rodgers before the quarterback makes his decision.