There’s one prominent analyst who is not a fan of a potential Aaron Rodgers trade to the Denver Broncos.
According to ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, the idea of the Green Bay Packers quarterback being traded to the Broncos is a “death sentence” for the veteran quarterback. Why? According to Orlovsky, the AFC — and most importantly, the AFC West — is too stacked if Rodgers hopes to win another Super Bowl before the end of his career.
The former quarterback-turned-analyst stated the following on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday, January 27, via NESN’s Adam London.
“Going to Denver is a death sentence,” Orlovsky said. “I mean, you’re going into the division with the guy that has been in the last four AFC Championship Games in Patrick Mahomes. You’re going into a division that’s got Justin Herbert in it. You’re going into a conference that’s got a guy that’s playing this weekend in the AFC Championship Game in Joe Burrow. You’re also going into a conference that has a guy who threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns and lost last weekend in Josh Allen and then a guy who won the MVP of the league three years ago in Lamar Jackson.”
“So I just think the AFC, because of their young, superstar quarterbacks, if you’re sitting there and you’re Aaron Rodgers going, ‘Where’s the best chance for me to win a Super Bowl?’ It’s not in Denver,” Orlovsky continued. “It’s more than likely in Green Bay. But I don’t think it’s down to those teams either. I think if Aaron doesn’t want to play in Green Bay, it’s not Denver or nobody.”
Paton on Broncos: ‘We Have a Long Way to Go’
Broncos general manager George Paton actually said something very similar to Orlovsky’s take in that Denver needs to improve drastically on offense in order to compete with the AFC’s powerhouses.
Via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold:
“These [playoff] offenses are dynamic and we have a long way to go in that capacity, we need to get better on offense, we need to score a lot more points. We need to be more explosive … but we also need to be better on special teams and we don’t want to take a step back on defense,” Paton said in late January.
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The NFC is Drastically Weaker Compared to AFC
Orlovsky basically concludes that Rodgers’ best chances of winning another Super Bowl are by remaining in the NFC. And it’s hard to argue against that.
The NFC North is a weak division, with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears in clear rebuilding modes. As far as the Minnesota Vikings are concerned, they’re on the search for a new head coach after dismissing Mike Zimmer and just hired a new general manager in first-year man Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Basically, the Vikings could also be in rebuilding mode.
Outside of the rugged NFC West division, the NFC has a rather weak playing field. Tom Brady took to Instagram to confirm his retirement from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday, February 1, which means the entire NFC South — with the exception of the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan — may enter the 2022 season with new starting quarterbacks.
If Rodgers is traded to the Broncos, it’s hard to argue that Denver would be one of the favorites — if not the actual favorite — to represent the AFC in next year’s Super Bowl. When Rodgers trade rumors to the Broncos initially took over last May, the Broncos’ Super Bowl odds shot up, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Denver went from having the 23rd-best odds to the eighth-best odds of any team in the NFL.
However, the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC will be a lot tougher than the one in the NFC entering the 2022 season. This ultimately may play a major role in whether or not Rodgers actually leaves the Packers.