Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be moving on to a new team during the 2022 offseason, and it sounds like there is some contention that the three-time MVP might try building a super team in Denver with one of his best friends and favorite wide receivers.
On Tuesday, January 25, ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported that sources have maintained to him that Rodgers’ relationship with the Packers is “severed” despite his relationship with general manager Brian Gutekunst improving over the course of the 2021 season. He also said the Packers’ “mistreatment” of Rodgers has caused All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams to become “increasingly frustrated” with the organization.
With Rodgers set to carry an untenable $46.44 million cap hit in 2022, the Packers will have to either sign him to a new contract or find a trade partner over the next few months in order to solve their financial issues. Meanwhile, Adams — widely considered one of the top receivers in the NFL — is due to become an unrestricted free agent on March 16 and is looking to become the league’s highest-paid receiver.
The Packers could give Adams a franchise tag that would cost about $20 million for the 2022 season, buying them time to work out a long-term contract extension. Then again, as Schultz suggested, the tag-and-trade option could also be sensible for a Packers team that would be looking to build for its post-Rodgers future.
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Rodgers & Adams Would ‘Love’ Broncos Team-Up
Late January is the time when NFL rumors begin to run rampant, so it is important to note that Schultz isn’t just pulling this proposal out of thin air. He is an established reporter who claims to be in touch with sources who are close to the situation. Not only that, but his report syncs up nicely with previously disclosed information about Rodgers and Adams — such as Rodgers weighing his future with the Packers and Adams breaking off contract-extension conversations with the team.
Keeping that in mind, here’s what Schultz said Tuesday about Rodgers and Adams’ shared desire to build a super team with the Denver Broncos — who have been considered a top landing spot for Rodgers since April 2021:
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams would love to team up in Denver. Let me clarify: Sources tell me that, yes, the relationship between Rodgers and the Packers is severed. We knew that. I’m also told that Adams, given his friendship with Rodgers, has grown increasingly frustrated with the Packers’ mistreatment of one of his best friends.
Why do the Broncos make sense? We know they have the cap — $49 million. We know they have the assets — think Jerry Jeudy. And you have a potential sign-and-trade opportunity with Davante Adams, Jeudy and a first-round pick. So where does it all come together? Ah, Nathaniel Hackett, the Packers’ OC who has a positive relationship with both Rodgers and Adams, interviewed over eight hours in Denver (and) who I’m told is the favorite to become the next head coach. So what do we get when we put this all together? You get Discount Double-Check, you get the best receiver in the league and, of course, the best opportunity for both players to win a Super Bowl.
Broncos Deal Could Net Packers Major Assets
When it comes to the Packers’ future with Rodgers, the quarterback holds the majority of the cards in the situation. Rodgers and the Packers agreed to rework his contract in late July in a way that ensured he would return for their all-in campaign in 2021 but also eliminated one season (2023) from his contract and moved up their decision date to the 2022 offseason. Even if the Packers want him back, Rodgers would have to agree to a new deal or else put them in a situation where trading him is their only good option.
Put simply, if Rodgers wants to keep playing and doesn’t want to stay with Green Bay, he will be traded before the 2022 NFL draft at the end of April.
That brings us to why the Broncos have been circled as a team that could make sense for all parties involved. Despite having a talent-filled roster, the Broncos have struggled to win largely due to poor quarterback play from Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. The idea is that the addition of a three-time MVP quarterback — perhaps a four-time MVP by the time the 2021 awards are given out — would vault them into immediate contention for the AFC West against the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.
For Rodgers’ end of things, there are obvious reasons why Denver might appeal to him. They have numerous offensive weapons locked up for the next two seasons, including Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant and Javonte Williams.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos also hired Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach on January 27, adding another close connection for Rodgers in Denver. Even without an Adams tag-and-trade, it would be one of the best environments for a late-career quarterback to take a shot at winning another Super Bowl.
A deal between the Broncos and Packers for Rodgers would also net the latter quite a few assets to expedite their rebuild around first-round quarterback Jordan Love. The Broncos have five draft picks in the top 100 of the upcoming draft, including the No. 9 overall pick. If the Detroit Lions managed to get multiple first-round picks for Matthew Stafford last offseason, the Packers could get at least a few first-round picks and then some combination of Day 2/3 picks or players.
Yes, it does still seem surreal to think the Packers might move on from a quarterback who could soon become a back-to-back MVP winner, but better to get the maximum value for Rodgers if he desires a change of scenery. A post-Rodgers future is also exactly why the Packers traded up for Love in the first place. If the Packers are still confident in his long-term potential, it is easy to imagine what Gutekunst could do with multiple first-rounders — including a top-10 pick — and, perhaps, another weapon such as Jeudy for their offense.