This season is all but through for a team three games under .500 with an exceedingly tough schedule down the stretch. The Packers will need to decide by May of next year whether to extend backup Jordan Love on a pricey fifth-year option, which means he’s likely to take the reins sooner than later in 2022 so the organization can truly understand what sort of player it has.
Rodgers may or may not be perturbed by Green Bay pulling him out of meaningless games, but he has been annoyed each of the last two years by personnel decisions and a lack of skill talent in the receiver room. Both last offseason and the one before, the four-time MVP asked for a trade and threatened retirement — it would hardly be surprising if he did so again this spring.
The difference is that with $100 million guaranteed on his contract over the next two years and a massive decision on Love’s future looming, the Packers may finally have the necessary incentive to move on from their 15-year starting QB. It might only require the catalyst of Rodgers making a public show of discontentment once again to transform such a proposition into reality.
That’s exactly the scenario that one of the hosts of the God Bless Football podcast sees playing out in Green Bay.
“I don’t think he finishes his career in Green Bay, I think he’s got another stop,” said Stugotz, co-host of the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz and God Bless Football, on Friday. “I think he’s gonna go to Las Vegas, either Las Vegas or San Francisco, I do. I think he’s going to force his way out of there.”
Rodgers Has Several Connections to 49ers Organization
The notion of Rodgers to the San Francisco 49ers is hardly a new one. The QB was born in Northern California and attended college at the University of California, Berkley. Rodgers wanted a trade to the Niners prior to the 2021 NFL Draft when he first tried to force his way out of Green Bay. San Francisco was also interested in getting that deal done, though it never ultimately materialized.
The only way Rodgers could land with the Niners at this point is via a trade, a proposition that’s far from simple considering the contract he just signed in Green Bay, though the Packers would probably be interested in moving off the $100 million guaranteed, especially if Love looks like he will pan out long-term.
Another obstacle is that San Francisco swapped first-round picks with the Miami Dolphins two seasons ago, then sent two more first rounders to South Florida plus other draft capital, just to move up nine spots and draft Trey Lance — their purported quarterback of the future.
Rodgers Trade Makes Sense For Both Packers, 49ers
Even still, the idea isn’t that far fetched. Lance didn’t play much his rookie year, learning behind veteran Jimmy Garoppolo. He then suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks that included a broken fibula and required surgery to address.
Garoppolo is in the final year of his contract after taking a significant pay cut to remain in the Bay Area in 2022 and will be looking for a multiyear deal. The Niners can hand the keys to the offense over to Lance, but the young signal caller remains unproven and San Francisco continues to make moves as though it is operating inside of a win-now Super Bowl window — the trade for running back Christian McCaffrey, for instance, in which the Niners sent four quality picks to the Carolina Panthers.
Lance remains on a rookie contract for the next two seasons, while San Francisco holds the same type of fifth-year option on his deal that the Packers hold on Love’s. The team has been to the NFC Championship twice and the Super Bowl once in the past three seasons. While Rodgers may have taken a step back in 2022, he’s clearly a step up from both a healthy Garoppolo and an inexperienced Lance coming off of a catastrophic injury.
Should the Packers decide to move on from Rodgers, San Francisco looks like a smart bet as a two-year landing spot for the future Hall of Fame quarterback to finish his career.