The Green Bay Packers are on the precipice of another potential Super Bowl run but despite the excitement in Packer Nation, one big offseason question lingers: What uniform will Aaron Rodgers wear next season?
The quarterback essentially controls his own destiny, despite being under contract. Jeremy Fowler, of ESPN, noted in an article published Tuesday, January 18 that both the team and Rodgers appear primed to end their 17-year run together following these playoffs, regardless of how they turn out.
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“Money talks, and Rodgers’ $46 million cap hit in 2022 suggests the team is ready to move on,” Fowler wrote, before adding a caveat. “But a lot can happen from now until March.”
NFL Executives Believe Rodgers Will Return to Green Bay in 2022
Fowler’s piece dug into a host of likelihoods and predictions for the 2022 regular season, and it was informed by interviews with executives from around the league. Despite what the money in Green Bay is saying, NFL decision makers told Fowler something different about where Rodgers is likely to end up next year.
“Maybe some execs just can’t accept reality and wrap their heads about a nonsensical choice. But the fact is, Rodgers has it really good in Green Bay, where he’s cooking up Super Bowl vibes with coach Matt LaFleur,” Fowler wrote. “And GM Brian Gutekunst is slowly bridging the relational gap with his QB.”
Rodgers himself acknowledged in late December that Gutekunst’s efforts to include him on decisions that impact his job was having a positive impact on the quarterback’s season.
“The things I’ve said about the team this year, about Brian [Gutekunst] and I’s relationship, has been heartfelt and genuine, and I do appreciate a lot of the things I have seen from the team that are directly related to conversations we had in the offseason. That was meaningful to me,” Rodgers said during a press conference on December 29. “I’ve enjoyed being a part of conversations that directly affect my job, which I talked about in the offseason, and Brian’s taken a lead in that, and I do appreciate the way our relationship has grown.”
An unnamed executive expressed to Fowler his direct thoughts on the evolving relationship between Rodgers and Packers management.
“Why would you leave?” the NFC executive said. “He has everything he needs. He had beef with the front office, but the front office got him a great roster. I still don’t understand it.”
Analysts Also Believe Rodgers Will Remain With Packers Next Year
It is no secret that Rodgers pushed to get out of Green Bay this offseason, naming the San Francisco 49ers as one of his top desired destinations, among others.
Rodgers has also been linked to likely quarterback openings with the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a possible job under center available with the Cleveland Browns. However, several NFL analysts are now lining up behind executives in a shared belief that Rodgers will be back with the Packers come 2022.
After spending the majority of the 2021 offseason discontent with the Packers, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t seemed nearly as upset with the franchise so far this season. It helps that the Packers clinched the lone NFC bye week and overall No. 1 seed. The franchise also traded for Randall Cobb, as Rodgers wished, and this could be a sign of a front office willing to listen to the star QB on personnel decisions moving forward.
That might be all it takes for Rodgers to stay in Green Bay long-term. With reports the Packers will keep Davante Adams on the franchise tag for 2022, Rodgers, 38, would need to be convinced going elsewhere guarantees a better chance at a Super Bowl. It’s hard to imagine he’d even consider more than two or three teams since the Packers have sustained a high-level of play under Matt LaFleur.