The plot thickens as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quest for the Holy Grail continues. Just what will they do at the ever-critical quarterback position? Their options are a-plenty, and Pittsburgh may do a combination of things — what often needs to be done when attempting to replace a future Hall of Famer in Ben Roethlisberger, who graced the same team’s presence for 18 seasons setting records along the way. There’s just no single solution.
One of those options is the veteran route. Many quarterbacks have been bandied about, especially since Roethlisberger first lent credence to the retirement rumors in December. From Jimmy Garoppolo to Gardner Minshew, if you’re a decent free-agent quarterback, you’ve been linked to the Pittsburgh Steelers through some report or another. Aaron Rodgers-to-Pittsburgh is a buzz that hasn’t completely gone away.
It was long ago and far away — okay, it was only September — when the rumor first started gaining steam. In October, the in-game glance between Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Rodgers that went viral certainly helped the situation. It’s been a rollercoaster of yes no maybe so ever since. Currently, we’re on the maybe so portion of our ride. Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.
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Late on March 4, Pro Football Talk reported, “Aaron Rodgers has specific destinations in place, if he chooses to leave the Packers.”
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Rodgers has specific deals lined up with other teams — and those teams have trade compensation lined up with the Packers. The potential moves have been arranged, essentially, with the permission of the Packers.
However, just hours before, Florio reported that Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters that “not one general manager has asked for the price of an Aaron Rodgers trade.”
Of course, both things can’t be true.
The following day, on March 5, ESPN’s Adam Schefter disputed Florio’s report tweeting: “With the start of the new league year 11 days away, the Packers still have not engaged in any trade scenarios regarding Aaron Rodgers and are awaiting their quarterback’s decision, per league sources.”
Ultimately, it all comes down to one thing: Does Aaron Rodgers even want out of Green Bay?
“… until we know that Rodgers is asking to be traded, there’s no reason to call the Packers and say, What’s it gonna take?” said Florio. “We’re all waiting to find out whether or not Rodgers wants to say what the Green Bay Packers.”
NFL fans are waiting with bated breath on Rodgers’ decision. And although he said three weeks ago at the NFL Honors ceremony he would make one “pretty quick,” many of us remember how long it was before he returned to Green Bay for the 2021 season.
As Florio wrote, “… Let’s not rule out the very real possibility that Rodgers knows damn well that he’s staying, but that he’s currently trying to milk the situation for as much attention as he possibly can get.”
Expect Rodgers to take more time before making his decision public. Because, why shouldn’t he? If teams want his services, why not wait until, let’s say, closer to draft day (April 28) to ask Green Bay for a trade — for dramatic effect.
Jimmy G. Train
Opines of Jimmy Garoppolo to the Steel City have been endless, and, like with Aaron Rodgers, they’ll continue until we hear straight from the horse’s mouth.
Robert Weintraub of Football Outsiders seems to be on Team Jimmy G. to Pittsburgh. In a March 4 ESPN Insider story, Weintraub’s take is the Steelers are the best suitor for the 49ers who “simply have to move on and let [Trey] Lance boil while taking what they can get for Garoppolo.”
Weintraub notes that, with current general manager Kevin Colbert stepping down post-draft, he won’t want to leave his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers up a Ben Roethlisberger-less creek with no paddle.
“… since Colbert is leaving after the 2022 draft, dealing away future picks won’t hurt him nearly as much,” Weintraub wrote. “49ers will ask for a first-rounder, but a second and fifth in 2022 and a third in 2023 probably gets the job done.”