Earlier this week, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said there were five quarterbacks the team could potentially end up with following the third overall pick in the NFL Draft.
It turns out Shanahan and company actually had their eyes on six.
Tom Pelissero, of the NFL Network, reported on the morning of the draft that the 49ers had reached out to the Green Bay Packers one day prior in an effort to potentially move the third pick, along with other considerations, in return for reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
No formal offer was ever made, Pelissero’s report continued, and a source said there is a “zero percent chance” the Packers will move on from the 37-year-old quarterback.
But on draft day, anything is possible. And Rodgers’ current distaste with the Green Bay organization could prompt a decision the team would otherwise never even consider.
Rodgers ‘Disgruntled’ With Packers, NFL Insider Says
As news swirled around Rodgers, the 49ers, the No. 3 pick and current San Francisco signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo, ESPN’s Adam Schefter fanned the flames with a report that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay.
Schefter said the quarterback is “so disgruntled” with his team that he’s made it known to multiple individuals within the organization that he doesn’t want to come back.
The report lines up with comments Rodgers made following the Packers’ 31-26 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in last season’s NFC Championship Game. Rodgers said then that his future was “uncertain,” adding later that it is “a beautiful mystery.”
There is nothing uncertain about Rodgers’ contractual obligations to the franchise. Green Bay has the quarterback locked up through the end of the 2023 season, after signing him to a four-year, $134 million contract extension two years ago.
But the team drafted QB Jordan Love out of Utah State in 2020, presumably as Rodgers’ future replacement, which spurred him on to an MVP season and the brink of his second Super Bowl appearance.
If the beef between Rodgers and the Packers is real, it could not come at a better time in the current NFL landscape. The era of player empowerment in sports appears ready to leapfrog to the NFL from the NBA, where players like Anthony Davis and James Harden have been able to use their clout to force franchises to trade them after inking the superstars to Goliath deals. Houston Texans quarterback Deshawn Watson appeared ready to become the first prominent NFL player set to follow in their footsteps, until several allegations of sexual misconduct arose and hit pause on the process.
So, it may be Rodgers who blazes the trail by pushing his way out of Green Bay. NFL franchises possess a stronger power ratio with their superstars than teams do in other sports, but if there is one position at which that equation changes, it’s at quarterback. And if there’s one quarterback with the track record and public persona to force a team’s hand, it’s Rodgers.
Rodgers to 49ers Would be a Return Home, and a Mistake Righted
Rodgers is from Chico, California. He played his college ball at the University of California, Berkley. And he dreamt of being selected first overall by the 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Instead, San Francisco went with Alex Smith, while Rodgers plummeted to the Packers at pick No. 24. Now, Shanahan and Lynch could realize what might have been if Rodgers is truly motivated to exit Green Bay and the 49ers can put together an enticing enough package.
It has been reported that the 49ers would need to be “overwhelmed” by any offer for Garoppolo. Rodgers just might do the trick.
San Francisco would also be a desirable location for the final act of Rodgers’ career because much of the team is already established. A slew of bad injury luck derailed the 49ers just one season after they knocked Rodgers out of yet another NFC Championship game on their way to the Super Bowl.
Odds makers figure the over/under win total for the 49ers at 10.5 this upcoming season, indicating a return to the top of the division and the playoffs if the figure proves accurate. A Rodgers acquisition would only improve the 49ers prospects.