Aaron Rodgers has retreated to the darkness to figure out his next move on the NFL field and in life. Boardroom breaks down his potential options.
The Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs for just the fourth time since Aaron Rodgers succeeded Brett Favre in 2008. Call it an anomaly of sorts, but their offseason failures put them and the veteran QB in a place of limbo with little reason they can be a serious Super Bowl contender as presently constructed.
The team already brought Aaron Jones back on Friday. According to ESPN, he agreed to a $5 million payout. It’s not so much to discredit Jones, but rarely do we see Super Bowl teams led by a back. Rodgers and Davante Adams were the faces of the team when Green Bay was at its best. Now? The future is confusing and relatively gloomy given that Allen Lazard is its WR1 and the open market for wideouts is bare.
What does all of this mean for Rodgers? He’s owed $59,515,000 in 2023 and is signed through 2026 with more than $145 million on the table. Would he really leave it there?
“I’m either all-in or all-out,” Rodgers told Pat McAfee in January. During his conversation with McAfee, Rodgers mentioned how he’ll be going on a darkness retreat, a form of meditation described as “retreating in complete darkness [as] a practice common to many of the ancient and contemporary spiritual traditions across the world.”
“I think I can win MVP again in the right situation,” he continued on McAfee’s podcast. “Is that Green Bay or somewhere else? I don’t know.”
He “clarified” Tuesday — “I said, after the Super Bowl, I’m gonna go on my darkness retreat, I’m probably going to have a better sense of where I’m at in my life … I didn’t say, ‘I’m going to my darkness retreat just to figure out if I’m going to play next year or retire.’
So, the likely answer is no, Rodgers probably isn’t retiring. He’d leave a ton of money on the table (even though he’s earned more than $305 million over his career). Furthermore, would he be OK with letting his legacy end this way? Without another shot at the Lombardi Trophy? Probably not.
But that “Is that Green Bay or somewhere else? I don’t know” line hits different in this situation, all context considered here. Consider the Jets and Raiders as two potential landing spots for the 39-year-old.
“It sounds like there’s already [trade] conversations going on that aren’t involving me, which are interesting,” Rodgers told McAfee about a potential trade. “I’m not a part of those conversations right now.”
Let’s break down the potential destinations for Rodgers, shall we?
Aaron Rodgers: New York Jets
The Jets are looking at all and any options, including Derek Carr who they’ll have a meeting with sometime soon.
In January, the Jets hired former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator, Rodgers’ OC with the Packers from 2019-2021 when Rodgers won two MVPs. The question is — are they Super Bowl contenders? They boast one of the best defenses in the league with a variety of young stars, namely Sauce Gardner (Rookie DPOY), WR Garrett Wilson (Rookie OPOY), RB Breece Hall, and more.
Cap Space: -$3,805,607
Aaron Rodgers: Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are probably the best fit for Rodgers with Davante leading a strong roster with stars like Josh Jacobs, Maxx Crosby, and Darren Waller waiting for a capable QB who can guide them to a Super Bowl. They went all-in, hiring head coach Josh McDaniels and committing $566.6 million in salary to their offseason acquisitions, a figure that ranked No. 2 in the 2022 offseason. The championship window is wide open and they’ve moved on from Carr. Would they be able to pull off a trade? The Packers reportedly really wanted Waller at the trade deadline last year…
Cap Space: $46,309,005
You can say that a bunch of teams — namely these two — are just waiting for Rodgers to emerge from the darkness wanting them. The QB market is somewhat scarce this year. Lamar Jackson is the best free agent out there, with the next realistic options being Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo.
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