Football

Should the Packers Move on From Aaron Rodgers?

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and quarterback Jordan Love (10) lead their team out of the tunnel before action Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports | Reuters

The Green Bay Packers 2022 season ended with a whimper after a disappointing loss to the Lions. It ended with the same tribulations that plagued them for the entire campaign. A combination of questionable play calling, mental errors, and an overall lack of urgency doomed them to watch the postseason from home. There are a lot of questions surrounding Green Bay as they head into the offseason, maybe more than when they entered the season. But there’s one big question that’s head and shoulders above the rest. Is Aaron Rodgers done in Green Bay?

Finishing 8-9 and missing the playoffs wasn’t all on Aaron Rodgers. But he isn’t exactly exempt from blame either. After signing a $150 million three-year contract extension last offseason, Rodgers was a far cry away from his MVP self. He moved slower both physically and mentally, often missing reads and throws we’ve come accustomed to seeing him make in his sleep. Granted, the future Hall of Famer lost arguably the best wide receiver in football, Davante Adams. And his new receivers took some time to grow accustomed to the offense as well had to overcome injuries. The offensive line had to deal with injuries of their own, especially early on. The offensive unit as a whole seemed very incohesive.

But do you want to run it back again with a quarterback with a 40-year-old quarterback with noticeable regression? Were the eye test and final results good enough for the Packers to run it back yet another time? GM Brian Gutekunst seems to think so.

Some fans do not share the same sentiment. Some have been chomping at the bit to see Jordan Love get a chance to run the offense ever since his successful stint against the Eagles. In the game, Love was zipping the ball through the air, using his legs, and ultimately finding Christian Watson for a score. It was a small sample size, but the offense was clicking when he was in.

Another thing to consider is Rodgers’ contract. The Packers would save significantly more money if Rodgers retired or if they traded him to another team this year than next. The dead cap hit is large either way, but it’s a bit more palpable to get it out of the way now.

Fiscally and time-wise, it seems like the right thing to do would be to move on to the first-round pick you made 3 years ago. And yet, it doesn’t feel right. It almost never feels right to move on from such a pillar of the team. It’s what kept Brady around in New England for so long despite being disgruntled for years. It’s what kept Ben Roethlisberger on the Steelers despite them being a mediocre team with him under center. But that’s exactly what the Packers should be afraid of. They were perhaps the most average team in the league this season. Are they willing to take that risk of sitting their potential future for one more year to try one more time with 12? Or is it time to rip the bandaid off?

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