Aaron Rodgers hints at 2022 Packers return: Ranking QB’s most likely teams for next season

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Aaron Rodgers has found nothing but success since Matt LaFleur launched the next phase of the Hall of Fame quarterback’s career in Green Bay. Rodgers’ late 30s, in fact, gave him some of the best years he’s seen in the NFL. He and the Packers are set to enter a third straight 13-game winning season, heading into a third straight NFC Championship bid and a second straight league MVP award for Rodgers. Suffice to say that the QB has reasons to honor its contract with Green Bay until 2022.

Rodgers himself hinted at the possibility this week, telling reporters he had a better relationship with Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and would make a “quick decision” after the 2021 campaign regarding his future. It comes, of course, after his months-long offseason feud with the franchise, in which he asked for more information on the team’s decisions and refused to deny trade rumors. The Packers are said to have appeased Rodgers before 2021 by reworking his contract and agreeing to reassess his position after the season.

Now, with another run to the playoffs and a guaranteed MVP run, what is Rodgers’ most likely destination in 2022, when he could possibly be traded? Here’s how we would rank potential suitors:

8. Eagles

Jalen Hurts showed a lot of athleticism and courage during his first year as QB1 for a playoff contender, but general manager Howie Roseman has reason to explore the market for a top passer, in particular with several high draft picks at his disposal. Rodgers may be a short-term fix for a patience-preaching team, but Roseman is notoriously aggressive, and Philly would embrace the idea of ​​pairing such a QB star with new playmakers like DeVonta Smith. The problem is twofold: The Packers wouldn’t prefer Rodgers to stay in the NFC, and who knows if Rodgers would sign up for a rebuilding scenario with a young coach.

7. Raiders

Derek Carr is a good starter, but he’s easily consumable in 2022, when the whole team could undergo a reset. With plenty of room for caps, the Raiders could surely make an offer, promising Rodgers to move closer to his West Coast home, a helping hand in the hiring process for their head coach and possibly a big offer for his friend Davante Adams. But they have so many other holes that they feel a bit further removed from the real controversy than other logical contenders. Would Rodgers really be eager to switch from the Packers to this setup?

6. Washington

Who knows what Rodgers thinks about his generally dysfunctional property? It is not exactly a dream destination for most. On the football side, however, the basics are there: a respected veteran coach in Ron Rivera, a high-ceiling defense, a few young playmakers (Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, etc.) who would theoretically take off with a higher QB, and a very winnable division. Washington has never shied away from taking punches for veteran QBs, and Rivera has both the money and the lack of reliable passer to justify a big offer. The question is whether the Packers would even consider dealing with him in the same conference.

5. Chestnuts

No matter what Kevin Stefanski says about Baker Mayfield, the latter seems destined to face competition – or total exile – after a disappointing 2021. And it should, given that Cleveland is otherwise primarily built to face a rock solid O. -line, an elite running back and promising defense. Stefanski isn’t all that different from Matt LaFleur – a proven young attacking spirit – and might appeal to Rodgers, especially if Davante Adams is part of the move. The deal isn’t necessarily a draw, but Rodgers might see it as a chance to elevate his own legacy by finally making the Browns a contemporary celebrity.

4. Bronco

General manager George Paton knows all too well what Rodgers can do, coming from a career in Minnesota. The Broncos have been linked heavily with Rodgers before, and they’re even more desperate for a QB now with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock confirmed as no answers. John Elway could point to Peyton Manning as proof of a franchise-lifting superstar veteran, and Denver has the space to get creative. Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton would give Rodgers a solid WR to start, and the No.12 would also get a ready-made defense, as well as the option of picking a replacement for Vic Fangio.

3. Steelers

If Pittsburgh weren’t historically opposed to these kinds of successful swings, it would easily rank higher. All is well: Rodgers and Mike Tomlin have a deep respect for each other, the Steelers are an iconic franchise and proven winner, and Ben Roethlisberger has already indicated he is heading into retirement. Pittsburgh has defense to contend with now, and if he were to find enough money to bring Davante Adams with Rodgers, that combo with Najee Harris (and a restored O-line) would be scary. Tomlin has a proven track record of pushing property for a quick fix at QB, and at least Green Bay would ship Rodgers to the AFC.

2. Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa is doing his job as a sophomore newbie and he has gained more audition time. But when did that stop aggressive teams from acting? Miami thrived with Ryan Fitzpatrick as Tua relief in 2020, then reportedly kept an eye on Deshaun Watson despite his litany of legal issues. Rodgers would fulfill that desire for established help, and more. A-Rod, meanwhile, would get the Tom Brady-style transfer to sunny Florida, where the Dolphins are absolutely flush with cap space (Davante Adams’ deal?) And boast of a defense. ready to win now.

1. Packers

That’s the easy answer right now. But it is also the correct answer. Since Green Bay picked QB Jordan Love in the first round, setting up a succession plan from Rodgers, Rodgers has literally turned two MVP-caliber seasons, effectively winning the war against his own front office. He’s made headlines this year by shouting on the pitch that he owns the Bears, but overall he owns the Packers as well. How the hell could Green Bay justify prioritizing the “future” at QB when Rodgers has proven, twice now, that he’s always the present? He can – and will dictate – financial and personnel matters for at least the next few seasons, and the Packers will almost certainly approve, given he’s the main reason they stay in contention for the title.

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