Green Bay, WI

What If Aaron Rodgers Forces a Trade and Never Wins More than 5 Games?

Walter Rhein

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Recently, the sports news media has been overflowing with rumors about how Super Bowl champion and three time MVP Aaron Rodgers, wants out of Green Bay. It’s important to note that Rodgers himself has not made a comment on the situation, and until he does the story will remain a focus of attention.

At this moment, outsiders have only limited knowledge as to what is truly going on. The story is based mainly on rumor and innuendo. Currently the media slant seems to be fixated on encouraging rather than dissuading Rodgers.

But is that position in the best interest of the quarterback?

The discussion of whether or not a forced divorce would be the best thing for the player has not made its way into the mainstream narrative. In the interest of fairness, it’s important to set emotions aside and examine the factual reality of what it would mean if Rodgers got traded.

The simple facts of the situation seem to suggest that leaving Green Bay would be a colossally bad choice for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Rodgers has already entered the back nine of his career. He has had two successful seasons within the system of Matt LaFleur. If he were to leave, it would entail the setback of learning a new system. Of course, there’s always the option of trading Rodgers to Mike McCarthy in Dallas where he’d have the advantage of familiarity with the head coach.

The question Rodgers is eventually going to have to ask himself is whether or not a change of work environment is likely to lead to a better situation.

No matter where you go, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll find people you don’t get along with. The question is always whether or not the advantages outweigh the irritations. What if Rodgers goes to a new team and the general manager has the temerity to acquire a young and promising prospect at quarterback?

At that point, will the cycle repeat?

The simple fact of the matter is that Brian Gutekunst has proved himself to be one of the most capable general managers in the NFL. The 2020 Green Bay Packers had one of the best, if not the best, rosters in the league. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to like the front office, but he should be intelligent enough to recognize that they’ve done quality work.

There have been plenty of grumblings about the Packers failing to land weapons for Rodgers even though they have an All-Pro pass catcher who has a chance of breaking every Packer receiving record. They also have a Pro-Bowl running back in Aaron Jones, and a tight end who caught 11 touchdowns in Robert Tonyan.

For some reason, the media never gives the Packers front office any credit for the attention they pay to providing Aaron Rodgers with one of the best offensive lines in football. Sure, Rodgers was an MVP in 2020. However, he’s not going to be able to equal those numbers if he’s laying flat on his back.

Last year the Packers had four players voted as first-team All-Pros with two more on the second team. The Packers tied the Colts for the most first-team selections. Basically anywhere Rodgers goes, he won’t be surrounded by as much talent as he had in Green Bay.

What happens if a team gives Green Bay a king’s ransom for Rodgers and Rodgers only manages 5 or 6 wins? Help won't be on the horizion with all the surrendered draft picks. What is going to be said of the quarterback’s legacy if he goes elsewhere and falls flat on his face?

It’s possible that Rodgers will get traded and go on to have success elsewhere. The question is whether or not it’s statistically more probable that Rodgers will find greater success outside of Green Bay. But with two NFC Championship games in the last two years, Green Bay has set the bar pretty high. Anything less than a Super Bowl at this point would be considered a setback.

If Rodgers forces his way out of town, he’s very much putting his legacy on the line. If he flops, it will cast a shadow over his whole career. Maybe reporters will stop saying Rodgers “lacked weapons,” and begin saying he crumbles under pressure.

Packer fans and the media have long adopted the approach that Aaron Rodgers can do no wrong. It’s indisputable that Rodgers is a great quarterback. However, among the 12 quarterbacks that have been to 5 conference championships, Rodgers’s 1-4 record as a starter is tied for the worst along with Donovan McNabb and Ken Stabler.

At some point somebody who cares about Aaron Rodgers should sit him down get him to stop and think about what he’s trying to do. Right now, it appears as if the Packers are under fire. However, there’s a very real chance that it will be Rodgers feeling the heat if he eventually forces his way out of town.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI
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