Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
After 18 years, the Green Bay Packers have moved on. On Monday, the team traded quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, a trade brewing for weeks. The trade signals the end of an illustrious career in a Packers uniform.
Rodgers finishes his time with the team as a Super Bowl champion and Superbowl MVP, four-time league MVP, four-time First-Team All-Pro, ten-time Pro Bowler, and many more accolades. If there was something to be accomplished in a Packers uniform, Rodgers did it. He will likely be one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play.
But will the magic continue in New York?
It’s hard to say.
One thing is sure: the Packers decided they’d seen enough of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Despite signing him to a $150 extension just last year, the team has indicated it wants to get younger. How that decision transpired remains to be seen. In March, Rodgers shared his side of the story when he gave an exclusive interview to Pat McAfee, laying out how he and the team got to this point. He claims that things shifted during the season and by the end of it it was apparent the team wanted to move on. But, general manager Brian Gutekunst paints a different picture.
Gutekunst, by all accounts, has stuck to the story that the Packers tried everything to work with Aaron Rodgers to no avail. Instead of being held hostage by their once coveted quarterback, it was easier to move forward. The team will now turn its eyes to Jordan Love, the fourth year quarterback they drafted in 2020, to lead the franchise.
If that situation sounds messy, it’s because it is.
Any time Aaron Rodgers is involved, it’s going to be.
While Rodgers is incredibly talented, he’s a toxic rockstar. He’s a person who always produces at a high level but comes with challenges. He shines on the field, but behind closed doors is making it hell for his leadership. As much as the Packers tried this offseason to keep things buttoned up, they couldn’t. If it’s not about Aaron Rodgers, don’t worry. It will be. Whether that’s setting up exclusive interviews with his friends in an effort to “control the narrative” or scoffing at the notion that he has asked for certain players to join the teams he’s part of, Aaron Rodgers is going to make it about Aaron Rodgers.
To be fair, the Packers should have seen this coming.
They made their bed when then drafted Jordan Love knowing that had Rodgers sitting at home. To make matters worse, they didn’t tell him. Did they owe him an explanation? No, not entirely. But, surely, it would have helped the relationship. It likely doesn’t prevent the team from moving on, but certainly wouldn’t have felt like the world’s ugliest breakup this offseason. Both have some growing up to do.
Let’s hope they do it fast.
The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately?” league that waits for no one.