The Lass Word: Do Whatever It Takes To Keep Rodgers

You simply don't get rid of the most valuable player on the planet.

Last summer, when all of the Aaron Rodgers drama was playing out, I was convinced it was time to move on from QB12.  I feared his continued presence on the team would do more harm than good.  I thought he would be a locker room problem, that the other players would feel like they were walking on egg shells, afraid they might say or do something to provoke his ire. 

 

I wondered what would happen the next time Matt LaFleur made a game decision that he didn’t like.  I wondered if he would be trying to talk other key players into not re-signing with the team.  And then there was his huge upcoming salary cap hit.  Surely the team would be better off trading him away and saving whatever money they could. Give him his “last dance” season I thought, and then let’s get on with the Jordan Love era.  I convinced myself this team was talented enough to remain competitive without him. 

 

After observing the first thirteen games of the 2021 season, I have changed my mind.  I want Rodgers back.  At any cost.  You know why?  Because I find that I enjoy winning.  And make no mistake, the reason the Packers are winning, the reason they are currently the number one seed in the NFC, and the odds-on pick of many to win the Super Bowl, is the presence of Aaron Rodgers. 

 

None of my summer fears have taken place.  To the contrary, Rodgers seems universally liked and supported by his teammates.  His relationship with LaFleur and, dare I say, even Brian Gutekunst, seem to be getting better, not worse.  He has been a leader and promoter of the franchise. 

 

Most importantly, he is playing the best football of his career.  If he finishes the final four games playing at the same level, he will win his second consecutive MVP trophy, his fourth overall.  If you take into account his experience, poise, talent and leadership, he is the best player in the National Football League.  A generational talent.  It makes absolutely no sense to get rid of the one player on your team who is the difference between winning and losing. 

 

I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert on the mechanics of the salary cap.  I don’t know how to lay out what a contract extension for Rodgers might look like.  But I do know two things.  It would have to be a long term commitment, and it would have to result in the releasing or trading of several good players.  So be it.  Could Rodgers still keep the Packers winning without many of its important players? 

 

Well heck, he’s doing it now.  Did you take note of that offensive line in front of him last Sunday night?  Do you remember when he led Green Bay to a win at Arizona without his three top receivers?  How many games has the team lost in the last two years when Davante Adams is out?  Here’s the thing.  Rodgers isn’t just good.  He’s transcendent.  He single handedly carries a team.  He makes everybody else much better than they really are.  He’s been doing it all year.  You think Green Bay comes back to win the way they did against the Bears without Number 12?  You think they make that comeback with Jordan Love playing quarterback?  Not a chance. The Bears came in as a 4-8 team.  One of the worst teams in the league.  Yet they completely outplayed Green Bay in the first half.  That should give you a clue that this Packer team is mediocre enough to be beaten by anybody.  And they would be, were it not for Rodgers. 

 

But what about all the injuries you say.  Might they not account for Green Bay’s struggles?  Every team has injuries.  The Bears played without Danny Trevathan, Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack, and starting guard/tackle Germain Ifedi, who is sort of their version of Elgton Jenkins.  Left tackle Jason Peters left the game in the first quarter. The Packers were pretty healthy for the week one game against the Saints, yet they were pummeled even with Rodgers.  Without him against the Chiefs, despite what you may like to think, they were never a serious threat to win the game.   

 

So I’m okay with letting them all go if you have to.  Adams, Za’darius, MVS, Tonyan, Jaire, Turner, whatever it takes. Love those guys.  Hate to see them go.  But Rodgers can make it work without them.  He’s doing it now.   And not just against bottom feeders like the Bears. He's doing it against contenders like the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers.  Commit to Rodgers long term.  He remains in his prime.  He takes care of his body.  He’s only 38.  He’s not 44 like Tom Brady (who, by the way, is also having an MVP caliber season).  He has at least three or four elite seasons left in him.  Is it a risk?  Could an injury change his level of play drastically?  Of course.  But that’s true of any player at any stage of his career.   Look at what happened to Bakhtiari.  No sooner had the Packers made a long term commitment to him, when he blew out his knee.  Who knows if he will ever be the same.  There’s always a risk.  The real question is, is it a risk worth taking?  The excellence of Rodgers’ play makes the answer an emphatic yes! 

 

Nothing against Jordan Love.  He might develop into a good quarterback.  But Rodgers is one of the greatest ever to play the game.  The odds of Love ever becoming even close to that good are infinitesimal.  I’m just not ready to endure multiple seasons of 4-13, waiting for a young signal caller to develop.  Yes, Rodgers can’t play forever.  There will come a time when Green Bay will have to face life without him.  But why do it prematurely?  I generally agree with the old adage that it’s better to get rid of a player too soon than too late.  But Rodgers is an exception.  His level of play is not declining.  You could make the argument he’s actually getting better with every new year in the LaFleur system. 

 

I’ve decided I can put up with the drama and the smartest-guy-in-the-room persona that comes with Aaron Rodgers.  I believe the winning is worth it. 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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15 points

Comments (110)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
pacman's picture

December 16, 2021 at 03:06 pm

I would agree with you except for the fact that he has not carried the team to the SB in the last 10 years.

They will have to let Davante and others walk. But that might include too many others. I'll have to let Gute figure this out by himself. :) But in general, I am in favor of keeping him.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

December 17, 2021 at 09:15 am

You think we are any closer to a SB without him? We have been close many times over the last 10 years and OTHERS have not helped out enough to win...

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Leatherhead's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:45 pm

And we’ve replaced the OTHERS. GMs, HC, OC, and all the players. Same results.

Rodgers is the leader. He has to lead. He has to make the play at the key moment in big games. If he had not gone 0-6 in goal to go in the Championship game, the entire dynamics are changed. But that’s what happened. He came up short….again. He’s like Michael Jordan except he doesn’t make the game winning shot in big games.

In 2007, Favre was in the same spot. We parted company in 2018, had a down year, and then made the playoffs 8 years in a row and won a Super Bowl. Lots of people thought it was foolish to change.

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Gman1976's picture

December 16, 2021 at 03:07 pm

I love your honesty.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 16, 2021 at 03:17 pm

I think that Fear is a poor counselor, and the percentage play is to part company after this season. If Rodgers is willing to play for a lot less to stay here we can talk, but barring that, continue with the plan that started the day Love was drafted.

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Turophile's picture

December 19, 2021 at 09:53 am

I think you are absolutely right that fear of the future could lead to some bad decisions at the end of the season. I am strongly against 'whatever it takes' because it is very likely to cost a great deal for maybe two good years ? Who knows.

the idea of dumping even more of their best players keeping Rodgers and maybe Adams, than they would if Rodgers and Adams (and Z.Smith and Cobb) are all gone, is very painful and more than that, it's ignoring the middle-distance future which the Packers have traditionally paid plenty of attention to.

When Rodgers is gone (assuming they did keep him) no JaireAlexander, no Rashan Gary, no Darnell Savage, no Elgton Jenkins, it'll be mediocre city for several years.

Losing Rodgers will certainly mean worse QB play at first, but extra draft picks are going to help replace losses like Z.Smith and Adams, something that won't be available if you keep Rodgers a couple more years............. and if you can see some regression by then, so can everyone else.

Love is the future. He may work out and he may not, but the reason he was drafted was to be the QB of the future. He deserves a shot at being the man. If that fails, move on, draft QB again.

The Packers have been around for a very long time. They have had some tremendous players, but no one player is greater than the team, which is kind of what Ken Lass is saying.

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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:42 am

Fear of change is why companies fail. When I lived in NE Wisconsin, I worked for a Swedish-owned paper company (those who live there will know it) that had a terrible US CEO. At one meeting, he said that, while he wasn't against change, failure in anything was not an option. He strongly implied that anyone who failed was gone.

You can guess what happened - for the next year, there was literally no innovation as no one wanted to put their job on the line to try to effect change. The company and sales stagnated until he reversed course, at which point sales took off. He still kept up doing stupid shit and was fired by the Swedes a year later.

He's now running another paper company (into the ground) in a fine example of the Peter Principle at work.

The Packers know all this already, but it's the fans who'll be wailing if we trade Rodgers, not realizing that we'll be terrible again for who knows how many years if we DON'T trade him. Then they'll wail about THAT.

Barring some bizarre salary cap machinations, trading AR is the only reasonable path. The WORST thing that the team can do is to re-sign him for big bucks with guaranteed money (which he'll want) for multiple years.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

December 17, 2021 at 09:19 am

What exactly has earned Love the shot to be the starter in GB? His stellar play in preseason? His stellar career in college? No Love deserves NOTHING. Rodgers has been the heart and soul of this team for years and still playing at an MVP Level.. You don't let them walk about the door like that again...

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Leatherhead's picture

December 17, 2021 at 10:16 am

So Rodgers has been the heart and soul of this team that’s not ever good enough to get to the Super Bowl.

That seems to be an argument for getting another heart.

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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:37 pm

What exactly has earned Rodgers the shot to be the starter in GB? His stellar play in preseason? His stellar career in college? No Rodgers deserves NOTHING. Favre has been the heart and soul of this team for years and still playing at an MVP Level.. You don't let him walk about the door like that...

Fixed it for you.

I read pretty much this same post in 2008.

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Turophile's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:50 pm

It was Love's college career that earned him the right to be starter. He was drafted in round one to be the QB of the future. First you have to put him in there for a season and see what he's got.

If he flames out, you move on and go looking again................this really isn't rocket science, Big_Mel_85

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dblbogey's picture

December 16, 2021 at 05:37 pm

Especially if we trade him. That's a lot of salary cap savings and a whole lot of nice draft picks.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

December 17, 2021 at 09:22 am

except it isn't as easy as trade him this off season and all his cap is gone... He has to be on the team for day 1 of the league year to get his dead money lowered. Then you are still looking at like 20mil in dead money... So trade away your best player and eat 20 mil in dead money? No thanks. Trade Love for a Big Mac and resign Rodgers for 4 more years for 5 year total.

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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:47 pm

Re-sign AR for 4 years? You're delusional.

Here's how fast things can change.

Bart Starr statistics (end of career):
1969 (year 13 in the league, year 10 as a starter) over 12 games 148 Atts
Comp %: 62.2 Yds: 1161 Avg: 7.8 TDs/Ints: 9 / 6 Rate: 89.9

1970 over 14 games 255 Atts
Comp %: 54.9 Yds: 1645 Avg: 6.5 TDs/Ints: 8 / 13 Rate: 63.9

1971 (injured much of the year; ribs, IIRC) over 4 games, 45 Att
Comp %: 53.3 Yds: 286 Avg: 6.4 TDs/Ints: 0 / 3 Rate: 45.2

Starr's arm effectively died in 1971 and he retired during training camp in 72.

Rodgers is in Year 13 as a starter. Conditioning and QB protection is much, much better now, of course, but Starr was playing well until, well, he wasn't. AR could be above average for a couple of years yet, but to sign him for anything longer than that is nuts. AND he'll want a ton of guaranteed money. No, just no.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:47 pm

Dead money is unavoidable.

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Turophile's picture

December 18, 2021 at 03:40 am

Exactly. Eat the dead money all in one year or spread it over two years - you still have to pay it.

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Crankbait's picture

December 16, 2021 at 05:50 pm

And this subject once again raises my distain for the incompetent Packers management who have wasted this man's talent in the quest for more SB victories.
Yes, the Packers are that mediocre without Rogers. They have been for many many years.
Keep him at all costs.

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Nate-1980's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:10 pm

With you 100 % crank this team will stink if he leaves.. Just run the ball and play defense haha, and be the bears or lions for years ha..

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Turophile's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:51 pm

Sorry, I fell asleep there. What was it you were saying ?

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Guam's picture

December 17, 2021 at 12:27 pm

I've said my piece elsewhere regarding keeping Rodgers, but the other angle to this story is does Rodgers want to stay in Green Bay? Given the cap situation, it is highly unlikely that Adams is resigned; Cobb is a likely cut; Crosby might even be a cap casualty; and a number of other good players (and friends of his) will be released to achieve the $46 million needed in cap reductions. I doubt Rodgers will want to stay in Green Bay under those circumstances regardless of the desires of Packer management.

It was telling that ESPN did a segment recently where the interviewer asked Rodgers if he loved playing for the Packers. Rodgers responded by saying he loved playing football....... Hmmm.

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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:48 pm

That was Rodgers' most honest answer to a question this year.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:48 pm

How much longer will he love playing football?

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BradHTX's picture

December 16, 2021 at 03:34 pm

Love the analysis, Ken, and you’re right — winning makes everything better.

The problem is, I question whether the team can continue to win the way they are if all the players who will need to be released in order to keep Rodgers are, and if his play declines even a little bit. Every year in the future that the Packers try to win on Rodgers’ back without the level of general talent they have now, the harder it will be, because his ability to carry the team WILL decline. Father Time is undefeated.

If the Packers allow Rodgers and Adams to walk and cut Bakhtiari, I *think* (TGR?) they can afford to keep most of Za’Darius and Preston, Campbell, Jaire, Douglas, Amos, Tonyan, MVS, and Turner. Draft a WR and OG high (to cover for Jenkins until he comes back).

Can a Love-led Packers team with the current defense mostly intact, a strong OL, and a good TE and running game do as well as a Rodgers-led squad that has been much more severely gutted of talent? I don’t know. There are huge risks either way…

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:48 pm

If I recall, cutting Bakh next year costs us more in dead money

10 points
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Nate-1980's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:06 pm

I will answer the question for you Brad.. No, no they can’t..

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 16, 2021 at 08:13 pm

Gone: ZaDarious, Tonyan, Turner, Rock hands, . Jaire is in the fifth year in '22. Pack covers his risk. 208 M for the 2022 CAP an increase of 25 M. Some deals can be pushed into the '23-24 amortization as the CAP Will Increase. The sixties are Over, move on.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:00 pm

Not important but Rodgers is not going to win the MVP. Brady has it locked. He's far and away ahead of Rodgers in stats and his last four games are gimmes.

The problem with keeping Rodgers is we've been there with him for ten years and nothing. You love winning during the season, I'd prefer winning the SB. If after ten years of this transcendent QB we haven't done it, then time to try something else. Load up on high draft picks, get a good young QB if Love doesn't work out, and play ball!

I'd rather keep Adams, Jaire, Campbell and the others and give it a shot. It'll be different, but exciting I think. Time to move on.

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dblbogey's picture

December 16, 2021 at 05:38 pm

You can say the same about Favre. It's hard winning a Super Bowl, ask Marino.

9 points
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PhantomII's picture

December 17, 2021 at 06:08 am

You need the right player mix and a GM that can get it. "Patriots" move the chains and less deep passes...run the ball. good defense and ST.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:44 pm

They have a rookie QB and are playing in the most pathetic division of the NFL. A cakewalk for the past two decades.

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PhantomII's picture

December 18, 2021 at 11:47 am

Sounds like the NFC North for the Packers.

0 points
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Crankbait's picture

December 16, 2021 at 06:00 pm

And you believe that 10 years with nothing is Rogers fault?
Incompetent coaching weak line play caused that.
McCarthy was a doofus in the playoffs and he had no control of his coaching staff.
MLF suffers some of his traits but I am optimistic he will shake those soon and he is still learning.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 17, 2021 at 09:17 am

And yet, we changed coaches and players and got the same results..

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:48 pm

Right, two years straight in the NFC CH Game. Fumbles, King and lack of edge discipline...no SB 4 You.

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Philarod's picture

December 16, 2021 at 10:46 pm

Per MVP, I think Brady is the frontrunner, although I still regard Rodgers as the best in the game. It depends on what stats you look at.
Rodgers has a better passer rating, and accomplished with a depleted line and injuries to skill position players. Playing in TB with Evans, Godwin, Gronk and a steady line? It would not be close.
...

4 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:04 pm

If he will stay they will bring him back. No GM is willingly going to walk away from Aaron Rodgers.

10 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 17, 2021 at 09:18 am

GMs walked away from Brady and Montana.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 17, 2021 at 04:58 pm

And all current GMs know that.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:13 pm

I couldn’t disagree with this more, Ken. Dobber, myself, and others have been preaching reason on this topic for months. It’s not feasible to keep 12 with the cap the way it is, and you can’t have a QB running your franchise. Oh, and 12 is getting old.

Give me Love, an improved cap, and a ton of draft resources. Ship his Toe-ness to the AFC for max compensation. Or, hell, to Detroit even. I don’t frigging care as long as we get a bunch of picks and/or vets on the cheap who can play.

I’m not open to changing my mind. If 12 is the QB of the Packers in 2022, I’ll be disappointed and will expect to suck for as soon as he does actually go to “OLD” from “Aging”. Moving on.

3 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:03 pm

Just curious....I keep reading on these sites about the "bunch of draft picks" GB will get in return for AR. What do you realistically see GB getting in return for a QB who will turn 39 next year and is currently 1-4 in NFCC games, with a not insignificant injury history?

I'm just not seeing this historic haul of draft picks/players. Correct me if I'm seeing this wrong. Tell me what you think GB can realistically expect in return.

5 points
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Bearmeat's picture

December 17, 2021 at 12:54 am

3 1st round picks. At least. Reliable reports have the price there.

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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:48 am

I'd settle for anything at this point, just to get out of his contract. Remember, we got only a 6th for Favre, and he still had two decent years left in the tank. I would hope, though, that we'd get a 1, and maybe a couple of 2s or a 2 and 3 combo over two drafts. I can't realistically see us getting three 1s.

I'd love a trade for Detroit's 1 and 2 in the upcoming draft, with a 2 and 3 in 2023's draft. I don't think Rodgers would go to Detroit, though; I think he'd retire first.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 08:56 am

" I'd love a trade for Detroit's 1 and 2 in the upcoming draft, with a 2 and 3 in 2023's draft."

Sadly, the Lions didn't hire Bill O'Brien to run their shop...;)

0 points
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Minniman's picture

December 17, 2021 at 11:59 am

Assuming that he does go - I think that 3 is a fair price for his talent for the next 3-4 years (as stated above, at the present the Packers are still eating 20mill in dead cap if he does go).

In answering 13times question, the only thing that I'm not seeing Rodgers do at an elite level is run (but he's sneakily better than given credit).

- He reads defenses without peer amongst QB's and arranges OL protection
- He still makes the long ball throw
- He still makes the off-balance throw (a major point of difference between good and great QB's)
- He still is evasive in the pocket and is mobile enough to get out of trouble

Brees, Big Ben, Flacco, Eli and Rivers had all lost their athletic abilities by their second last years.

1 points
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barutanseijin's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:16 pm

I'll believe the 3 first round picks story when it happens. Which will be never.

The history of late career HoF QB trades says the price will be much lower.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:51 pm

Not many losers like Dan Devine around to give away the farm...

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 06:44 am

The Packers aren't making a decision on 2011 ARod...or 2014, 2016, 2020, or 2021 ARod. They're making a decision on 2022-2024 ARod and roster management over the next 6-8 years. It's a cold-hearted business.

4 points
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Galacticat's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:22 pm

There are two basic scenarios for the 2022 season. Scenario 1: A severely gutted team helmed by Aaron Rodgers. Scenario 2: A moderately gutted team helmed by Jordan Love. Do you win more games in the Rodgers scenario? Yeah, possibly…even probably. Is that team good enough to compete for a Super Bowl? And is that a team that Aaron even wants to play for?…because Davante’s probably not there, and neither are a lot of other key contributors. Hard to see a guy who has been (fairly or unfairly) critical of the front office for not putting enough talent around him coming back all happy to pilot a cap-gutted roster. In a vacuum, of course we want Aaron back, you’d be nuts not to. Too bad it’s a 53(90) man game with a salary cap that is blown all to hell in 2022.

7 points
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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:53 am

I'd actually argue that you'd win more games with option b than option a, because a severely depleted team really can't be competitive. We'd be looking at, what, Lazard (maybe) or a draft choice as WR1. Maybe St, Brown. No Tonyan, so Daffney or a rookie as TE1. If Stenavich stays, then the OL could be okay, but we won't have Jenkins until late in the season. We'd have Bahk with Nijman as his backup, but who's at RT with Turner gone and who is the new RT's backup? This would also impact the running game, of course.

We wouldn't be Lions bad, but I could easily see us 5-12 in scenario a. I think we'd be 9-8 in scenario b (roughly as good as the current Vikings).

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Coldworld's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:50 pm

The one person who might be able to make it possible to keep Rodgers AND a worthwhile roster is Rodgers. He’d pretty much have to play for free in 2022 and might need a friend or two to do the same.

Having said that, am I the only one who is so sick of this type of piece? Let’s get to the off season, nothing positive is going to happen until then. We have months without football to talk about off field matters.

12 points
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dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:46 am

"Having said that, am I the only one who is so sick of this type of piece? "

Amen. There's absolutely nothing new on this front, and there hasn't been since #12 reported to camp.

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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:58 am

Frankly,I didn't read the piece - just came for the comments. Judging by the downvotes on reasonable, well-thought-out posts, the fanbase is split about as bad as it was in 08. Poor Love, he'll be coming in for at least as much hate as Rodgers did back then.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 10:28 am

"Frankly,I didn't read the piece - just came for the comments."

Amen. I'm rarely invited to whatever meeting is going on, I'm there for the free coffee and cookies.

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jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:52 pm

For me, it was free coffee and doughnuts. NE Wisconsin doesn't have much, but Manderfield's in Menasha (I hope it's still there) makes the best doughnuts in the State. I have very fond memories of their Turtle Doughnut.

1 points
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dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:52 pm

This place looks awesome! I lived in the Fox Cities for 4 years and never was there...

manderfieldsbakery.com

Manderfield's is now on my summer WI tour list!

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TarynsEyes's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:52 pm

Some of these writers need to look up the word bloviate and remind themselves in a more disciplined manner before writing on the subject to be presented.

We got it. Rodgers might stay or he might leave. However, we all know that nothing will come to fruition, either way until this season is over, and hopefully, that isn't until Feb 13th.

7 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:50 am

Thank you for your contribution Taryn.

wasting time and mental focus on this issue is what can distract a team from the task at hand and be part of the cause for less than a SB victory.

The less this sort of thing is discussed outside of Guteys office (where planning for the future is part of the job) the better the chances are that the season ends in victory.

No distractions, no excuses.

Then swing the axe, either in terms of a new contract or a deal out of town, and let the chips fall where they may in the offseason.

Either way I will be rooting for the GBP to have success in 2022 and beyond.

3 points
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Starrbrite's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:57 pm

I’ve said this many times, I am a ARod loyalist/apologist. To use your words Ken, Rodgers is “transcendent”. If he’s willing to return—-Keep him!
And God forbid he goes to the Broncos—I despise that team…despise is not a strong enough word.

4 points
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HarryHodag's picture

December 16, 2021 at 04:59 pm

One of the silliest commentaries I've read in a long time. A writer who would gleefully discard the guts of a championship team just to keep his hero, a hero who is not guaranteed to have yet another great season. Rodgers will be trending toward age 39 before his birthday next December. Jordan Love might not be the answer, but Rodgers might not be either.

I'm fully aware of what Rodgers means to the Packers. It's clear they're a better team with him than without him. In essence you would need to toss many key players to keep him.

How on earth could you simply toss away Alexander? Tonyan is an up-and-comer, and Campbell are free agents. It goes on an on.

The main flaw of the story is that 2021 can be replicated in 2022. Each year in the NFL is different than the year before. Stokes and Douglas have worked out at corner, but the depth there is thin if Alexander released. His contract expires after next season. Alexander is an All-Pro and you toss him away. Campbell has solidified a lousy defense, toss him away and who plays? Barnes also a FA. Lucas Patrick and Dennis Kelly are FA's too. Keeping Rodgers means you gut many of the players that got you to where they are today.

Drew Brees, as great as he was, saw the handwriting on the wall. Tom Brady is a freak of nature. Few QB's play on into their 40's. Rodgers might have one more good year. Then what? Get lucky off the practice squad?

Just as a reminder, the Packers as of today are $34 million over the 2022 salary cap. Rodgers will account for 21 percent of the cap total. Z Smith and Kevin King could be released and save about $20 million of that amount, but the team still would be many millions over the cap. But Rodgers contract accelerates the cap hit to $46 million, about $19 million more than now.

So the writer would like to keep an aging superstar and gut the franchise for years to come. I know what one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, Bill Belichick, would do. New England shed an aging superstar QB and they are my favorite to be in the Super Bowl from the AFC. The Packers should do the same.

4 points
11
7
Littlejim51's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:40 am

I know the salary cap is the bottom line in the nfl
Talking about it in the 4 th quarter of the season reminds us how close to February we are and how soon free agency and trades begin in the nfl
When was the last time a veteran QB openly and frankly responded in the public eye about his needs and the needs to be a successful SB caliber team and was taken seriously. Tom Brady left NE and formulated a business plan and sold it to TB. Bradys formula worked in TB
I’m just saying the packers have smart front office personnel and aligning with their smart, once in a generation QB might be the best thing to do since curly Lambeau went public ownership

0 points
3
3
dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:50 am

"The main flaw of the story is that 2021 can be replicated in 2022. Each year in the NFL is different than the year before."

Well stated, Harry.
Let's live in the now, folks.
Whether you want #12 to stick or to go, that's an issue for the off-season...and it's going to be a rocky one, either way.

-2 points
1
3
Rebecca's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:27 pm

Yup it’s a discussion for the off-season. Now we will stop talking about it, right?

0 points
1
1
jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:53 pm

Yes, until another writer is stuck for a topic and their deadline is looming.

1 points
2
1
GregC's picture

December 16, 2021 at 05:20 pm

I've been very anti-Rodgers through the whole saga that began on draft day. At this point I have to admit that the worst case scenarios that I envisioned have not occurred, and in fact, it's pretty much been a best-case scenario for Rodgers. Aside from a terrible opener and some difficulties throwing the long ball early on, his play has been excellent, and he has not been a cancer on the team. The team spirit appears to be good. I still don't want Rodgers back next year, though. As others have explained, he's too expensive for a player his age.

3 points
9
6
jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 08:03 am

I, too, wanted AR gone and, like you, my expectations of a split lockerroom and team implosion have been incredibly wrong. AR has impressed me with his professionalism regarding his teammates and his continued allegiance to the team. That being said, he needs to go after this season unless he can come up with a way to play for free.

0 points
3
3
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 16, 2021 at 05:22 pm

Look back at won/loss records of 2017 & 2018.

Rodgers is an amazing talent and he is fun to watch. However, he hasn't won SB's and he will count over 20% against the cap. I say trade him but only if what we receive in return is sufficient. The trade would have to be sizeable and commensurate with Rodgers talent.

I have no interest in watching the Packers trying to rebuild with an old QB. Whatever the Packers decide to do I'm confident in Gutey, MLF, Ball, and Murphy will do the right thing in best interests of the organization.

-1 points
8
9
Houndog's picture

December 17, 2021 at 06:05 am

Snot,
"I'm confident in Gutey, MLF, Ball, and Murphy will do the right thing in best interests of the organization".
Oh really? Good luck with that!
MLF is the real deal, but Gutey and Ball are just 'Yes men' to the real problem, Murphy!
The guy sat back while Rodgers aged and did nothing, then he changed the front office structure in a power grab, and he's now let this mess develop into what it is. Load the three of them onto Murphy's Kumbaya bus and wave politely as they head out of town.

-4 points
3
7
jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:56 pm

Like a hound on a hot trail--dialed in and spot on.

0 points
0
0
tommynak's picture

December 16, 2021 at 05:35 pm

While I also want to see AR continue in a Packers uniform don't agree with your take of do it at all costs regardless of who you have to get rid of to make it happen. I would love to see them restructure his contract to make it happen for multiple years but Rodgers has to be willing to give in on the $ a bit in order to continue to build the roster around him. You state the obvious in this team would not be performing at this level with Love at QB, but I can assure you the depth of this roster and fact that he have a solid D is also making a huge difference. Yes Rodgers needs to restructure in some amount to make this a team friendly contract to remain competitive. Getting guys like Adams & Tonyan are important pieces as well as bringing guys like Campbell & Douglas back in the fold as well. It ill be an interesting offseason again but we got a lot more fun in store for this season still. Looking forward to being in Lambeau for my second game this year against Minny. Go Pack Go.

1 points
2
1
Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 16, 2021 at 06:00 pm

A lot depends if Rodgers truly "loves" the Packers. If he is just biding his time and wants to leave next year, I think the likely landing spot would be Denver first and Pittsburgh second.

With our quarterback, Denver would likely be as good as most any team in the AFC, and I would hope Gute would demand 3 or 4 first round draft choices for an MVP quarterback.

HOWEVER, as you say, Rodgers is a generational talent at the most important position in football. So, bottom line as a dumb old uninformed fan who tends to get it wrong all too often, I am going to hope that Gute and Murphy get it right because I just don't know what is the best course of action.

7 points
7
0
13TimeChamps's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:11 pm

"3 or 4 first round draft picks"

Lol

3 points
5
2
Starrbrite's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:15 pm

Exactly—no teams will give up three/four 1st-Rnd draft picks. Perhaps two, but I’m not certain that would happen either.

3 points
4
1
dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 08:00 am

Matt Stafford set the market last year (and he's a guy who has never won a playoff game, much less a SB), and Watson's off-field issues didn't stop Miami from offering 3 1s. Tom Brady's success will do nothing but bolster the market for a very mature QB who--even though he could drop off at any time--is still playing at a high level.

If the move is to deal Rodgers, it's reasonable to expect that the floor on the asking price is Stafford's haul: two 1s, a 3rd, and a player or two.

0 points
3
3
13TimeChamps's picture

December 17, 2021 at 10:14 am

Stafford is 33. Rodgers is 38. Big difference.

0 points
2
2
dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 11:55 am

...and Rodgers is still the superior player.

For a team on a 2-3 year window, that's all that matters.

1 points
1
0
13TimeChamps's picture

December 17, 2021 at 12:55 pm

I hope you're right. I still have serious doubts that a team will give up that much draft capital, much less throwing player(s) into the deal as well, for a player approaching 40. I'd hate to be the GM of that team if Rodgers doesn't deliver them a SB in that 2-3 year window.

I guess we'll see....

2 points
3
1
Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 18, 2021 at 11:49 am

13TimeChamps,

Nfl teams have offered a great deal throughout history when they want an outstanding player. For example, in 1958, the Chicago Cardinals traded a pro bowl running back named Ollie Madson to the Rams for nine draft choices after Madson had played for six years in the league which was plenty of mileage for a running back in those days.

Most all of us recall the Herschel Walker trade from the Cowboys to the Super Bowl desperate Vikings in which the Cowboys received five players and six draft choices. The Vikings thought Walker would be the missing link to get them to the Super Bowl.

And we were surprised when Mike Ditka traded all his draft picks (six picks) to move up from the 12th spot to the first to draft Ricky Williams prior to the 1999 draft.

Thus, if a team thinks one player, such as these examples above, will get them over the hump, they will sometimes do what many of us would believe to be a desperate, dramatic move to acquire him.

0 points
0
0
13TimeChamps's picture

December 18, 2021 at 03:46 pm

A great example of horrible trades that never panned out for the team acquiring that "one player to get them over the hump".

Thanks for making my point for me.

0 points
0
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 19, 2021 at 12:45 am

I thought your point was that no team would give up three or more 1st round draft choices for Rodgers. My point was that historically, teams have given up a great deal for players who never achieved nor were playing at the MVP level this quarterback has been playing.

The Hershel Walker trade from Dallas to the Vikings helped Dallas to load up up players and they then won two Super Bowl victories.

0 points
0
0
13TimeChamps's picture

December 19, 2021 at 10:20 am

Those trades were made 20, 30, 50 years ago. You would think teams would have learned by now that giving up all those assets for one player rarely, if ever, works out for the team giving up the assets. That was my point.

But I hope I'm the one proven wrong here and GB brings in multiple picks and players. I'll be more than happy to eat some crow on this.

1 points
1
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 19, 2021 at 10:28 am

Don't rule out the possibility that Rodgers remains in Green Bay for the next two or more years.

Also, there is no crow for anyone to eat here. We are a bunch of avid Packer fans who get together and chat about what we think.

2 points
2
0
13TimeChamps's picture

December 19, 2021 at 10:44 am

I agree.

Let's enjoy the AR12 to DA17 magic while we still can. The best QB/WR combo in the league in my opinion.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

December 19, 2021 at 10:33 am

Never underestimate the ability of desperate GMs and HCs to overextend themselves and their teams. Hell, Ryan Pace has done it twice in the last five years.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 16, 2021 at 08:21 pm

Love has not beaten him out of a job up to this point.

0 points
3
3
Johnblood27's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:58 am

...and Rodgers NEVER beat out Favre for the starting QB job in GB.

NEVER.

3 points
6
3
Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 17, 2021 at 10:23 am

I would think the value received for Rodgers, if he does leave, will depend on whether the buying team determines that he is the missing factor to get them to the Super Bowl and in turn what the value of a Super Bowl win would mean to their franchise.

The Vikings, for example have been around for well over a half of a century and their Super Bowl trophy case remains empty. What would they have given up in draft choices to have at least one Lombardi Trophy in that cabinet?

3 points
3
0
MarkTroy's picture

December 16, 2021 at 06:17 pm

I agree. Although I've had the same thought for the last 12 years. This summer didn't change it in the slightest. The Love pick made me wonder what the front office is thinking. You see, I'm almost 55 years old. I've been a Packer fan since the late 70's. I remember losing... a lot. To me, the Superbowl were the two games a year I could watch on TV vs the Bears. I remember what it's like NOT to have a winning quarterback.. vividly! We need to make Rodgers happy no matter the cost. The odds of Love being 1/10th as good is between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000. We Packer fans have been supremely spoiled by HOF quarterback play the last 30 years.

1 points
6
5
Starrbrite's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:21 pm

Agree MarkTroy. And when we’re suddenly losing to the Bears and Vikings and maybe the Lions, people will be screaming, “we need a QB.”
Look at the Broncos, that’s exactly what is happening with their organization—no QB and they can’t make it to 1st base.
I believe ARod has at least three years left in the tank. Keep him.

1 points
4
3
Nate-1980's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:28 pm

Exactly mark, you take a wr instead of love then he’d be in his third season and you wouldn’t need Adams.. Gute has done a decent job in fa and some draft picks, but his plan is erratic and manic as it comes.. Yeah you might lose some players keeping Rodgers, but he’s by far the mvp of this team.. I keep hearing about declining when he won the mvp last season and is in second place to win it this year.. You posters on here are delusional about a love led team and draft picks being a better choice.. You better hit home runs with those picks, because I’ve seen a lot of strike outs with this organization with first and second round choices.. Ken is right, most of you are making it personal when it’s about WINNING!! If Gute doesn’t do all he can, he’ll be looking for a job very soon, I don’t think he’ll find one either for being part of the dumbest decision in the history of a gm..

-5 points
2
7
edp1959's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:43 am

Totally agree. Gute had the opportunity to trade up and get Justin Jefferson. This would have made a huge difference in the offense now and decisions going forward.

I wouldn't have a problem with picking Love had Gute not followed the Bears philosophy and wasted two picks that could have been used much better. Love would have been available in the second round, no need to trade up for him.

-4 points
2
6
Leatherhead's picture

December 17, 2021 at 09:27 am

Yes, if we had drafted Justin Jefferson, we’d have been the best offense in the league last year. Oh, wait a minute, we were the best offense in the league without him.

0 points
4
4
dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 11:40 am

Shhh...litigating draft picks in retrospect is a delicate process.

0 points
1
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 19, 2021 at 03:59 am

Yup. If Fields busts, Bears fans will be screaming Pace should have taken Mac Jones. But if Fields and Jones both bust, they might well decry passing on Micah Parsons.

That is a risk for teams who need a QB. Teams pass up great players (well, prospects anyway) to get a QB, using multiple first round picks in multiple years and possible extra picks to get a QB, a position that the NFL has overvalued due to rule changes.

[This comment has nothing to do with the wisdom of trading up for Justin Jefferson; rather, it is meant to be more generic.]

1 points
1
0
edp1959's picture

December 16, 2021 at 07:39 pm

I find it truly amazing at many of the comments here by those that have preached at me about how "it's the team" not Rodgers that is responsible for the 10-3 record. But yet, read how many comments mentions Rodgers and his lack of SB wins. What happened to the team, guess it's only on Rodgers when it's a loss. Good grief...idiots.

-3 points
5
8
Coldworld's picture

December 17, 2021 at 11:21 am

If you read most of the comments and inferred that, you just insulted yourself.

This is, apart from timeliness, why these pieces should be canned. Some people can’t keep their emotions contained. It’s just divisive and, as we all know, no one who matters cares, so pointless as well.

2 points
2
0
jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 01:56 pm

"no one who matters cares"

You mean Gute, MLF and AR don't read out comments? Say it ain't so!

I'm seriously bummed right now (/sarc)

0 points
1
1
PatrickGB's picture

December 16, 2021 at 08:55 pm

“ I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert on the mechanics of the salary cap. “ I don’t either. But it looks insurmountable. I prefer to enjoy the season as it unfolds. Next year will be interesting, but it’s next year. By bringing in a strong (and expensive) supporting cast and drafting his replacement, I think that the writing is on the wall. But, again, I will have to wait and see what transpires.

0 points
2
2
wildbill's picture

December 16, 2021 at 10:45 pm

Love=Kizer 2.0. Yea let’s go with him. Lol

1 points
7
6
Philarod's picture

December 16, 2021 at 10:52 pm

This is something I'd rather not think about till the off-season, but here we are.
My thoughts:
A. I think that Rodgers is still - by a good margin - the best QB in the game. And yes, TB - and I'm amazed at what he continues to do - will probably take MVP.
B. Still, this is not a slam dunk decision either way, much as I want Aaron to stay.
C. Enjoy this season. If we get healthy, no team is really superior (though I do think TB and LAR have more talent.)

2 points
3
1
Harold Drake's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:31 am

With the huge increase in the 2023 cap, the Packers can in fact keep Rodgers, Jaire, and MVS on board. It would involved pushing pack Rodgers' and Adams' salaries far down the road, but that would still keep the team intact. Let Adams (sob), Tonyan and Z go, without question, and keep Douglas and Campbell. From everything I understand about capology, this is doable if Rodgers is willing to take less money in 2022 and then see his salary go up to 50 million per annum in 2023 and 2024. But this is all speculation since Rodgers and Adams will both be playing for San Francisco next season!

-2 points
3
5
dobber's picture

December 17, 2021 at 08:12 am

Players would have to give up guaranteed money, or put a lot of trust in the Packers to make good on roster bonuses and the like. High end players are unlikely to give away too much on the guaranteed end, and guarantees are paid out over the duration of the deal--they set the floor for 2022, in this case. That said, AJones took the kind of deal you're talking about...low guarantees, high roster bonuses, low cash value early...so it could happen.

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/aaron-jones-21924/

-2 points
2
4
Coldworld's picture

December 17, 2021 at 11:31 am

I hesitate to do this, since TGR could himself, but I remind you of this excellent piece and commentary by TGR, who admits to trying hard to make the numbers work to allow Rodgers to be kept.

https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/coping-with-the-cap-in-2022-137

1 points
3
2
stockholder's picture

December 17, 2021 at 07:11 am

Welcome aboard> Finally someone who sees the value of keeping Rodgers. (GOAT) Players will want to play with him. Those who don't, will leave. And with all the injuries this year. It won't matter, if they do. Rodger's has done everything asked of him. The difference between this team and others. Is opportunity. More players stepped up this year then ever before. If the packers want to keep any. They will work out a deal. I don't question them keeping Rodgers. It's Money in the bank! But those who didn't play. Will be a bigger problem for Gutey.

-1 points
3
4
Johnblood27's picture

December 17, 2021 at 08:08 am

men want to be him, women want to be with him...

when negotiating a contract extension have bakh, adams, jenkins, mvs, tonyan, dillon, jones, clark, gary, jaire, amos, campbell, zadarius, preston, savage, stokes, douglass... all in the conference room together and lay out the cap for all of them to see. if they can all agree on salaries that keep the team in league compliance they all stay, if not start peeling the onion.

Players place teams in untenable cap positions by negotiating individually in a vacuum outside the total cap ramifications for the team and other players. Teams could bring leverage by group negotiations. It is a brave new world, be the first to step outside the box. The times demand it, COVID changed everything.

0 points
1
1
jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:03 pm

Good luck getting any agent anywhere to agree to that. It's also a great way to rip apart a team even if they were all to re-sign.

What might work would be if the contract with the NFLPA dictated minimum salaries by position by years of service (however that would be defined). This is like the vet's minimum, but by position. For example, a four-year LG minimum would be less than a four-year LT's minimum. The contract would have to also include percentage increases for each position by number of games started or % of snaps played. Incentives (like Pro Bowl selection) would also be baked into the numbers.

This is what a union contract in most industries does.

After all the non-guaranteed minimums are set, then players can negotiate guaranteed increases over the minimum, with contract riders that follow the non-guaranteed money as it increases each year as part of the salary cap calculation. Effectively, I'm guessing that contracts are negotiated kind of like my scenario anyway, but this level of detail is missing from what's published.

-2 points
0
2
x24's picture

December 17, 2021 at 09:18 am

"Let's not talk about leaving before we're actually at the game"

Yeah- we've got about 8 months of off-season for hand wringing and speculation. How about we focus on actual football now?

-2 points
0
2
scullyitsme's picture

December 17, 2021 at 10:08 am

This is pretty much spot on. All the comments of the haters are just that. The weird thing is I couldn’t stand farve the last few years with the retire/unretire sobbing a the podium girl act. Not too mention the womanizer/addict( guess you could do that then) Couldn’t wait to see him and his pontificating 30 interceptions a year go. Farve himself was the reason we only won one superbowl with him. His playoff picks are epic. Rodgers hasn’t been half as bad as farve and he’s been twice the qb. Once more I don’t and can’t directly blame him for only one superbowl. During his tenure it was definitely a collective effort. Losing with love would suck.

1 points
3
2
jurp's picture

December 17, 2021 at 02:05 pm

Losing with Starr sucked. Losing with Favre (esp to Dallas and in the playoffs in the early 90s and in 1999) sucked. Losing with Rodgers in 08 and 18 sucked. Losing with Love will suck, but then winning with Love will be sweet.

That's sports.

0 points
2
2
barutanseijin's picture

December 17, 2021 at 05:50 pm

2x the QB but 1/2 the Super Bowl appearances and an equal number of Super Bowl victories?

12 is lucky to have even one Super Bowl appearance. Were it not for BJ Raji he'd have none.

0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

December 17, 2021 at 11:35 am

This is not just a matter of the salary and/or Rodgers age. If the Packers win it all this season and Rodgers declares that he wants to remain in Green Bay it's going to be very difficult for Gute to justify trading Rodgers. It's also possible that Rodgers could decide to retire and go off into the sunset.

bottom line is that this situation cannot be assessed until the end of this season however it turns out. At this point I don't see how the Packers can afford to keep Rodgers and the better part of the current roster together. I also don't see how they can move on from him if he wins the SB and declares that he wants to remain with the Packers. Maybe Rodgers will agree to take less money at least until the cap increases to the point where the Packers can afford to retain him.

No matter what I wouldn't commit to more than 3 seasons if I'm the Packers. Maybe only 2 with a third year opt out for both sides. It's going to be a difficult and messy off season at best. For now I'm just looking forward to defeating the Ravens. One game at a time until the end of the season. Then the Packers can sought out their cap/roster issues. GPG! Thanks, Since '61

3 points
4
1