Doesn’t that just look…….right?
Forget a big recruiting tour for Aaron Rodgers this offseason, just send this picture to him in a Broncos uniform and wait for his signature.
So how can this hypothetical of Aaron Rodgers becoming a Bronco become reality? Well, one of two things need to happen.
Aaron Rodgers wins the Super Bowl.
Rodgers winning another Super Bowl in Green Bay improves the chances he’ll come to Denver for a couple of reasons. For one, he’ll surpass Brett Favre in Super Bowls won for the Packers, thus proving his worth to that city and fanbase. Two, AR will have nothing more to accomplish in Green Bay. 2 championships, a likely 4th MVP award, and Packer fans will have zero reason to hate him if he decides to leave. I believe going out on top is exactly what Rodgers is envisioning for himself in order to leave Green Bay in good graces.
Green Bay loses in the NFC playoffs to anyone not named Tom Brady.
Now in the more likely scenario that Green Bay doesn’t win the Super Bowl, I think Aaron leaving is a given. That will just reinforce in Rodger’s mind what he spoke about last offseason. The Packers franchise is broken and he needs to join an organization that does things more to his liking. AKA not completely ignore his personnel suggestions.
UNLESS he loses to Tom Brady.
Here’s my thinking: Aaron Rodgers wants to be considered on the same tier of greatness, or as close as possible, to Tom Brady. Losing to Brady this year in the NFC Championship game (in Lambeau) would absolutely kill Rodgers. Imagine the narrative that would be built if he left Green Bay after this: “Aaron Rodgers leaves the NFC because he can’t beat Tom Brady.” And don’t let the formal language fool you. ESPN wouldn’t say it, but the real narrative everyone would be thinking is, “Aaron Rodgers is a pussy.” Rodgers isn’t stupid. He knows his legacy would be badly wounded if he chose this path.
Wild Card: Green Bay LOSES the Super Bowl.
Not a fan of this one. ESPECIALLY if he loses to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. He’s not going to willingly play in the same division as a guy he just lost to in the Super Bowl. I personally don’t see the Packers losing to anyone in the AFC besides the Chiefs, but I can see him wanting to “run it back” if they do.
So if Rodgers does leave Green Bay, why would he go to the Broncos?
Well, to put it simply, Denver makes the most sense.
Out of all the teams looking for a new Quarterback in 2022, the Broncos will have the best combination of cap space, talent on the roster, draft capital, and history of franchise success. Speaking of franchise success, here’s a stat that will blow your mind.
Anyways where was I?
Oh yeah, so the Denver Broncos are a successful franchise…
You know what, after posting that tweet, this now sounds stupid. The Broncos are a dumpster fire right now, plain and simple. They’re going through one of the worst stretches in the franchises history. So let’s get down to the real reason Aaron Rodgers will be on the Broncos next year:
His fiancé lives in Boulder…
Shailene Woodley, as you may know from various television shows and movies very few people have actually seen, wants to be close to her future hubby right? Seems like a pretty easy transition for ol’ A-Rod.
While this is very much a thing, and people on the internet think this is the number one reason Aaron Rodgers might come to Denver, the real reasons are football related (and thus, much more boring).
Despite what uninformed outsiders might think, this Broncos roster is stacked. Of course there are a few things to shore up (linebackers, offensive line), but make no mistake, Denver has premier talent and depth at literally every position group on the field (except quarterback).
Additionally, the Broncos have one of the best cap situations in the league. AKA they have money to spend. Most teams in the league don’t have this same luxury.
Finally, because of the piss poor performance and waste of talent this year, Denver has the #9 pick in the upcoming draft. With 11(!) picks overall in 2022. That’s the other part of this. The Packers need to trade Rodgers, he can’t just leave. This means you can pretty much rule out Rodgers going to any NFC teams. The Packers aren’t going to risk having their ex-QB beat them every year after he leaves. Case and point: Brett Favre on the Vikings.
Here’s the list of possible destinations for Rodgers outside of Denver.
Las Vegas Raiders
-Pretty good cap situation. So affording Rodgers won’t be an issue.
-What do they do with Derek Carr? Would he be part of a trade?
-6-7 draft picks to use as capital. First round pick will be in the 19-32 range.
-A lot of holes on the roster. Most obvious is their offensive line, which has been one of the worst in the league.
-Coach situation and direction of franchise after Jon Gruden is unclear.
The Raiders have surfaced lately as a favorite for Rodgers, but I just don’t see it. The gap between what the Broncos can offer, and what Las Vegas can offer is significant. Draft capital being the most important.
-Best cap situation in the NFL.
-What do they do with Tua? He would probably be part of the trade, but would Green Bay want him?
-Worst offensive line in the NFL.
-Otherwise, rest of roster is pretty solid.
-7 draft picks coming up. 1st round pick from 49ers will also be in the 19-32 range.
I think the Dolphins have a legit case of landing Rodgers The thing is, would Aaron really want to play behind what was THE worst offensive line in the league this year? I wouldn’t. Also, I don’t really know the direction of that franchise after firing Brian Flores. He did well there. That was a shock. And again, Broncos can offer more to the Packers in draft picks by a pretty wide margin….
Real talk: Outside of Tampa Bay, Cleveland probably has the most talented roster in the NFL.. but is Aaron Rodgers really going to want to play in Cleveland? I’ll answer that for you. No, no he will not.
-Good cap situation.
-7 draft picks. 19-32 range.
-Terrible offensive line. Defensive line not much better (outside of TJ Watt).
The Steelers feel like they’re on the cusp of rebuild mode. Again, the most important thing here is that the Broncos have more to offer the Packers in draft capital. In the end, it’s more than likely going to come down to who can offer the most. Advantage Broncos.
-Terrible cap situation. Would be alleviated a little bit if they included Ryan Tannehill in a trade back to the Packers.
-One of the more talented rosters in the league. Offensive line is fantastic.
-7 draft picks. All are going to be near the end of the round.
I think the Titans are a sneaky candidate to land Rodgers. Any aging QB would want to play behind that offensive line, with Derrick Henry carrying a significant load (hehe). Plus, Aaron strikes me as a Nashville type of fella. Tennessee doesn’t have a lot to offer the Packers in draft picks though…
-Great offensive system with Head Coach Frank Reich.
-Top 5 cap situation
-Good offensive line, running game, and defense.
-6 draft picks, no 1st round pick.
I don’t see the Colts happening. They gave up a lot for Carson Wentz, including next year’s first round draft pick. Aaron Rodgers would make their team pretty ridiculous, but they don’t have the draft capital to send the Packers what they’d be looking for. I also don’t see Rodgers wanting to play for them…
My top 3 candidates to land Rodgers that aren’t the Broncos:
- Tennessee Titans
- Oakland Raiders
- Miami Dolphins
Wild Card: San Francisco 49ers
- I wanted to include this one as a wild card, because if the Packers are trading Rodgers to anyone in the NFC, it’ll be the 49ers. AR grew up in the Bay Area, and this deal almost got done last year before he decided to stay in Green Bay. The only way this happens is if the Packers REALLY like Trey Lance or Jimmy G, because that would be their prize coming back. Again, I don’t see them trading him to an NFC opponent, but if they do, the 49ers are going to be the one.
So what do the Broncos need to do before now and when Aaron Rodgers makes a decision?
- They need to figure out the owner situation.
Rodgers won’t join an ownerless organization. This shouldn’t be a problem though, as it’s widely acknowledged by Broncos management this will happen by Spring.
- The Broncos need to nail their head coaching hire.
Packers Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett???
- They need to hold Shailene Woodley hostage until he signs a contract.
Obviously I’m not being serious…
I mean the Packers would have to cooperate too, and I just don’t see that happening.
So there it is. The playbook on how Aaron Rodgers becomes a Bronco.
It’s going to happen…Right? RIGHT?!?!