Happy Saturday! It’s now been six days since the NFC Championship game and personally, I’m ready to turn the page and focus on the 2021 Packers. However, a gargantuan question lurks: How long will Aaron Rodgers be the Green Bay Packers Quarterback?
The Super Bowl MVP, likely 3 time NFL MVP and face of the franchise since 2008 is someone I don’t want the Packers to part ways with anytime soon, in my head and in my heart. Rodgers is under contract until 2023. From everything I’ve read on the interweb, it appears that #12 will not be a Green Bay Packer for the duration of that contract, mostly due to the salary cap implications, some of it due to the draft pick of Jordan Love in 2020 and a little of it due to speculation and rumblings that Rodgers may be ready to move on from the Packers.
To make things as clear as possible, I want Rodgers on the Packers as long as he’s playing at a high level and still wants to be a Packer. I don’t care about the draft pick of Love, I don’t care about the potential salary cap implications. Speaking from the heart, emotionally, I want Rodgers on my team as long as possible, just as I’m sure Patriots fans wish they had Tom Brady as their Quarterback in 2020. Hindsight is 2020.
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with that last line. Rodgers will most likely win the NFL MVP this season. The bottom line is: if you have a Quarterback that plays for your franchise who is winning league MVP’s, you don’t get rid of him unless you absolutely have to.
I’m not a salary cap expert, not even close and I won’t pretend to be one, so I’m not going to breakdown the potential salary cap implications with keeping Rodgers on the Packers through 2023 and how that may effect the re-signing of current players. However, to give you a clearer picture on the future, here are the Packers upcoming key free agents.
2021 (current free agents): Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Corey Linsley, Kevin King, Lane Taylor, Mercedes Lewis, Tyler Ervin
2022: Davante Adams, Lucas Patrick, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
2023: Za’Darius Smith, Adrian Amos, Billy Turner, Preston Smith, Jaire Alexander
Some of those players will be gone from the Packers before their contract expires. A good example of this is Preston Smith, who is owed more money than his production has warranted. It would benefit the Packers to release him early, as they will be able to save more money in the long-run and use that money to allocate in other areas.
The 2021 Packers are set up to be competitive yet again and have a legitimate shot at another Super Bowl run. Although the potential losses of Jones, Williams, Linsley and King are tough, the core of the team remains in-tact with the opportunity to add through the draft and the possible return of Covid-19 opt-out WR Devin Funchess. Rodgers will almost certainly be back as the starting QB in 2021.
The results of the 2021 Season could largely determine Rodgers’ fate in the Green and Gold moving forward, given he’s the QB next season. If he plays at a high level again and the Packers have a successful season, it will make the decision very difficult for 2022 and beyond. If the Packers fall short of expectations and say, miss the playoffs or get bounced in the Wild Card Round, I believe they will move on.
The Packers will have to back up the dump-truck to re-sign Davante Adams in 2022 and will have to do the same if they want to retain Jaire Alexander in 2023. Obviously, there’s a lot to figure out and I believe a lot of it hangs in the balance of the 2021 Packers Season.
Of course, they traded up and drafted Jordan Love for a reason. Ideally, the Packers see Love flourishing as the QB of the future and will want to give him a fair shot to prove his worth. However, if Rodgers continues to play at a high level and keeps winning MVP’s, it’s almost impossible for me to justify parting ways with the legend of Rodgers and everything that he brings to the Packers team and culture.——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a Packers guy. Alex\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.