With the recent blockbuster trade between the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams, they swapped quarterbacks, as Jared Goff heads north and Matthew Stafford gets his wish and heads out west to a team in the thick of playoff competition. Combine that uncertainty with the uncertainty that both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings have at their QB position, and that should give you a greater appreciation of Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers have obviously not always gotten the QB spot on their roster right, as the time before Brett Favre was understandably quite rough and caused this franchise to consistently be looking up at its competition. But ever since Ron Wolf was the driving force to go and grab Favre from the Atlanta Falcons, the QB role has been one of great results for Green Bay.
The role of QB is one that teams have to get right – as it has been in years past, the teams that are the most successful are able to bring in a highly-competent QB option and surround them with talent, instead of the other way around. Looking at a team like the Washington Football Team, who has been struggling to find its franchise signal-calller, their defense is their best element, but are struggling as a whole due to their consistent turnover from their QB role.
Detroit had been set with Stafford ever since they selected him as the first overall selection in the 2009 draft. Coming off of an 0-16 season, it was quite evident that the Georgia Bulldog was exactly what this franchise needed, and he gave it his all and then some on the field every time he was out there.
Having become the fastest QB in league history to reach 40,000 passing yards, Stafford’s career in Motown will always be looked at through an unfortunate lens, as he was consistently the best player that Detriot had on its roster for the entirety of his career in Detroit, outside of WR Calvin Johnson. The wasted careers of both Johnson and Stafford will forever hold the Lions back as a franchise, as they should have been so, so much better than they truly were.
Stafford’s health history certainly is not the best, but he can never be blamed for not giving it his all when he was out there. Regularly playing through injuries, the supporting cast that Stafford was given was never enough, especially on defense, and always forced Stafford to play hero ball, something that Packers fans are all too familiar with over the years with Rodgers.
Goff is not the end-all, be-all solution for Detroit – rather, he should be looked at as (mostly) a stop-gap solution for the time being (even though he is only 25), holding the QB1 spot for Detroit while they look for their next franchise QB option. Holding the seventh overall selection puts them in prime category for the QB2/3 in the draft, as Trevor Lawrence should go first overall to Jacksonville – which means that the likes of Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Zach Wilson could all be in play here.
The contract that Goff is currently on is going to be super tough to move, but Detroit obviously sees some value in the former Cal product, so he may be there longer than originally thought.
The ongoing fiasco between Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans will most likely end in a breakup this offseason as well, seeing as how Watson has officially demanded a trade and has all signs pointing to not showing up at all for any offseason workouts. With the Jets and Dolphins as his top-two preferred destinations, the former Clemson star will command a pretty penny wherever he heads to next.
The hope for GB is that he remains in the AFC and does not join a team like the 49ers so they do not have to face him on an often basis, which will happen with Stafford as well, seeing as how he remained in the NFC but changed conferences.
While there certainly have been circulating thoughts about the status of Rodgers moving forward, ever since the team drafted Jordan Love, all that Rodgers has done has taken a backseat approach to the situation, understanding that the course of action for the rest of his career will mostly be out of his hands. Plus, with his type of play that he produced this past season, the likely 2020 MVP will not be going anywhere.
The type of consistency and luck that Green Bay has gotten out of its personnel moves for QB since the fourth game of the 1992 season is quite remarkable, and few teams are able to even say that their transition from one generatinoal QB to another generational QB was possible. Yet, the amount of under-appreciation that happens for both of this players is quite astounding.
What Rodgers has done since taking over in 2008 is remarkable, even with having faced a ton of doubters early on with the shadow of what Favre was cast upon him. What he has blossomed into certainly speaks to the type of player that the late Ted Thompson was happy to draft, and regardless of how much longer he plays for Green Bay, he deserves a ton of respect for what he has helped establish in terms of continued success for this franchise.
Just think, it could be worse – look at how the Bears have botched their QB search.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23